My little Pink Book
As told by Cynthia Newell
WHEN I was seven years old, a girl on my school bus in Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.A., offered me a little pink book called Listening to the Great Teacher. She said she would let me have it for 50 cents. So she came to my house, and we counted out 50 pennies together.
I just loved that little pink book. Soon after receiving it, I became sick and was hospitalized. To comfort me, my family read to me from my beloved book. As I got older, though, I read the little pink book less and less, since it was designed mainly for children. The book had taught me important lessons, but I needed deeper understanding. I decided to attend a different church each week in search of Bible answers to my questions. However, I did not find satisfying explanations.
By the time I attended high school, religion had become less important to me, although I still craved Bible knowledge and read my Bible regularly. One day I noticed that a classmate didn’t take part in the pledge of allegiance. I asked her about it, and she said, “I have already given my allegiance to Jehovah, so how can I give it to both God and the flag at the same time?” How logical! ‘But who is Jehovah?’ I wondered.
For every question I asked, my classmate provided a Biblical answer. I wondered: ‘How did she learn all this? We are the same age; yet, she knows all about the Bible!’ She explained, “I learn about the Bible at the Kingdom Hall.” I eagerly accepted her invitation to attend a meeting on Sunday. I had been to every church in town, but somehow I had missed the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That Sunday I knew that I had found a place that teaches Bible truth.
After the meeting, I went to the literature counter, and there on the top shelf was my little pink book! Ten years had passed since I received the book from the girl on the bus, so I had forgotten who gave it to me. But now I remembered—it was Nancy, the same girl who had invited me to this meeting!
Thereafter, I began a weekly Bible study and progressed quickly. I had learned so much from my little pink book that the knowledge I acquired from the Bible study immediately made sense. I soon dedicated my life to Jehovah and was baptized in 1985 at the age of 18. Meanwhile, Nancy had moved to Florida, and we lost contact.
After a few years, I married. In 1991 my husband, Drew, and I began to serve in the full-time ministry as pioneers in a small town in east Texas. But whatever happened to Nancy? I had no idea. Then one night while reading the December 1, 1992, Watchtower, I cried out: “I found Nancy! I found Nancy!” There she was in the photo of the latest Gilead graduation. She and her husband, Nick Simonelli, had been assigned to Ecuador, South America.
In 2006 my husband and I applied as volunteers for international construction projects of Jehovah’s Witnesses. How thrilled we were to learn that our first assignment would be the Ecuador branch expansion project! My first day at the Ecuador branch, Nancy came walking in! She just happened to be visiting the branch that day. We saw each other and embraced—together again, 32 years after I received my little pink book! How grateful I am to Jehovah for that book and for the little girl who offered it to me!
[Box/Pictures on page 23]
THEY HAVE AFFECTED THE LIVES OF MILLIONS
In 2003, after Listening to the Great Teacher had been in print for 32 years, a revised edition was published. It is entitled Learn From the Great Teacher. To this date, a combined total of over 65 million copies of these books about Jesus’ teachings have been printed in more than 100 languages. You may obtain a copy of Learn From the Great Teacher from one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in your area.
[Pictures on page 23]
Insets: When we knew each other as children
Background: Years later, at the Ecuador branch