Captain Butterfly came to the Hall last night for the Dedication Service - so I was able to hold his hand during the prayer. Usually I can only do that once a year, at the Memorial, so it was a red-letter day.
A funny video had been made about the building process - we are going to get a copy to show to Jacks, who was away yesterday - and to the family (so you have been warned). Her daughter came to the Open Day though.
The experiences were wonderful. The brother who did the talk about them had tears in his eyes as he finished. The site here is so difficult - tiny entrance with a shared drive - plus in making the Hall bigger we were, in planning terms, "overdeveloping" the site. Then assuming we got planning permission, we could not go ahead unless every one of the neighbours signed an agreement about it. That involved three of them losing their garages and shared drive for three months - three long dusty, noisy months. Another neighbour's fence had to come down for the duration. And another neighbour's garden was needed to store the scaffolding. And the pub would need to agree that we could use its carpark. And its a very busy pub. Oh and we needed to build a landbridge over three neighbours gardens to give access into the pub carpark.
The brothers had looked everywhere for another site, but there was nothing. So, after putting the matter to Jehovah in prayer, they decided to go ahead with this. And it all went like clockwork. Planning permission was granted, on first application I believe. And every neighbour signed an agreement that allowed us to do all detailed in the previous paragraph.
I hope Jehovah will bless every one of them for their kindness to us. I know He will.
The final speaker reminded us what the purpose of the Hall is - a centre where we can worship and thank Jehovah. And he reminded us how central this site is, how convenient.
And most importantly, he reminded us of how Jehovah promised he would smooth out the Israelites way when they were to restore true worship.
(Isaiah 40:3-4) "Listen! Someone is calling out in the wilderness: “Clear up the way of Jehovah, you people! make the highway for our God through the desert plain straight. Let every valley be raised up, and every mountain and hill be made low. And the knobby ground must become level land, and the rugged ground a valley plain."
We thanked Jehovah very much for smoothing out our way, and for our lovely new Hall.