I thought it would be a nice idea to interview some of the friends who are serving here in Guasave, to hear their expressions first hand. Each of us whether we are foreigners or locals have a different story of how we came to serve in Guasave. What motivates us to leave behind home and family and come to this small city on the Pacific coast of Mexico and serve? What preparations did we make to come here? How has the experience been for us? So, to answer these and other questions this edition of "Say Hello To:" proudly presents....
Barbara Alaluf is a regular pioneer from Mexico City who now serves with us in the Guasave English Congregation.
I have had this as a goal for about 10 years now when the English field in Mexico started to develop. I was serving as a pioneer for 3 years and wanted to experience work in another part of the country. I wanted to do more with my life, more than I could while serving in my local congregation. Some mature friends in the congregation who had served where the need was great encouraged me as well, they told me of the blessings they enjoyed. I saw their joy and I wanted to experience that.
How did you choose Guasave?
I wanted to serve in the English field specifically. When I wrote the branch asking about congregations in Central America and Mexico and they assigned me to Guasave.
How do you support yourself financially while here?
I have a job working online evaluating websites and search engines. While I have done this for the past year I have learned to be able to do whatever to support myself. In the past I have sold clothes, sold desserts door to door, and taught English. I view whatever job I have as a provision from Jehovah to help support my ministry. At times my family has also assisted me.
I made the move to Guasave without having a job here. I lived on savings for two months as I planned to find a job when I arrived here. "I was trusting in Jehovah, very sure I would have a job." Some may view that as risky- to quit a job to come here to serve- but I was confident that with Jehovah's help I would get a job.
What are some positive things you have experienced/learned while here?
I have learned how to trust in Jehovah more: "I've seen his blessings many, many times." At times I have had anxieties over wants, but I have always had what I needed. As a single sister I feel very useful. It's the best gift I can give to Jehovah- using my singleness to further the good news.
What are some challenges you have overcome?
Dealing with my own anxieties and worries, reminding myself that Jehovah cares for me. Loneliness is a challenge. I am away from my family; this is my country but not my hometown.
At times criticism from brothers and sisters who may have good intentions but their comments have been less than encouraging. "Why don't you stay home with your family?" or " It's dangerous..." You expect more from the friends so that can be a danger and discouragement.
What have you learned about yourself?
I have learned to trust in Jehovah, he knows your potential. I may think I can't make it but if he gives you an assignment he it's because he knows you can do it. I am more aware now of what I am capable of. I have also learned to be brave, sensitive, tolerant and modest.
What encouragement can you give to someone who is thinking about serving where the need is greater?
"Just do it, don't think too much." You don't have to worry much, don't question yourself; if you do you will end up not going. Jehovah will take care of you, always trust him.
One of the great joys is getting to see your Bible students make progress. This is a most rewarding experience, you will help many people.
I want to do this as long as I can. My circumstances may change but as long as I am able to I want to do this.