We flew to Ecuador on Tuesday August 30th. From the very beginning we saw Jehovahs direction. On the plane, we overheard a conversation in the seats in front of us between a young Ecuadorian girl, and a “Gringo” girl. Turns out the gringo girl was a witness from Florida on her way to visit her fiancé in Ecuador! She was very nice, and helped us navigate through the airport, as she had visited many times before. We later saw her and her fiancé at the English district convention. Turns out we she was not the only other Witness on the plane! We overheard another conversation a few rows back between some other folks. There was a whole family of Witness’s from Chicago. We later ran into them at the branch, and the English District Convention! We’ll share some pictures later on.
Arrival at the airport in Guayaquil was smooth, although our flight was held up a few hours in Miami, we eventually met up with a couple that the branch had sent to pick us up. They had been waiting a few hours for us. The sister spoke good English, and gave us some good advice as we learn Spanish. She said as we learn we will give people comic relief, and we will learn humility. We have already found this to be true.
The next day (Wednesday) we had the privilege of attending morning worship, although our understanding was extremely limited, we thoroughly enjoyed it! We then took a tour in English from a Sister named Marie, her husband Kenny is involved in sign language translation at the branch, and we had been emailing him about our move here. Marie made the comment that she was extremely surprised the we got in to stay at the branch, and that it is normally very difficult to get in that week because of all the visiting Missionaries, Special Pioneers, and Traveling Overseers, coming to go to the English District Convention. With that in mind, we deemed it quite a privilege to stay there, and another sign that Jehovah wanted us here. The Branch is small, but very beautiful, and the brothers and sisters were all very friendly.
After the tour Bétsabe the receptionist, told us that her husband wanted to meet with us. His name was Fernando, and he worked in the Service Department. Although there was a language barrier, Fernando was extremely helpful, and very loving! We got some great advice that we will bear in mind for our future service here. After lunch, we got to meet briefly with our Sign Language Circuit Overseer Brother Dirk Pillasch, who happend to be at T.O. school at the branch. We got some more great advice as we approach our new assignment.
Wednesday afternoon, we got a ride into Guayaquil by a sister that ran a business giving tourists a ride to the sites. Guayaquil is a large city (about 3 million people) She took us to the Malecon, or Boardwalk, the Parque de Iguana’s, and a small Historic District. That evening after dinner, we took a small hike with Kenny and Marie at the branch where we could oversee the property.
A Video A ride into “Los Pisos”
On Thursday morning we again got a chance to to attend morning worship, and even though we checked out of the branch in the morning, we got a chance to go to lunch again. By the way, all the food was fantastic! Later that day we moved to the house we would be staying at during the English Convention.
Our first two days were a whirlwind, and extremely exhausting, but we met some great people, and just kept thinking how clear it was that Jehovah had moved us here to Ecuador!
Next up, The English District Convention….