Truth Inspires Zeal in Youth
IN THE Christian Century, April 23, 1952, appeared an item regarding the ‘British Methodist Church deploring the failure of its affiliated young people to take the step of full membership’. Among other things, attention was called to the fact that the Methodist Church is losing 65,000 young folk annually and that if all these could be kept the church would double its membership.
What can be the matter? Can it be that there is something wrong with the spiritual diet that these young people receive? That such may be the case appears from the following letter of a Gilead missionary worker telling of the way the good news of God’s kingdom affected a certain young person in Geneva, Switzerland.
“I must tell you about my new home Bible study which I am conducting with a pretty young girl of twenty-three. She came here as a French refugee and entered a Catholic home for young girls. With the bickering among the nuns and priests there she was far from happy. While on a vacation in Strasbourg she attended mass and on the way home a friend stopped her and asked where she had been. This friend invited her to an apéritif (appetizer) and started talking to her about the Bible, telling her that the Most High dwelleth not in temples made with human hands, etc.; this friend being one of Jehovah’s witnesses. She met this friend only twice, but in those two meetings she got enough of the truth to make her want more.
“She came back here to Geneva with the Bible-study aid ‘Let God Be True’ that she had obtained from this friend and eagerly devoured its contents. As a result she left the Catholic home and got a job and wrote the Watchtower Society for more literature. The Berne office forwarded the address to me. It happened to be in the very same building where we have our missionary home, the girl working as a maid for a diplomat. The next week I started a home Bible study with her, and on the following Sunday she began coming to our meetings at the Kingdom Hall.
“She is bubbling over with zeal and when she talks about the truth her eyes just sparkle. She is a realization of the scripture that speaks of the ‘first love’ in the truth. She is now talking to everyone, even though we have been studying together only four weeks. Two weeks ago she started coming to the service meeting also, and the talk on having a share in preaching the good news to others so thrilled her that when the speaker asked who would have a part in advertising the good news on the street, as I raised my hand she raised hers. She spent the entire Saturday afternoon on the street with us, presenting the truth to passers-by.
“Sunday morning she came down and said that she wanted to go out in the service from door to door. I told her that there were a few things that we should go over first to make sure she had a good foundation. I took the various Bible doctrines listed in the Bible-study aid ‘Let God Be True’ and asked her about them and explained them to her, as I knew I couldn’t keep her from going from house to house with this message even if I wanted to. We studied for about three hours, and I think that she will be all right now; as she will learn more while gaining experience in preaching.
“We have a circuit assembly in La Chaud de Fond next month, and she is seriously thinking of being baptized. Tomorrow night at the service meeting we will have a talk on baptism which will help her to see the seriousness of the step she wants to take. I do not want her to jump into anything like this without her fully realizing what she is doing.
“She makes every sacrifice to get to the congregational meetings, working late at nights to make up for the time lost by attending them. She took time off to go into the service Saturday afternoon and gave her employers such a thorough witness that they were moved by her sincerity and obtained two magazines from her to find out what this was all about. She already has arranged for me to conduct a home Bible study with the cook that works for her employers. You can well imagine the joy that this young ‘sheep’ of the Lord has brought us.”