They Offered Themselves Willingly—In Ecuador
Bruno, a young brother in Italy, had to make an important decision. He had just finished school and had the highest grades in his class. His relatives and teachers told him that he should go to a university. But some years earlier, Bruno had dedicated himself to Jehovah and promised to put God’s will first in his life. So, what decision did he make? He explains: ‘I told Jehovah in prayer that I would keep my promise to him and put him first.’ But Bruno also honestly said in his prayer that he wanted his life in Jehovah’s service to be interesting and full of different activities.
A few years later, Bruno went to live in Ecuador, South America. He now says that Jehovah gave him even more than what he had prayed for. When he arrived in Ecuador, he was surprised to meet many other young adults who also had moved there to do more in Jehovah’s service.
YOUNG PEOPLE WHO TRUST IN JEHOVAH
Jehovah invites us to give our best to him and to trust that he will bless us greatly. “Test me out, please,” Jehovah says, “whether I shall not open to you people the floodgates of the heavens and actually empty out upon you a blessing.” (Malachi 3:10) Bruno and thousands of other young people around the world have accepted Jehovah’s invitation. Because of their love for God, they decided to use their time, energy, and money to serve him in a country where there is a greater need for people to preach the good news of the Kingdom.
Soon after these young people arrived in the new country, they realized that “the harvest is great, but the workers are few.” (Matthew 9:37) For example, Jaqueline from Germany wrote to the Ecuador branch: “I’ve been serving in Ecuador for just over two years, and I already have 13 Bible studies, 4 of whom attend meetings regularly. Isn’t that great?” Chantal from Canada says: “In 2008, I moved to an area on Ecuador’s coast where there was only one congregation. Now there are three congregations and more than 30 pioneers in that area.” She says that it is wonderful to see so many new ones make progress in the truth. She recently moved to a city that is 9,000 feet (2,743 m) up in the Andes Mountains. The city has more than 75,000 people but only one congregation. Chantal says that many are accepting the truth and that she is really enjoying the preaching work there.
IT IS NOT ALWAYS EASY
Of course, it is not always easy to serve in another country. In fact, for some young people, even the decision to move was not easy. Kayla from the United States says that some in her congregation back home told her that she should not leave. They did not understand why she wanted to pioneer in another country. She knew that they were trying to help her, but their reaction made her sad. At times, she was not sure whether she was making the right decision. She prayed a lot to Jehovah and talked with mature brothers and sisters. This helped her to understand that Jehovah blesses those who want to do their best in his service. So Kayla decided to move.
For many, it was difficult to learn another language. Siobhan from Ireland remembers: “It was hard for me not to be able to express myself. I had to learn to be patient, study the language diligently, and laugh at myself when I made mistakes.” Anna from Estonia adds: “Getting used to the tropical heat, lots of dust, and a lack of hot showers was nothing compared to learning Spanish. At times, I felt like giving up. I had to learn to focus on my progress, not on my errors.”
It is also difficult to be away from family and friends. Jonathan from the United States felt that way soon after he arrived in the new country. But he started to feel better when he used more of his time to study the Bible and to go out in the ministry. After a short time, the wonderful experiences he had in the preaching work and the new friends he made in the congregation helped him to have joy again.
It may also be difficult to get used to living in another country. Life there will probably be different from life back home. Beau from Canada says that back home he always had electricity and running water, but now he does not always have these things. Also, in many countries transportation can be uncomfortable. There may be many poor people and those who do not know how to read or write. What helps Ines from Austria to keep her joy is to think about the nice qualities of the people. “They are so hospitable, gentle, helpful, and humble,” she says. “Most of all, they have a huge interest in learning more about God.”
“A BLESSING UNTIL THERE IS NO MORE WANT”
Even though all these young adults who are serving in Ecuador have made sacrifices, Jehovah has given them everything they need. He has blessed them more than they ever expected. (Ephesians 3:20) They feel that he has given them “a blessing until there is no more want.” (Malachi 3:10) This is how they feel about their ministry:
Bruno: ‘I began my service here in Ecuador in the interesting Amazon region. Later, I helped with construction at the Ecuador branch office. Now I’m serving at Bethel. When I was in Italy, I made the choice to put Jehovah first, and he is truly giving me an exciting life, full of different activities in his service.’
Beau: ‘My friendship with Jehovah is so much stronger now because in Ecuador I can use all my time in his work. Also, I can travel to interesting places, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.’
Anna: ‘Because I am a single sister, I didn’t think it was possible for me to live like a missionary. But now I know that it is possible. Thanks to Jehovah’s blessing, I am making disciples, building Kingdom Halls, and making new friends. I am so happy.’
Elke: ‘In my home country of Austria, I often prayed to Jehovah for just one Bible study. Here, I have 15 Bible studies! It gives me so much joy to see how happy they are to learn about Jehovah.’
Joel: ‘It’s a great experience to serve Jehovah in a different country. You learn to depend on him so much more, and it’s exciting to see his blessing on your efforts! In my first year here from the United States, the group where I’m serving grew from 6 to 21 publishers. We had 110 people come to the Memorial.’
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Young brothers and sisters, can you serve where there is a greater need for people to preach? Of course, you need to plan carefully before you make a big decision like that. Most of all, you need to have a strong love for Jehovah and people. If you have that love and are able to move somewhere else, pray to Jehovah about serving in another country. Also, talk to your parents and the elders in your congregation about your desire. You may decide that you too can serve Jehovah in this exciting and satisfying way.
[Blurb on page 27]
Kayla from the United States prayed a lot to Jehovah and talked with mature brothers and sisters. This helped her to understand that Jehovah blesses those who want to do their best in his service
[Box/Picture on page 30]
How to prepare for serving in another country
• Do personal study regularly
• Read the August 2011 Our Kingdom Ministry, pages 4-6
• Talk to others who have served in another country
• Do research on the culture and history of the country
• Take a basic language course
[Box/Picture on page 30]
Some who serve in another country earn money by . . .
• working a few months each year in their home country
• renting their house, apartment, or business to others
• working by means of the Internet
[Pictures on pages 28, 29]
1 Jaqueline from Germany
2 Bruno from Italy
3 Beau from Canada
4 Siobhan from Ireland
5 Joel from the United States
6 Jonathan from the United States
7 Anna from Estonia
8 Elke from Austria
9 Chantal from Canada
10 Ines from Austria