I had been praying to Jehovah to bless us with the opportunity to serve where the need is greater. When I married my husband, all I could think of was serving in Dominican Republic with him. I then realized that I needed to be open to options, so I prayed to Jehovah to send us somewhere that needed help–preferably overseas, where we could work less and preach more. Jehovah knew we weren’t ready yet. We’ve been in training all of these years.
Our congregation in Connecticut was a strong one. It was a loving, united congregation, full of pioneers and with loving and encouraging elders. You could see the strength of the congregation at the service groups. The service groups were usually full. We meet in the mornings, afternoons and evenings with great support. Alfredo and I found our place among them as part of the family. They are still part of us and we miss them dearly. They were encouraging to us. We grew with them. But while they were encouraging and building us up , we were learning from them–part of Jehovah’s training.
Training- Phase 2
Moving to California was not in our plans. We wanted to get away from the cold weather and we thought we would go to Florida; my husband ended up getting an offer to transfer to California instead. When we decided to take it, I prayed over and over to Jehovah that we would NOT end up in a congregation that needed help within, I only wanted to help in the territory. I have learned sometimes Jehovah answers you by giving you what you told him you don’t want because he knows you need it. New Britain was training on how to be encouraging and how to work hard. We needed to activate that training in a place where we needed to use it.
I didn’t think that I was skilled enough to be part of a congregation that needed encouragement. Jehovah answered my prayer by giving me what I said I didn’t want. He knew I needed training. We realized that we ended up here for a reason so my husband said to me, “Well, let’s get to work.” This is the first time in my life I’ve had to learn to encourage rather than to expect to be encouraged. I don’t even think I’ve been in a congregation in Dominican Republic that needed as much help as this one did. The friends are loving and precious in Jehovah’s eyes–mostly all fairly new in the truth and still learning, very humble and shy at times. It’s very important to treat them delicately with love; they need heartfelt encouragement to continue to grow. One thing that I have learned is that no matter what, I must always be positive and trust that Jehovah sees what we see, hears what we hear; he provides his Holy Spirit to keep us moving forward even when we feel tired. When we feel like we are not doing enough Jehovah gives us motivation to keep going. This congregation not only showed us how to be positive with our brothers and sisters, but they gave us a lesson in how to be giving. Alfredo and I have never felt as much love and generosity as we felt in California. They love to work and they will give their energy and know-how to you as a gesture of love. I must practice this type of generosity. This was our training for Portugal. We will be in a group and as it grows it will be full of new comers. I want to be refreshing to them and I don’t want to forget the little ones as they learn alongside their parents. I am happy for all the lessons I’ve learned in the past 8 years. If we had left the U.S. any sooner I would not have had the chance to come to know and love and be taught by these wonderful people.