WE WERE THERE THIS YEAR FOR THESE HISTORIC MAKING THEOCRATIC EVENTS: GILEAD & THE ANNUAL.
OUR DIVINE UNIVERSITY. Being here brings back many emotional memories.
Gilead Buses leave the Sands Residence in Brooklyn and are Gilead Grad. bound.
WE ENJOYED A WORLD-WIND TOUR OF THE EAST COAST FROM NEW JERSEY AND NEW YORK TO CANADA BETHEL. OH YES, AND WE WERE THERE IN JERSEY FOR THE BIG HURRICANE. BUT WHAT A DELIGHT AND SURPRISE IT WAS TO BE ASKED IN ADVANCE AND BE INTERVIEWED FOR THE 131 GILEAD GRAD. CEREMONIES. WE HADN’T BEEN TO A GRADUATION IN 20 YEARS AND BACK THEN IT WAS OURS.
That’s RONI, as the memories come in, her emotions come out. Memories of WT. Farm Table #1. Dan & Marine Rice. Bethel’s man that’s ready to deal with Realty Price.
ANYWAY, BECAUSE OF THE OVERWHELMING INQUIRING BY MANY FRIENDS AFTER SEEING ONLY MY NAME IN THE FEB. 2012 WT, THEN CONTACTING US AND ASKING THE DETAILS ABOUT THE GILEAD INTERVIEW, I FINALLY ACQUIESCED AND DECIDED TO POST IT FOR ALL. SO HERE IT IS IN IT’S ENTIRETY WITH PHOTOS!
Just thinking, “What a privilege it is to be here after so many years!”
THIS TRIP SO IMPACTED US THAT HERE WE WILL BE SHARING ALL THESE MOMENTOUS EVENTS AND THEIR ENCOURAGEMENT TO US. MANY OF YOU HAD A PART IN IT AND WE THANK YOU. AS YOU WILL SEE, ” The Brotherhood is good, when you are doing like you should.” (Mark 10:29, 30)
Who are they interviewing this year? All are in expectation as to the Gilead angle it will take.
Past 5 months students found delight in benefiting from instruction received and association with Bethel family.
Now time for you to put training to use – engage in a work that pleases Jehovah
Your are experienced publishers, but you are new missionaries
What will it be like?
What can you expect when arrive?
What if you become homesick? Discontent?
Will you find delight in doing Jehovah’s will as a missionary?
Privileged to have three 3 missionaries that have delighted to do Jehovah’s will for many years under many circumstances
Stephen McDowell: 91st Class Gilead (1991) – Serving in Panama
Mark Noumair: 77th Class Gilead (1984) –Kenya, Instructor Theocratic Schools Department
William Yasovsky: xx Class Gilead (1968) –Paraguay, Brooklyn Bethel
3. Patterson’s Bro. Hansen handles the Introduction of the 3 Brothers.
Brother McDowell, What was it like arriving in Panama?
When we got on the plane from Miami to Panama, reality set in. We didn’t speak Spanish, and almost all announcements were in Spanish. “My wife Roni and I looked at each other thinking “It’s a different world now” and we prayed to Jehovah about it. At our arrival the Branch Coordinator himself picked us up & when we got to the Branch there was a little welcome committee with cake and ice cream. The next day we met with the Branch Committee for orientation and were assured of their support, that they are there for us, any needs, just call. They gave us a Panama City tour & then helped us all the way with Visas and Immigration.
What was it like arriving to your assignment?
The following week, another member of Branch Committee drove us 5 hours up country to our assignment. There the local brothers took us in and they were so happy that we came to help. But it was humbling having all that Gilead training, then at the meetings, competing with children to give simple answers because we couldn’t speak the language. They were so patient with our learning Spanish and we learned so much from them about people relations and living a simple life. 🙂 So wherever you go, the Brotherhood is Good! :-)
What helped you to accept new culture and fight home sickness ?
2 things mt brother: Getting immersed in helping others & getting involved with the local brothers. I have delighted in working with the young ones and others in many congregations, taking an interest in them, helping them to have joy in serving Jehovah and making The Truth their own. Of some 50 students, this has resulted in them becoming Aux., Reg. and Special Pioneers. As well as Min. Serv., Elders, Bethelites and in theTraveling Work. Even a Missionary in Hattie. So getting immersed in the present, helps you not worry about the past!
“Now Mark, you & Patty graduated Gilead in 1984 and served 11 years in Kenya. Now tell me, Mark . . .
What was your greatest delight while serving as a missionary?
Forging friendships with the local brothers.
We learned a valuable lesson early on in our missionary service. After 3 month language course, we were assigned to open up a new missionary home, by ourselves. Young, inexperienced and homesick. A defining moment for us came one evening. Patty was particularly homesick this evening and I tried to comfort her with some music; then tape of book of Acts. 7:30 pm and a knock on the door. Old woman with three oranges. She was a Bible student and not yet baptized. Pulled her inside . . . Would not have chosen her as a friend. We feel Jehovah taught us that the brothers don’t need you, you need them. Next day made it our business to visit homes. This incident began our greatest delight, forging friendships with the local brothers.
What particularly touched your heart about the local brothers?
How they applied the truth to the best of their ability.
The truth was relatively new in Kenya; the first Gileadgraduates did not arrive until the 1950’s. Only a few congregations had old-timers to set the example or to help ones grow to maturity. Many never met a G/B member, an anointed Christian or had even had the opportunity to visit the branch office. In spite of having just a few publications in their language it was thrilling to see how the brothers would apply what they read to the best of their ability. For example, in one isolated area, there was an interested man of exceptional zeal. He used all his free time to conduct Bible studies with up to 30 people using the Live Forever book. What a surprise to see this man along with several others show up at a district convention in 1987. Five of them showed they were ready for baptism, including the bible student who helped my wife at our arrival:-)
Your life as a missionary had a [disappointing?] rough start – can you explain that for students
You can well imagine the enthusiasm and anticipation regarding their assignments, our Gilead Students are experiencing at this point in the graduation program! In 1968 these emotions were NO different for us after having received assignments as missionaries in Paraguay South America. However our circumstances quickly changed. During the last weeks of Gilead School I developed a serious health problem.
Just prior to graduation we were notified of NOT BEING SENT OUT to our foreign assignment – but immediately following the graduation program we were to move out of Bethel, to live with a Spanish speaking family in Brooklyn. There we were to serve as special pioneers. The assignment asked us to concentrate on learning the Spanish language well enough to find interested ones while taking a census of the Spanish speaking population in the Coney Island and Brighton Beach area of Brooklyn.
You must have been very disappointed?
Being at Gilead was what we had prayed for . And being foreign missionaries is what we were trained for.
Of course we felt disappointment. But did we lose our “delight in doing Jehovah’s will”?
Did you ever make it to your missionary assignment?
We eventually did get to be field missionaries in Paraguay. Then some years later we found ourselves serving as publishers [back in the US?] following more serious health issues. Disappointed YES – But – again did we lose our “delight in doing Jehovah’s will”?
What happened next?
Again health problems improved and some years later – we were shocked to have been given the privilege to serve as members of the United States Bethel.
Would you say it is possible to find delight in doing Jehovah’s will despite challenges?
Yes – we fully enjoyed – delighted – in doing what we were assigned to do – although in many cases what we were assigned – was far from what we expected. In Coney Island we found an interested Hispanic man who allowed us to struggle through the language to start a Bible study. Then to our surprise some 20 years later we had the privilege of serving in the same congregation with this pioneer elder and his pioneer wife.
You have been in assign for how long?
20 years this month. Class 91 of 91.
How do you keep from becoming discontent, loosing your joy?
Neh. 8:10 says “the JOY of Jehovah is your stronghold “ so just appreciate being used. Serving JAH, serving Others, & then Yourself. Never been position oriented, I just like to Preach and Teach. I get thrilled on how people react to the truths they learn.
To find delight, aim for areas of service that you enjoy & If needed, and as my wife says “give yourself an “attitude adjustment” by looking at it from a better angle”. QUICK EXPERIENCE – 30 years ago, as a new Bethelite I was assigned to work in JOB PRESS. First on the “Paper Cutters” cutting Bibles and Press Paper then with another jovial brother Mark Johnson sorting paper which means just lifting up sheets of paper with your fingers looking for winkles, holes or tears in the paper that could stall or damage the small presses.
Boring… until we thought about its importance, and the down time it saved. We even made up a song about sorting paper, it made the assignment joyful and our station became part of the Bethel Tour Route so we could tell others what it’s all about. So that attitude adjustment has also worked in the Missionary assignment to remain joyful, or delightful.
We won’t ask you to sing it now. The friends can ask you later 🙂
Now a question for Bro. Yasovski.
What has helped you to find delight in changing circumstance?
During last 40+ years we have served in 3 different languages, 4 different countries, 23 different congregations!!! Over the many years, we were always encouraged by local publishers who demonstrated their “delight in doing Jehovah’s will”, especially while under adverse conditions.
A middle aged elder in the Dominican Republic who lost his secular employment because he attended a district convention, sat down with his wife, teenage daughter and young son and prayed for direction on how they could live on less income. They immediately began to make plans. The wife and daughter were skilled in craft making, sewing and doing odd jobs. The brother would sell his motor bike, take their small savings and buy a mini bus that could be used to take children of wealth families in the neighborhood to their school across town each day. Why would they do all this – rather than the brother just getting another secular job?
Because working together as a family offered more opportunity for the entire family to “delight in serving Jehovah”. The elder, his wife and teenage daughter could now serve as regular pioneers, giving the young son spiritual direction toward his future goal of serving Jehovah.
Why would you recommend this way of life to these graduates?
I would like to quote my wife who says, ‘you can read the YEARBOOK, but in the missionary work you walk in the pages of the yearbook.’ They see it, live it, and breathe it. I believe that this chapter in their life will be, not the easiest, but the most rewarding, if they let Jehovah mold them. The photo that you will see in the Watchtower soon will show them as beautiful, but they won’t look like that in their assignment. They will be different, sweating, dirty, tired, thinner, but enduring and serving with J 🙂 Y, DELIGHT in the assignment.
Concluding comment By Bro. Hansen…
The details and location of the WARWICK Project were explained with a video slide program. Yes we are “getting out of Dodge”, no longer in Brooklyn will we lodge.