So, it's mid July which means we've been here a whole month already. Its been pretty great! We've gotten settled in our current place and we've gotten our schedules down for service and other routine things, more or less. The congregation we currently attend is wonderful. Its about 80 publishers with about 11 pioneers. The territory is small but has a lot of potential. I have two studies and Vero and Raquel have a study each. Kei will have one definitely soon as well. The girls have made friends in the congregation really fast and are liking everything so far.
Our first big trip was to the border of Haiti last week! While waiting for the visa process here in the DR, in order to stay legally in the country, the brothers here cross the border of Haiti and return the same day to renew the tourist visa. Its about a 3 1/2 hour trip one way and to really make it worthwhile we preach as soon as we arrive. There are a lot of people crossing sides and so it makes it a great opportunity to leave literature. We brought Spanish, Haitian Creole, and even some Italian literature to place. Altogether we placed 151 magazines and tracts.
Once we arrive there is a contact the brothers have there that expedites our visa renewal for us for a small fee. He is very nice and has gotten to know the witnesses over the past year or so. He always is ready to help and really goes out of his way to get us taken care of. Its interesting that the brothers never actually contact him ahead of time...he's just always there when the brothers are and knows exactly what we're there for; Jehovah's Holy Spirit is definitely involved in that! The process usually takes about an hour or less and then we're on our way. On the way out we try to place the rest of our literature with the public. We always save some literature for the checkpoints on the way back home. Coming into Haiti is never a problem, its leaving Haiti to enter the DR that can be tricky for some. Since the DR is on the lookout for any Haitians trying to enter the country illegally, they have military checkpoints along the way to make sure that doesn't happen. Of course we are not illegal nor Haitian, but as witnesses we always want to be as safe as possible and of course you never know what can happen. So at every checkpoint we leave magazines and tracts with the soldiers and they gladly accept and let us pass on through knowing that we are in the country to preach. This is definitely an unforgettable experience! We don't like having to do with legal red tape but when you do it for Jehovah and turn it into a positive by using it to share in the ministry, it makes it a whole lot better to do.
So, Tuesday was Haiti run day and the very next day we were off to Santo Domingo for the Regional Convention! Even though we're in the Spanish congregation we will always try to attend the English regional conventions as well. Simply because the English convention here has almost all the need greaters in the country and its always good to be around other brothers and sisters who have done what you have done in leaving your home to serve where the need is great. We were told it was a good idea to do that before we came down here and it was some great advice. The help and shared experiences keeps you going and encouraged to stay and keep serving for as long as you can.
Since the English convention is a lot smaller than the Spanish, they use any qualified brothers available to help. So, they recruited me to work at the convention....what department? ....SOUND! LOL! They heard I had past experience and asked if I could assist and of course I said yes! So we get to the capital Wednesday so that we could be at the assembly hall Thursday to help clean and help with all the setup. Setup day is always fun even though its a lot of work. It was a little easier for me as there were no screens to setup for the videos like we do in the states; since we had the convention at the assembly hall at Bethel, all we had to really do is setup the actual sound equipment. The girls helped a lot with all the cleaning and we ended up finishing everything by about 1:30pm!
The convention was awesome of course! I won't give any details just in case you haven't gone yet, but I'll just say the Faithful and Discreet Slave are really preparing us for what's to come! You will be re-energized to keep serving Jehovah faithfully!
It was a great experience all around and we can't wait to see what Jehovah has in store for us this year!
Other than that, we are moving along, staying busy. Work is going good so far, although sometimes the internet doesn't always cooperate fully (eye roll...lol) But, Jehovah is definitely making sure we have what we need.
As always, we encourage anyone wanting to try out the need greater life to come on down! It wont hurt to try it out for a month... test Jehovah out and see what happens! Definitely ask us questions if you have them and we appreciate all the help we have received from you friends and family! Its definitely a blessing from Jehovah to have our special brotherhood.
Until next blog post, take care!
We're the Mazarelli Family
Just a family of four trying to do our best. Our adventure to become Need-Greaters in the Dominican Republic is starting... and we want to share it with you.