Monday, July 29, 2013

Bethel: A Year In Patterson, Bethel

Imagine the scene:

     A cloistered complex, filled with young and old ones leaving behind the halcyon of the old days. Putting hand to the plow for a common purpose, that of serving their God, Jehovah.
Yup. That's Bethel. And yup. That's where I am, at the current time.

     So pretty much, I've been in Bethel for over a month now. Why haven't I updated my blog? Well to be honest, I wasn't in a writing mood. And I hate to force out a post, but rather, I like to allow my mind to tackle a post more when I am prepared for it. So my apologies, but I assure you this is the best course of action. So here we are, posting. What to include?
Now in an effort to avoid boring you with the minutiae of everyday Bethel life, I'll focus on the more salient points of my time here in Patterson. Rooming, Work, Congregation, etc. 


Well I am in a five man room. (Shriek!) No no no. It isn't that bad. Let me finish! It is actually like...3 rooms connected. Its like a huge room with walls. And two bathrooms. Remember Italy? Yeah. I have my own bed this time. Rock that. So compared to Italy this is palatial, thus no complaints to me. And my roommates are kind of awesome, to boot. No complaints.


Many of you know my deepest passion. Food. No, this doesn't mean I know how to prepare it, serve it, or do anything else with it. I know how to eat it. And I can eat it well. Now how, you might ask, does this matter? As Jehovah's will would have it, I am in Food Services. More specifically, I am a waiter. Well...sort of. I am being duel trained right now, as they haven't the manpower to fulltime train me for waiter. So I wait the breakfast meal, then cook all day. Then rinse, repeat. August 5th, I will be trained for fulltime waiting.
They are putting me to work, and making me break a sweat everyday. My moto? Don't try to show them up, just try to keep up. So far, the work load is fine. I have had far worse jobs. So while I am moving all day, nonstop, this isn't the first time I've ever worked. So pretty much, I'm already used to that.

What else is awesome? The Gilead Students are in right now. After class, they are sent to work assignments, which means I am regularly working with them. That is sort of fantastic. Just saying. 


I have been assigned to Trumbull, Connecticut English. They have about 100 publishers, and so many young ones that its nearly ridiculous. And they are the kids that outshine the Bethelites in commenting and service! Like I said, don't try to show them up, just try to keep up.

Additional Thoughts

Yup. Now. I asked of Jehovah for a second shot at Bethel. He blessed my request, and offered me a year of service in Patterson. I accepted. So until the clock strikes 1 year, I'll give Jehovah my 100% here in New York. In the meantime, staying busy helps offset the dreaded Homesickness.

Yes, I'll be totally honest, I have been very, very homesick.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well you know what? I love Alaska, and I love my Family and Friends. I am hardly worth a second look without them. It is certainly the only downside I cant think of to being in Bethel.
The work? Nah. 
The roommates? Nope. 
The schedule? Not even. 
Its all about my cursed heart. It longs so strongly for the people I care about, that it begins to be my end. Its strange, because I have such a deep appreciation for what Jehovah has given me, and I love the fact that I can be back in Bethel! But in the middle of all the joy is the pain of heart. The first week was the worst. Since then, its still ever present each day, but more or less it is more manageable each day (though some days it completely surges up strong). Literally a weight on my heart, where I can actually feel it PHYSICALLY . To be honest, I don't see me being able to ever root it out completely, but I find that I am able to survive more and more by looking for ways to be busy, and by following closely in the pattern of Lamentations 3:55-57. Rely on Jehovah, that is the key to happiness and contentment. So while it pulls me down each day, I can stand again, knowing that the ones I love and miss are the same ones that are happy for my efforts, and are praying for me, as I pray for them.Yes, that helps me greatly in my convincing my heart to quell its sobbings, even if it is simply a temporary palliation.

So to my dear Family and Friends that I so miss, thank you. I miss you, I love you, and I know that if not on this side of The Battle, then I will spoil myself with an eternity of your company. 

And to my dear readers, fear not. I have been through far worse than homesickness, and my Father has pulled me up and out of the deepest of pits. I write these seemingly less positive thoughts simply to include a measure of realism. Life isn't all about rainbows and butterflies, right? When we are shattered on the rocks, its how we respond from that point that defines who we are. Do we allow our broken bodies to lay there lifelessly, or do we reach for Jehovah's hand?
Jehovah. Thank you for reaching your hand out before I even reached out my own.

Ciao for now, readers! Questions or comments, you know what to do and how to do it. :]


  1. We are so glad to hear that things are going well there. We were 100% sure that Jah would bless you and take you by the hand. Now, we totally understand the home sickness. After 7 odd years, we feel it as well, but remember that family and friends are wherever you are. Jah gave us this gift: an international family made up by friends, the best you can ever have. So take that hand that Jah is giving you and tighten your grip... Don't let go... Close your eyes and let him guide you wherever he wants you to go! He knows better anyway!
    Keep it up. And don't let sadness overshadow the joy you're experiencing. Remember, JOY COMES FROM WITHIN (remember?)

    1. I am stoked to hear from you guys. I read up on your posts, and I am so happy for you two! Keep writing, and I'll keep reading. Oh, and thanks for reading along with mine!

  2. Glad to hear in many ways you are doing well. I am sure homesickness is a real pain, but Jehovah is definitely with you and a stronghold! He could not fail to bless a privilege like this, and he is. :)

    If you ever get the time :), a post about the weekly schedule would be interesting. Tell us about when you work, go in service, meetings, hanging out, etc. I don't think I have ever read that by a Bethelite.

    1. Dear Matt,
      That is actually a really good idea. Thanks for the request, I'll include that on my next post!

  3. Dear Trevor
    Your adventures are so inspiring especially when you don't allow fear to get in your way. I can tell homesickness is your current battle. Our friends and family and especially if we find that special someone that just completes home to us. I know that you know Jehovah will help you in everyway needed.

    1. Dear Sneaky Anon,
      While I have no idea who you are, I still truly appreciated your comment. Thank you for reading and commenting!

  4. TREVOR!

    I loved this post...I think this was the BEST post ever. This is all i can say and leave this message with a shout of praise for all Jehovah does for us imperfect humans...It's amazing. I echo David when he asks " Jehovah who are earthling man that you should keep them in mind?" He's such an awesome God to serve and he knows JUST when we need his help the most and he is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS there. It's an AMAZING thing! Keep it up man! We usually go to Bethel every year we were at Patterson the same day you got there! Hopefully next year we can get you as a tour guide! Stay strong...and of course as you know keep trusting in Jah. He's our comfort, stronghold....Father...and basically...EVERYTHING else,eh?

    Much love,


    1. India,
      If anything, I love your enthusiasm! Are you ever boring?! Nope. Well hey, seriously, thank you for reading along with me. If you DO ever get over here, I'd love to give you a tour! By then, Jehovah will have been my EVERYTHING for even longer, as with you, right? Until then, stay strong!

  5. Hey Trevor, glad to hear you are at Patterson. Now I can accurately picture exactly where you are (I even used to clean some of those 5 person rooms). And I can also imagine just how you are rubbing shoulders with the Gilead students asking the most popular question: "So what did you learn today?" But I also know exactly how it feels to have that heavy heart of homesickness. Just keep thinking about what a blessing it is to be there and a privilege that you don't want to give up. Keep looking forward to your new adventures (like being a full time waiter). I once cursed myself by saying "You can survive anything for a year!" Although it's true, one year is survivable, please try to also enjoy it. I'm sure your fellow room mates, the kitchen staff and your new congregation will be happy to help you out with that!

    A Missionary's Life

    1. Dear Linka, I think I actually remember reading on your blog how this was one of your more difficult challenges, yes?
      Well if it is any benefit to hear, then yes, I truly am loving my privilege that I have been given. I really don't feel like I deserve this, and I don't mean that as a typical 'Brother Humble' response, either!
      And yes, the Students hear that question a lot. I think they are beginning to get sick of it, haha!
      Okay, focus, Trevor. Thank you for commenting, really. I am doing all sorts of things to enjoy, and not just survive. Thank you for that!
      Until the next post, may Jehovah continue to bless you. :]

  6. I stumbled upon your blog thru the small world of Instagram anywho I noticed in this post that you are working with Gilead students again our big world gets a bit smaller my close friends are in the school now Kevin and Tabitha Klingbeil from Guam. You met them yet?? Love your blog and all your adventures

    Thanks your sister
    Dolores Guzman

  7. This was wonderful, Trevor. I am so glad you are writing it all down so you can look back on it a year from now. Nothing wrong with being homesick, it just means you loved where you were, doesn't mean you won't love where you are. And, as suspected, others have the same feeling. Thanks for putting it out there.

  8. My name is Elin (and you have no idea who I am...) But that doesn't really matter, since telling you who I am is not why I'm writing you...

    Anyways! I randomly found your blog when I, one afternoon some weeks ago, googled "needgreaters" in order to find something great to smile about in this big cyberworld. And oh did I smile! I'm giving thanks to you and to the rest of the needgreaters that decided to blog about it. So happy to have found some good material of adventures to read!

    I just want to share that I KNOW how it feels to miss home so much that you almost can feel the pain of your heart expanding in your body... But something that has made me endure easier is to think of, no matter WHAT trials lays ahead of us, the force/power/strength behind us is always so much bigger. No matter how much pain we have in our hearts at times, Jehovah can ALWAYS make us feel better...

    And I know that he will take care of you, just like he takes care of rest of his people.

    Trevor, I know it's hard at times... But remember that you can be truly happy knowing that you are not wasting your time right now in this world. Every hour, every tear, every drop of sweat, every smile, every little thing you give Bethel, will for ever be something truly good! Carry that thought with you and keep up with your good work!

    Greetings from a sister,
    on the other side atlantic sea.

    / Elin in Sweden

  9. I must selfishly admit, it is a degree of comfort to find that wonderful servants like you are still human. I do understand that feeling, whenever leaving a place, I am always torn. It's great that you focus on it being temporary, like a long, long vacation/adventure. Keep your chin up with the confidence that Jehovah is with you, will bless your efforts greatly, your family and friends undoubtedly miss you greatly and look forward to your return, and you're doing what some can only dream of...がんばってください!

  10. I love the last paragragh you wrote. It described how I felt in Uganda. I was there a year and soon to return. You have to allow yourself to grieve for it feels like a piece of your heart is missing but in reality there still there and will continue to support you in your spiritual goals. You learn and mature spiritually and that will can benefit your future relationships.

  11. Hi Aniki,
    You might know my bro Dutin Varnell serves in interior maintenance. I like your blog a lot. I feel like a jerk for not getting home sick myself tho:) I thought in your need greating summery you were going to say there's a difference between "surfing" where the need is great and "serving" where the need is great. Keep up the inspirational thoughts and good work!!!

    Cortny Vee