How did we start?
In the fall of 1984 special pioneers from New Zealand (Glen & Gaylene Ross) stayed with us on their way to attending Gilead School in Brooklyn, New York. They invited us to attend their graduation ceremony! Did we want to go? Yes! Did we think it was financially possible? No. Nevertheless, we prayed about this opportunity and set some goals. Result: Stephanie and I and our four children attended the graduation of the 78th class of Gilead in March 1985 at the Flatbush Assembly Hall in Brooklyn, New York.
It was an amazing experience for us all! We returned home to California full of enthusiasm and encouraged all in our congregation to visit New York Bethel as soon as possible! Later that year after working unassigned territory in southern Missouri, friends in St. Louis encouraged us to make arrangements for a group visit to New York Bethel. At this point, we were absolutely convinced that everyone who could possibly visit Bethel should! So-o-o we made plans for a group trip to New York for those in our congregation and nearby. Over 100 brothers and sisters made up our first group tour to New York!
Thirty years later, as of 2017, we are still arranging and escorting groups of brothers and sisters to visit World Headquarters in New York! Over the years, we have also taken groups to London, Paris, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt and Italy! We hope we will have the privilege of meeting more of you in the months ahead!
Jim and Stephanie Arellanes