Our arrival at Bethel was met with many blessings, hence the scripture for our title. As soon as we drove up Watchtower drive we noticed a different air about Bethel. There were cars everywhere for the Gilead graduation! The brothers at the front desk in the lobby were chipper and friendly (as usual, with a little extra enthusiam and stress due to the many, many guests for the graduation) We were handed our Bethel keys and discovered we are living in the same section 11 we were before, we are just relocated upstairs directly above our old room. We love this section because it is closest to the personal laundry room and we made great friends with our neighbors the last three months we were here. It was so exciting to see familiar faces! We unpacked our car and drug our stored stuff that we left here for our return, back up to our room. That was exhausting because we were already dragging from our long trip, but it felt good to be back in a one bedroom room, simplicity and no more big house to clean, whew! When we finished unpacking I realized I left my makeup slash hair stuff slash necessary lotions and cremes box in Indiana! I had a moment of freak out and a few overly tired tears, but got over it and got dressed to make a trek to the store for some necessities. When I walked out of our room and into the Occupant Supply Closet to get a jacket, our neighbors came out of their room to greet us. I told her the dilemma and she immediately gave me a brand new mascara and hair dye that was exactly my color! HEE! No more need for the trip to the store! We settled in for the night pretty early. We needed our rest for the next day- GILEAD GRADUATION!!!!!! It was a little hard to sleep, because all night long there was music, laughter and hoots and hollers coming from nearby rooms and sections. Gilead Grad gets everyone really pumped and excited and gives all these Bethelites a good reason to have some well-needed fun and get-togethers!
Gilead Grad was at 10 a.m., so we got up, got dressed and headed for the Dining Room where they were serving in buffet lines coffee, orange juice, pastries, eggs and sausage. I have never seen the Dining Room so packed and soooo LOUD! We watched and listened in on the graduation from the Dining Room. The auditorium can only hold so many friends and those seats are reserved for Gilead students and their family and friends that fly in from all over the world and high seniority Bethelites. The total attendance for the graduation was just under 8,000. That total includes Brooklyn, Wallkill, Patterson and Canada Bethel.
The talks prepared by the Governing Body, Branch Committee members and Missionary brothers alike were just wonderful. Beautiful information, insight and encouragment for the Gilead students and the rest of us listening in. Jamin and I are so thankful to Jehovah that we were invited back to Bethel just in time for that special event. We easily could have slipped through the cracks because of all the guests (almost double the Patterson Bethel family) that come and stay at Patterson for the graduation. We couldn't hold back our tears listening to many of the talks and the singing of our brothers and sisters. We are so excited for our Gilead Student friends. Their excitement and smiles was so contagious that day. Bethel was a totally different atmosphere, we loved every moment. I wish you all could have been there with us. Hopefully one day you can attend a graduation at Patterson.
The next day, Sunday, we went into the city with a Gilead couple and their family to do the Bible tour at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. We had a blast and learned so much about the history of Jehovah's people and what struggles they had with the false religious practices and worship that surrounded them in their day. We saw with our own eyes pieces of art that our brothers Daniel and the three Hebrews saw as they lived in Babylon. It was soo cool! We highly suggest taking that tour if you are in the area or come for a visit of the Bethels here.
That Monday was our first day of work. Bethel doesn't skip a beat if they invite you to work here. We really weren't given any instructions on where to go or what to do for work before or upon our arrival. So, we went to morning worship and then headed straight for our overseers' offices. Unfortunatley my overseer wasn't in town, so it was a little crazy trying to figure out where I should be and the best way to be useful. I was eventually sent to an assignment. All the housekeepers' assignments were crazy, because priority was on all the guest rooms. We needed to turn over all those rooms in a week in preparation for the Elders to come back for school the coming weekend! It was stressful but Jehovah always gives us what we need in strength, peace of mind and direction to get the job done right.
We made it through the week just fine, had no trouble with times and schedule, probably all due to Jehovah! On Saturday the 20th we slept in. We did our family worship after I made a Chorizo and Egg breakfast :) We hung around our place a bit longer and then went for a hike! It was about 70 degrees, how could we not take advantage of the weather. The pics below just scratch the surface of the beauty and variety you will see on Bethel property. It truly is piece of paradise here.
This is a glimpse of the apple orchard. Majorly testifies to Psalm 72:16 because literally this orchard is on a mountain.
Here are the basketball courts also on top of the mountain. Just to the right of these are tennis courts also used for soccer. You will also find BBQ'S, picnic tables and an area to play horse shoes.
This is behind the courts heading toward the reservoir. Looks so peaceful and quiet huh...
actually, to the right of where Jamin was standing in the last pic there is a paintball park about 200 yards away, on land bordering Bethel's property. The day of our little hike there was a paintball battle-game-thing going on, so we heard lots of pops and yells instead of birds and naturiffic sounds.
A better shot of the Reservoir. Jamin really isn't pointing at anything particular, he just decided it would look good for the picture :)
This a rad rock. Jamin likes to do arabesques on that rad rock as you can see.
Ok, this is our favorite spot! It is sooo amazing. I can't wait to see it when all the trees have leaves and everything is alive and green! We spent a lot of time here and will definitley spend more time there in the next three months.
There is a video of this area at the bttom of the page too, just for your viewing and hearing pleasure hehe!
This is also part of the Reservoir. We say it would make a great water slide and the hill would be awesome for sledding!
These next pics are behind the Batch Plant where Jamin spends a lot of time working. There are waterfalls and streams and bubbling brooks all over Bethel property!
Yes Jamin is standing under the road. This little tunnel allows us and Bethel cattle to cross the highway safely.
HOLY COWS! No, really, they are. These are some of Bethel cattle. The one on the right is prego. We herd, I mean heard that many little baby cows were born this week...awwwwww...i know..awwww.
There are so many more pictures I could post just of that one hike, but I just can't, I'm tired now. I can show you some more later or you can just come here to visit us and you can see it with your own eyes! After we saw the cows we went into one of the huge barns and walked to the Bethelites' garden plots where they grow their own fruits, veggies, herbs and flowers. Then after 3 hours of hiking and walking and seeing we decided to go home...we were tired.
Now, the last time we were here I wrote about housekeeping and all the fun things we do. I especially mentioned towel animals for guest and elder rooms. I said I would post pics and never did....Well, here they are, finally. I took these the first week back to work. All of these animals were made for the elders. Let me know your favorites :) I forgot to take a picture of a piggy I can make, so I need to add that one later. The little plastic package with orange things in it is ear plugs. There are two elders per room, so you can put he rest together.