There's nothing more fulfilling than being a part of Jehovah's organization. Our international convention was remarkable. While our venue was new (FedEx field), distractions were high and we contended with some rain and heat, I am overwhelmed by the amount of love and unity we showed to each other. I am mostly overwhelmed by how much the slave gives and continues to give. I'm talking about the spiritual feast, the organization of a dozen international conventions put together for thousands upon thousands of people all over the earth and the hospitality. Oh the hospitality.
My husband and I were privileged to man the welcome and information desk at the Embassy Suites from 6am - 10am the day before the convention. Sitting there and happily waving to and helping brothers and sisters from different countries, some of who spoke not one lick of English was amazing. As witnesses in our local congregation meetings, we often speak about our international bond and the pure language, but to experience it is a completely different thing. I felt connected to the Brazilian couple who reminded me of me and my husband. The beauty and joy is something I will never forget. I never spoke to them, but we locked eyes, smiled and I waved like a fool to them across the convention corridor. At the information desk, I used my Google translate app to have a conversation with a sister who missed her tour bus. I gave her host directions to the botanical gardens along with my phone number in case anything went wrong. That sister called me and left a beautiful message about how wonderful everything went. When I randomly bumped into her at the convention amongst 60,000 other witnesses, we hugged and hugged and hugged.
Because of the novelty of the experience, I was very distracted. I mean who can concentrate when you are surrounded by 60,000 other witnesses from 20 something different countries. But I did manage to catch a few things. The highlights of the convention program were...
- The interview of the young brother from another country who was imprisoned for 1.5 years just a few years ago for being neutral and a JW. He almost died 3 times in a cell that was completely dark and stuffed with other witnesses.
- The candid and humorous talks given by Brother Morris, a member of the governing body. "Common sense is just not common." "That's just not bright." "I feel sorry for the time Nazis. They must lead a miserable life." His delivery was on point and he encouraged me to do nothing apart from the way Jehovah wants me to do things.
- The 2 videos that were shown depicting what the resurrection will be like and what the 1,000 years will bring after Armageddon is over. Watching that father see his resurrected child for the first time and watching that old man wash his face only to look into a mirror and notice he was young again... truly touching.
- Taking photos of my friend as she was baptized. I am so happy that she was finally able to reach her goal. As a single mother of two boys, I'm sure she was a pristine example to them when she took that wonderful step.
- My sister came Sunday afternoon............ I don't even know what else to say behind that.
I am so delighted with the way Thursday - Sunday went that I am dreading returning to this dreary, problem and stress ridden world. My friend, Shay, sent me a text message about how she could see my husband and wife up on the platform giving an interview one day about our work in the full-time service. It's amazing how many people have said that to us. So when I think about the two choices I have - to go back to work or to be in Jehovah's service - I tend to lean towards the later. I took note of all the missionaries that came out in the end to wave goodbye as they go back to their assignments. I took note of all the email addresses of international friends we could stay with if we travelled abroad. I took note of the different languages and happy blessings that some of the interviewees talked about. I took note of Marcus' old friend who moved to China and is preaching under ban. I wish I could see the world and experience this international brotherhood ALL of the time. Materialism and fear are what I think hold us back. The video release we received at the convention highlighted how strong a part faith plays in not only making big decisions but taking the steps towards those decisions. Faith is one strong fruit of the holy spirit. I can move mountains if you believe in it.
I can't forget to mention how ridiculously amazing it felt that my worldly talents were used for Jehovah. Not only did I get to choreograph a dance for the international delegates who came to visit us, but I also had the opportunity to do some photography work for the dcdelegates.org website - THE official website for the international convention for DC. I also was asked to take our congregation photo which was then given to the international delegates in their gift bags. Being used in this way really helps me to understand that I can be myself and be used by Jah. Having passions and hobbies that are outside of religion are really ok, as long as they don't crowd out spiritual things. So to have those passions be used for spiritual things is even better.
I am moved. So moved by the love the governing body shows for us. To think that it's only a FRACTION of the love that our Almighty God shows for us is...whew. There's no word to adequately describe it. I am so thankful to have found this religion and to be a part of an organization that demonstrates how the world SHOULD be. Complete unity and love worldwide. May I NEVER take for granted being in Jehovah's love. Thank Jehovah for such a unique and wonderful experience.