The most amazing thing about friendship is that you can never get “close enough” with someone. The same thing absolutely applies to our friendship with Jehovah: there is no limit to it!
This precise thing is what the four of us learned. The twins and I were already close, and I was already close with BG. Then the four of us somehow got closer to each other and to Ruthi and Ziv. Ruthi is definitely one of the most amazing people I know; she sets her mind on something and just goes for it! Ziv is one of the most exciting, seriously, his energy is contagious! We all really enjoyed spending time together as a team of “JW backpackers”. Watching Tiff and Bree go away on the bus the day before they flew back home was something emotional for all of us (nevermind that we would see each other soon in New York after Ecuador, it was still hard). The Equartettes would be split into Ecua-two for a while.
During our last 5 days or so in Ecuador, BG and I joined Ziv on another LDC day. Another one of the days, we were invited to a wedding!
Okay so the thing about weddings, they are all very special and it’s extra special when you know the couple… Still, weddings are quite predictable, don’t you think? Not that it’s a bad thing, it’s just tradition and you know what to expect next. I still enjoy them, but they’re not something I think about often nor something I die from excitement for the days or hours before they happen….However, this wedding was something else. It is truly one of the most memorable wedding I have ever been to.
Let me tell you about this wedding:
Pablo and Linda are a super sweet couple in the Sign Language congregation. They are truly and undoubtedly, utterly in love. This couple really stood out. I honestly could not imagine one without the other because they are perfect for each other! They were both into poetry and art and their passions and love of life complimented each other and it was also refreshing! They radiated love and joy and even own a cute and dramy Cafe called Girasoles de Van Gogh (Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. If you ever find yourself in La Libertad, Ecuador, I encourage you to visit this cute cafe.)
Well, you can only imagine what their wedding was like. If I could describe it, it’s the type of wedding that would appear at the end of a musical, outdoors surrounded by dreamy lights and decor and the bride and groom are at the center of it all, but somehow everyone felt very involved in it too.
They danced a musical number as the first dance. They had a swing dancing show by the bridesmaids and groomsmen. It was very beautifully set up and the bride and groom surprised each other with music! The groom’s surprise was so well thought out:
The lights all went out and he and a band formed in another part of the outdoor park. There was an aisle of trees decorated with lights that hung overtop in between. Each tree had a poem and at the end of the tree aisle was the groom with a live band waiting for his bride.
They basically had a concert for everyone and it was one of the sweetest things I had ever seen! (and here I thought that sort of thing only happened in movies). I told BG jokingly “that’s it, I can’t get married. No one will be able to top this”. The rest of the night was spent dancing away. I had a really great time!
After the wedding, BG and I only had a few days left in Ecuador. Sebastian and his mom, Fanny, came out from Cuenca and we got to hang out with them one last time before we left. The day before our flight, we said our warm farewells to Ruthi and Ziv and we spent the night in Guayaquil with some friends who had offered their kind hospitality. I remember Ruthi giving us a hug and told us that she would miss us. Although we still got to see her around back home after that, that month was special because we really got to know each other and everything happened thanks to her! Jehovah used her to answer our prayers (Ruthi, if you are reading this, THANK YOU!). Ruthi and Ziv are definitely some of the best people to travel with by the way. That last night in Guayaquil, BG told me “I can’t wait to remember all the good things about our trip and forget all the bad things.” BG was right; anything bad about the trip was nothing and almost forgotten compared to the great things.
The very best part was how this whole experience changed my life internally. I realized that need greating is something I could see myself doing. I fell in love with the excitement of going out in service and service being the adventure: to walk by the coast of the beach, or the crossing of nothing but dirt and sand with wild farm animals roaming about. The thirst that people had to learn about Jehovah was the best part! Not only that, but the zeal! The zeal everyone had to go to every meeting and to preach to all sorts of people: anyone who would give us an ear or an eye to listen!
During one of those last nights, I made a prayer. I remember telling Jehovah how much I would love to need great and move somewhere for at least a year, but I also wanted to know if it’s something he wanted from me.I finally had a goal and a plan which meant I would no longer feel like I was aimlessly throwing my punches. I remember I was emotional during this prayer; It was the birth of a need greater.
It was here, in this very moment that I had inner peace in regards to my future. Before this, I felt like most people I knew had a goal in mind, and I still had no idea. Some were working towards bethel, others towards remote work, or SKE, LDC…ETC. Although I know that in the end Jehovah puts you where you need to be, I believe he only does so when he sees us seriously working hard towards something. All of these goals are amazing to me and I could easily be taken over by the desire of the experience, but deep down, I wanted to work towards something that stems passionately from inside my heart. Thanks to Ecuador, I found that and this is the most valuable thing I have gained from this experience! It was exactly what I needed! Even if I end up doing something I’m not aiming for, to have something valuable to work towards is the key to keep us close to Jehovah at all costs! This reason is what has catapulted me towards what will soon become the next chapter of my life. More on this later…
After Ecuador, we didn’t fly home. BG and I were actually going to spend time in New York and explore Canada for two and a half weeks. (You can read about our crazy car rental story here: https://releasingropesblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/22/the-rental-car-part-1/)
But as for the Ecuador Chronicles, it appears we have arrived to a sweet conclusion.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for joining me on this journey.