In case you haven’t noticed, there has been this terrible virus called COVID-19 and it has pretty much changed the whole world.
This means no traveling, no gatherings, no parties… No hugs. (I’m not the type of person who gives a lot of hugs, but at this point, I do miss them). By the way, any other travelers still stuck in quarantine, just know my heart goes out to you. The travel withdrawals just don’t seem to get any better hahaha…haha…ha… (cries).
Given that the negatives are plenty, there have been many pretty good positives for example, the fact that we’ve been getting our ENTIRE spiritual meals every week and conventions just proves that we serve the true creator of all universe! Also, there has been an increase in meeting attendance as well as mind-blowing preaching experiences from home!
How about personally? Well, I have tried to keep busy. I built a folding window desk, read a few books, wrote a few songs, learned to play other songs, dove into my hobbies and even went back to old hobbies as well as get my pet grooming business going…and more. Besides that, In May I had the idea of putting together an encouraging video project in over 20 languages with a message from our brothers and sisters for our brothers and sisters to keep positive!
After the video was completed, so many friends responded favorably. After a few weeks, the emotion from that began to wear off, at least for me. The pandemic was feeling heavier and all I saw on Instagram were pictures and videos of activities that my friends were doing to stay at home. A desire began to creep in. I wanted to do something with more impact; something beautiful and wonderful that could be born amidst all this chaos and separation. I wanted it to be something good that could be encouraging for those who probably need it and something that many of us could look back to, smile at and maybe even miss in the future, long after the pandemic ends.
Thanks to having more time on my hands, I began to connect more with international friendships I had gained throughout the years during my travels. I was involved in a few zoom game nights and some even with friends in other countries. Shortly after, the idea struck:
“Why not make an international zoom game day/night with friends from different countries!?”
I sent out a mass message to a bunch of brothers and sisters I had met to see what they thought about this idea. I updated my zoom account to enable breakout rooms because I wanted it to be a way where everyone can feel like they had more of an opportunity to make new friends, and I had a game idea to start with. With lost of prayer, consideration and the help of some trusted friends who also contributed with friends they had also made in various countries, we began to invite brothers and sisters we knew from everywhere! The “Zoomies” was born on Friday, June 2nd, 2020…
It was a success.
We had brothers and sisters from all over Europe, Mexico, South America and other states in the United States. There were breakout rooms done where everyone got to know each other more. We played a few games and by the end of it, it felt like everyone had become friends. That first zoom meeting left me exhausted, but as soon as that one ended, I quickly decided to plan the next one. It was perhaps one of the best feelings I’ve had in a long time! I felt this intense feeling of excitement and warmth. On top of that, many were messaging me and expressing how it left them feeling just as great! Now I knew what to expect and prepare for more.
Well, it seems that in a fascinating way, many of us have gotten closer. I also gained this newfound joy for being able to bring others together somehow. What has made this whole experiment turned into experience even better is how amazing everyone has been. I keep trying to include some new faces each time, and each time it really is an awesome group of people. Although it’s still a tiny number compared to the millions of brothers and sisters around the world, it’s a wonderful representation of how lovely it is to form part of this organization that can form a connection no matter where you’re from. The reason we have all come together (uhh.. separately) is because of Jehovah, honestly; I pray A LOT before each zoom gathering so that it can be a good one, after all, he is the best thing we all have in common!
Part of me keeps imagining what this year would have been like if the pandemic never happened. Yeah, maybe I would’ve finally been able to go to Asia. Maybe I would’ve gone on that road trip with the girls up north. Maybe I would’ve been able to help with the pioneer school this year after having a three-day convention at the assembly hall…etc. all of those wonderful things we miss from normal life of course, but also, had it not been for this pandemic and thanks to technology, I don’t know if I would have ever gained the beautiful friendships I have now as a result from these zoom parties. These are definitely incredible and irreplaceable gifts!
So Zoomies, if any of you are reading this, THANK YOU. All I really did was bring everyone together (literally not that hard thanks to technology), but each of you is so amazing and your presence has greatly contributed to the encouragement. Each of you is great and throwing you all together just made it better! Perhaps this thing isn’t that big of a deal, but it kinda is to me and I felt the need to make some sort of record of this. It’s kept me positive during this pandemic and I’m thrilled whenever I hear that someone else is being uplifted by these too. Just know that I’m definitely going to visit all of you either at some point in this system (if there’s any of it left), and for sure in paradise. Just you watch!