Hi everyone... I must say that I'm becoming really bad at this... It's amazing how life is becoming more and more frenetic as we get closer to the end.
As the title of the post may suggest to you... we have big news... In every sense of the word!
1. Achievement news
We always wondered if we did the right thing coming to Mexico after spending 5 years in Africa because let's face it, the need in Africa is not comparable with any other continent in the world.... Well let's say that Jah answered. We had (especially I had) the joy of having a "daughter".. After three "boys" I was wondering if a "girl" would ever arrive...
Well Claudia got baptized in May 2013, after only 1 year and 2 months of studying. We finished the Teach book 2 days before her baptism which to me, is perfect timing.
She is one of the most zealous person I have ever met. She loves preaching and wants to pioneer to be able to go once a year on the "ruta" (a 1 to 3 months assignment in either Mexico or any of the countries under the branch, meaning all Central America).
So we have good expectations for next year...
2. Theocratic news
At the Circuit Assembly in May "Safeguard your mind", in particular at the pioneer meeting on the Friday, we received some "new instructions". They're not exactly new, but for people who moved to Mexico recently, they're new. Somehow these instructions got lost in "translation" let's say.
What we've been instructed to do is to act like the apostles in Acts 2:8, to speak to people in the "language in which they were born"...
What does it mean? Well, think about the foreign language groups or congregations in your area/country. Why are they there? Because if someone from another country comes to live and work there, he can still be preached to right? So basically, if someone from China comes to your country, even though he speaks your language, who will preach to him/her? Someone from the Chinese group, right? Right!
So, unfortunately, it's not what we've been doing here for some time now... You see many people from Mexico, at least once in their life, went to the US, for either a short or a long period of time. Most of these, speak good English. But... what is the language they were born in?
So these are the new (actually old but "reinforced") instructions we received. We are not to study with somebody in English unless he's mother tongue or he spent so many years in the US that he can't remember Spanish (sometimes parents would move to US when the children were so small that their first language becomes English, or they end up going to school in US meaning that they will have an american accent and all). It totally makes sense considering that I wouldn't study in Italian with someone who moved to Italy from Romania even though he may know Italian very well. I would have to pass the study to someone in the Rumenian group, right? Right!
Now, we always thank Jah for giving us clear instructions on everything we need to do, especially in the preaching work, but you must agree with us ("us" includes all who moved to Mexico to serve in English where the need was "great") that this changes the way we preach and the size of the English territory in Mexico.
Needless to say, many of us didn't realize the toll the new instructions would have on our ministry, until we started doing territory again... We're preaching to everybody obviously, but while before we would take any level of English as a chance to study, now we have to skip many people according to how our first conversation with them is. The truth has to touch their heart, not only their mind, and to be able to do that, they need to study in their own language. I think by now everybody has seen the video shown during the C.O. week which clearly makes you understand how important it is for people to study in their mother tongue.
3. Organizational news
Something else that we know about Jah is that he's a God of order and organization. We studied in recent articles of the WT about his celestial organization and how everything moves along with his will. Now, although imperfect, we are to reflect in the best way possible that perfect clockwork moving here on earth as well. So the GB is moving toward making congregations more functional as far as brothers, "bigger" (in the case of foreign languages) and with stronger foundations (studying in your mother tongue makes your stronger right? so we can see how Jah is putting all the puzzle pieces together).
Now, Zacatecas came out of Guadalupe a couple of years back, being a group at first and then a congregation. It became a very strong congregation with a ratio of 50% of the publishers being regular pioneers. Now with many going for many different reasons, both congregations found themselves struggling for brothers so (again we see the wisdom of Jah here: perfect action at the right moment) why having two congregations struggling when you can have one strong congregation with more capable brothers and publishers?
So the news here is that Zacatecas and the nearby congregation Guadalupe are becoming one again starting 1st of August.
Obviously, that got many of us thinking... which brings me to the 3rd news.
4. Panduro's personal news
And here we are, the last part of this post. Our personal news. I think you got to know us by now. We moved from Italy to Uganda to be able to help where the need is great. We actually saw how big the need was in Uganda and when we moved to Mexico, as I mentioned at the beginning, the need and the field is different. But again, Jah blessed us with many bible studies and a new "daughter". But that was before the "need" changed. Don't get me wrong there is still need here, but it's very well covered by those brothers who were here before us and/or cannot move to another country for one reason or another. Thanks to these faithful brothers, we have the chance to move on. So... (rolling of drums) we're moving back to Africa. Hhhmm no, we're not going back to Uganda for many different reasons (although we really loved it and still miss it). We are going to Namibia. The name came up some time ago, and we had discarded it because at the time we couldn't afford the lifestyle there. Now, both of us have a job online, meaning that we would be able to live simply in Namibia. What we didn't know is the need there... There are several congregation completely without elders and with few servants who are struggling to do everything. Therefore... after a lot of praying and consideration and obviously after consulting the branch there, we decided to move there. Now, for whoever thinks that getting into a country in Africa is easy, think again!
We thought Uganda was making it tough... well we didn't expect Namibia to be as difficult as the US!!! So basically, yes we decided we're going but now they have to decide if they're going to let us in or not. You see, it's not like in most countries where you can go as a tourist for a period of 6 months and then decide if you want to stay or not (like we did in Uganda and Mexico). You either go as a tourist and then leave and basically don't go back, or you can apply for a temporary resident BEFORE going, and hope they will accept you for a year. Once you have that, it's not likely they will not renew it, but nothing is for sure in this world. So now, if before we were praying for Jah to make it clear for us where to go, now we're praying for him to make them give us the visa. We applied about 2 weeks ago and it can take up to 2 months (and more than $1k) to get it. So we're waiting... trying not to freak out because if they reject our applications... we will just go where the wind take us...
In the meantime we will leave Mexico the 4th of October heading for UK and Italy, visiting our families.
So, stay tuned. I won't promise any post soon. Not until we get news ourselves... Meanwhile.. stay cool!
Wherever you are, whatever you're doing to serve him, may Jah bless your efforts.