When we arrived in Panama seven months ago in the middle of June we had no idea we would end up where we are today. David was not even on our radar because no one had mentioned it, and it was not on the letter sent out by the Panama Branch as a place in need of English help. David was simply a section of the territory that the Volcan English Congregation covered. Every Wednesday they would drive down to David to preach in English here.
The branch wanted more detailed information about David and the need for English here. The Branch therefore selected two pioneer sisters and gave them a temporary Special Pioneer assignment in English in David.
Desiree and AngelThey found enough English in the territory that they decided to move to David even after their temporary assignment of 3 months was over. With the Circuit Overseer in English visiting them during our scouting trip (and being blocked from entering Changuinola) we decided to support his visit to David and work with him, his wife and Desiree and Angel. Of course that is when we were convinced to move to David and help out in the English field there.
Signs of Potential Growth
At that point we were just four publishers in a Spanish congregation that spoke English and thus could talk and study with anyone found in the territory that spoke English. We found a lot of interest from the field and from other brothers and sisters that were learning English that wanted to help out. We started having the Bible Study, Bible Highlights and Watchtower study every week in English; we also were having the Public Talk once a month in English.
There were a few meetings where we only had 3 or 4 in attendance in English, however we started averaging around seven to eleven people at the meetings in English (in the tiny back room of the Kingdom Hall). And on the last Sunday of the month when we would have the entire meeting in English in the main hall we were having attendance with anywhere from 20 to 35 people with as many as 5 being bible students in attendance. We also started having other potential need greaters visit David to consider moving here once they heard about the things going on here. One brother even told me he asked the branch, when he arrived in country, where the greatest need in English was and one of the two places he was told was David.
An English Sunday Meeting - November, 28th 2010
The First Step
As of January, 1st 2011 we are now an offical English Group here in David, Panama!
Starting in January we are now having the Public Talk and Watchtower in English every week. We are also having the entire Theocratic Ministry School on the 2nd and 4th weeks of the month in addition to the Bible study and Bible highlights every week.
If how crowded the back room was this last Wednesday is any indication we will very soon outgrow that space. So, who knows maybe in the next 7 months we will even be able to grow into a small congregation. Seeing Jehovah's blessing so far here in David we wouldn't be suprised at all.