Sunday, July 5, 2009

Long Beach International Convention

(Long Beach Convention Center)

Here's a Video Clip of the delegates wandering around the arena (I love seeing all the kimonos and different outfits) And here's a short clip of the Japanese brs & sisters Singing in English
(its so funny how during every convention video theres always a sea of hands holding up a hundred cameras & flip-phones. lol)

*this was passed along to me...
Highlights from the 2nd International District Convention here in the US just a few weeks ago, (June 18th-21st) in Long Beach, CA.

"The Long Beach Convention center is huge--perhaps as much as two blocks long, and the brothers have used it for many years for it is convenient for yearly use--or for something like this year when people who spoke 7 different tongues met all together--all in seperate areas--but still together. There were Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Tagalog (the Philippines), Chinese (Mandarin) and Chinese (Cantonese), plus English. I did not get the final numbers but I think they said over 27,000 for the seven groups and 188 were baptized. I was there for the Chinese program and no, I don't understand much, but the spirit, the warmth, the love is so incredible to share and I've been trying to be helpful for so many years I think it may be encouraging to some to see my grey head among all those lovely young people with dark black hair! ... Brother Geoffrey Jackson was there from the Governing Body and his talks were totally uplifting and encouraging. One little experience he shared that I must share with you was in his final talk. He also had attended Portland, Maine earlier in May and he said there one of the friends went into a fast food place and the manager asked: "May I ask you a question? What are all these cards about that say "Keep on the Watch?" etc. But what I really want to know is, do you have restrictions on who can become one of Jehovah's Witnesses--do you only allow beautiful women into your organization? (lol) And it was the same in Long Beach, the dress for the Koreans & the Japanese included beautiful, striking colors and native dresses...The Filipino brothers often wore these beautiful shirts that are made from pineapple fibers and are not tucked in, almost sheer and striking. The Chairman of the convention said there were 68 countries represented.
For most of us who have been in an English congregation our entire life...we just can't feel the same spirit as when you go to a group where the language is just beginning to take off in an area that can be vast...This is what is happening with the Chinese. Obviously the world scene has changed so much that people, no matter where they live, are aware that something has happened. In fact the brother who gave a report from Fiji to the Chinese group told us that they feel "a fundamental change in the people's attitude...many are listening." He said that many from India who have been in Fiji for many years are now listening."

Field Service Experience
"Another experience that really touched me--and helps us know the angels have to be involved. Publishers were out--not sure which territory they should go to work. But chose one and there they met a Chinese man and they offered him the 2 latest magazines--in Chinese. He was so excited to take them for it seems that two other JW's had just been there--and they had left him exactly the same magazines in English--which he could not read. The brothers called back, he started a study and came immediately to the meetings and is making wonderful progress. The brother asked us: Why did we happen to choose that territory the very morning he had received the magazines in English?"

Prison Ministry Experiences
"One Bethel brother was visiting another brother who spent many years in Brooklyn and then he and his wife were assigned to the field as special pioneers. He related to me that it is his joy now to be helping with the prison ministry. He goes to a prison near the border of Mexico, in California, and there are at least 60 men who are coming for personal studies or to meetings. One man in that prison was disfellowshipped but is now working diligently sharing the truth with a large number of inmates--and also is seeking reinstatement to a congregation.
This letter is from a sister who does prison ministry. "It is with tears in my eyes that I relate of the inmates from the regional corrections center (Kent) started to study while she was there. She was sent to the Women's State Correctional Center (Purdy) to serve her sentence and she continued her Bible study there. She will be released this upcoming Friday. The brothers are going to pick her up when she is released, and drive her to the Convention at Tacoma Dome where she will be baptized that noon. I imagine there will not be too many dry eyes there either."

The Power of Prayer
"A Chinese Proverb Says: Life is an echo--What you send out comes back! Have you ever thought of your prayers reaching Jehovah but coming back in a way you never expected? Brother Jackson used the following to impress on us the power of prayer:
"Jose lived in Ecuador and was baptized in 1968. His family, a wife and 6 children were very strict Catholics and never accepted the truth. They opposed him. They burned his books. He could not study at home. The only thing he could do was pray with and for the family at meals. He did this for 20 years. His family never responded. In 1988 Jose died. The family all attended the funeral. The family, which now included grandchildren, came back home. One little granddaughter stood up and asked, "Now that grandfather has died, who will pray for us?" The family of course started to cry, then Jose's oldest son, Carlos stood up and said, "I will pray for the family." During the prayer, Carlos asked Jehovah's forgiveness for the family. He added: "I will worship Jehovah" and said he would become a witness. 20 years later -now 19 members of Jose's family are in the truth and 10 are studying. Carlos is an elder and one of the grandsons is at the branch in Ecuador. Perhaps Jose was not aware of the power that his prayers had, just as we may not know what will happen to those or for those we mention in our prayers. We will keep on praying and know that Jehovah hears and will take action in accordance with His will.
During the telling of this Br Jackson stopped. He was giving the talk in the Korean auditorium and his translator got choked up with emotion and couldn't keep going. When he got control to start again the Korean brothers and sisters applauded for him. We were in tears and laughter at the same time."