~A little bit about me.~
Just to let you know a little about myself and the reason I decided to create this page.
My name is Michelle (Mich to some who are close to me) as some of you would know. I am a wife and mother. I have been married
for twenty years now and still going strong. I have two kids, boys, Jemel and Joshua and I love them dearly.
I decided to create this web site for the sole purpose of having some place on the web to hold 'my favorite
things,' from a few of my favorite scriptures to sayings or free graphics that I've come across and truly like, and,
so that my friends and even some of my family can get to know me a bit better.
I love beautiful gifs, jpgs, pics etc, and I would like to be able to display some of them here, together with pics
of my family (those would come a little later, please return to see), and to share my interest etc. It also goes without
saying, that Jehovah's creations hold a lot of the things that I love. :o)
Who Am I?
My full name is Michelle Antoinette McClean. I have been a baptized servant of Jehovah for twenty
two years now. I was born in Port-of-Spain Trinidad (I'll tell you a bit about Trinidad later on) on the 11th Nov.
I was born to Claudette and George Antoine, ( I am my father's only child and the first of three girls
to my mother) neither of my parents served Jehovah.
Sadly, I have very little memory of life with my parents. My mother and father had separated before I was old
enough to remember anything of our living together as a family. I do remember though, a little, of my mom and I living
with my sister's (her second child) father.
I remember my mother being a strict house keeper. That for sure I remember. Always cleaning and redecorating,
changing furniture around....lol. I laugh because I could see some of my friends (Florance, my best bud for example) smiling
as they read that about my mom. If she (Florance) ever gets to reading this she'll know why I said that she'll smile.
By the time I was three years old, my mother took my younger sister and I to my grand mother's, for us
to live with her. My mother then immigrated to the U.S.
Life at my grand mother's wasn't always easy, at times far from it, but what didn't kill us made us stronger
I guess. :o) My grand mother could at times be such a gentle woman, yet, at other times...... I loved her dearly though, and
I miss her a great deal (she died when I was 18). There was also a couple of my aunts and an uncle who lived in the same house
I grew up in. My grand mother was the kind of person to take in strays....and by that I don't mean animals.... She liked feeding
and helping her friends, true Trini style, (Trini being Trinidadian for short for those who may not know).
My Introduction To The Truth
I remember quite well, being a young child and Jehovah's Witnesses working our area. They would stop by and
preach to my grand mother (or try to, if she'd take a break from speaking long enough to allow them enough time
to preach... :o) ).
At one time my grand mother bought a 'Paradise Lost to Paradise Regained' book from them. I liked that book.
One of my aunts who lived in the house where I grew up agreed to a Bible study offered to her by a
Witness who preached in our area at one time. Another of my aunts, her younger sister, agreed to a Bible study also. My aunt
who first agreed to the Bible study, requested that someone visit the house and study with her two daughters,
this was after she was baptized. A dear sister began to visit the house to conduct the study, and well, she not only studied
with my aunt's girls, but she held the study with all four girls in the house, my sister and I included. I was eight years
old at the time I began to study.
Life for us all in that house, was difficult, in one way or another. More so for some than for others (I myself
being among the some). When we learned about Jehovah, it was the BEST, indeed, the SWEETEST thing that could
have happened to us. Serving Jehovah for us, was not about the New System and all the pluses that go along with serving Him,
but it truly was because we had come to love this LOVING God dearly. My aunts set a fine example for us younger ones
who did accept the truth, in that regard. Jehovah had indeed become the Father we never had, and much, much more.
Sadly, my aunt's two daughters eventually moved away to the U.S. to live with their father while
still young teenagers. They were both baptized there, but they did not hold on to the truth. My sister and I, along
with our aunts and a few cousins are still serving Jehovah, and I for one, intend to, and pray that I am able to keep doing
so for the rest of my life.
My Move To A New Congregation
As a teenager, I loved to read and study the Bible and Bible based publications. This was greatly encouraged
when I moved from the congregation I started out with as a younger child to another congregation.
My reason for the move? Well, I was my grand mother's main helper on the weekends. I was assigned to
go to the vegetable market with my grand mother on Sunday mornings, and afterward, I would do the cooking.
Sunday was always a big lunch day at our house (that was/is typical in most Trinidadian households). Many different
dishes, when they could afford them, were prepared, and everything was done from scratch.
Sunday morning was also the time when the Watchtower Study and Public Talk were held at the Kingdom
Hall. For this reason, I decided to switch congregations, because my grand mother was serious about her Sunday lunch... :o)
and she wasn't a Witness but would willingly allow me to attend the meetings, as long as all that I had to do got done.
I moved over to another congregation that held it's meetings on Saturday evenings, all by my lonesome
(from our household), when I was between the ages of eleven to twelve years old (my memory is giving me problems
on this one, it could have been a bit younger), knowing that Jehovah was with me. I made a few really wonderful friends
quickly as we walked to and from the meetings (just about a half an hour to forty five minutes walk) it used to be fun. Good
company and good conversation all the way. We would talk about what we learned at the meetings, quiz each other on Bible related
topics, talk about our goals etc. All of these friends, my walking companions, were older than I was, I was always drawn to
folks older than me, and the association was wonderful and spiritually upbuilding. That was over 23 years ago, and I miss them
(those walks) to this day. :o)
One thing I've learned for sure from those days, is just how important one's association is. The effect our
associates can have on us, either for good or bad, is amaizing. Really, just as 'bad associations can spoil useful habits,'
good associations can indeed encourage them.
I had developed strong ties with the elders in my new congregation as well. During some very, very difficult times
at home (I won't go into details on those times right now, they always change my mood) they were always there
for me. Jehovah had provided me with such a loving family in that congregation at a time when I truly needed it. I am grateful
to Jehovah for that loving support and always will be.
Many of those friends, some now married, some not, are now pioneers, elders etc and good examples. I thank Jehovah
for providing me with such wonderful association, coming from the home environment that I grew up in, and for the fact
that my move turned out to be so strengthening to me.
Baptism and Pioneering
I wanted so much to dedicate my life to Jehovah as a young girl, with all the zeal that I had. My grand
mother, even though she didn't mind me going to the meetings, resisted every time talk of baptism came up. But, eventually
I got to sixteen, I was finished with school by then and apparently she thought that I could do as I pleased.
I was baptized at the age of sixteen, on the 19th September 1981. Oh happy day!! :o)
I was eager to begin regular pioneering. One of my aunts was pioneering at that time and her example encouraged
me. The sister who studies with me was also very encouraging and a good example in zeal for what is right. I was
sorrounded by good examples in the brothers and sisters who visited her home often, and she and her husband did entertain
often, many pioneers, local and foreign, Circuit Overseers and their wives, our present Branch Co-ordinator (who
at that time was a Bethelite) and the list goes on. They always kept spiritully mature ones close to them, and my spending
time with them as often as I did, I couldn't help but soak in a lot of things that were good for me. I am thankful to
them for providing me with that type of atmosphere as a young girl. I love her and her family dearly and I thank Jehovah
for having blessed me with such wonderful people (through his molding and refining of them) in my life.
Also, the pioneers I kept company with made me anxious to pioneer. They always seemed so happy and bursting
with joy. I wanted that! I also wanted to use my youth to serve Jehovah fully.
Financially, things at home were tough, and I was not working. My health would create some problems for me then
at times, and my grand mother didn't think I would hold on to a job as a result of that. My aunt though, offered
to assist me financially so that I could pioneer. Also, the sister who studied with us (who was herself a pioneer at the time) had
become like a real mother to me, and she also assisted me financially and with gifts of things that I could use in the
misistry etc. She was happy that I wanted to pioneer. I was so anxious to get started, I regular auxiliary pioneered for six
months (this was a requirement for regular pioneering back then) right after baptism, and at the end of the sixth month,
I began to regular pioneer.
I thank Jehovah, for the fine examples, again, in the regular pioneers around me at that time. We would start
out early in the morning (at around 6 am), doing street witnessing, then on to the group for house to house witnessing, then
after lunch we would set out on our return visits and Bible studies. There was this one (much older than the rest of us) pioneer,
who loved talking about the DEEP things of God, and whenever we got together he/we would go on and on forever about Bible
related truths. In order to be able to share in conversations with those whom I was around often, I had to
be sure to be up to date with my Bible reading and the reading of my magazines etc...lol. That was literally ALL they talked
about... :o). As a young person that helped me a lot!
My pioneering helped me to draw closer to Jehovah, my brothers and sisters as well as to lay a fine spiritual
foundation and mature spiritually as a young person, which all helped me during days of an awful depression (some more
on that later). I won't ever forget those pioneering days. Thank Jehovah, I was able to pioneer for a total of ten years altogether.
The BEST years of my life!!! As a result of ill health I came off the regular pioneer list at the time that I did, but I would
love to pioneer again some day. That is a main goal of mine.
Just To Wrap Things Up For Now
I got married to Douglas McClean who has been a servant of Jehovah his entire life. As I mentioned earlier,
we have been married for twenty years and still going strong. Not all smooth sailing all of the time (and
we don't expect it to be in this system of things), but a lot of it is pretty smooth, and we are determined to please Jehovah
and to aid our children to do the same. Major goal of ours!
Jemel is now sixteen years old (he is the older of our two sons and would turn seventeen in December)
and he is now regular pioneering, which is what we held before him constantly. His mom knowing of the joys and benefits that
go along with pioneering no doubt had a big hand in that.... :o)!
Our aim (my husband's and mine) is to put before Joshua (now three years old) the same goal and outlook, and
with Jehovah's help, to one day (if this system lasts, otherwise it would be in the new system, of course) be able to support
him to do the same.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. I did not and could not tell everything about of
my life but enough so that you'll know me a bit better. I don't have many youthful adventures to relate because as my
family always told/tells me, I was always much older than my years....*smile* (most of the things that interested my peers
at the time didn't interest me.... :o) ) not saying that I didn't make my share of mistakes and learned from them though.
Jehovah had indeed been good to me. I have been through my fair share of rough times and Jehovah has sustained
me through them all.( Isa 41:10) My greatest desire is to remain faithful to our God Jehovah, come what may. To be as good
an example as possible to my children, as good a wife as possible to my husband, to be a compassionate and loving
sister toward my brothers and sisters (1 Corinthians 13:4-8a) and to do my share in declaring Jehovah's majesty
and Kingdom purpose in this time of the end. To teach others about Jehovah, his will and purpose.
I love Jehovah and I thank him for making me a part of his wonderful Organization. I pray that He would
fortify me, help me, and keep fast hold of my right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
Psalms 116:1,2 "I do love because Jehovah hears My voice, my entreaties. For he has
inclined his ear to me, And throughout my days I shall call."