A Lasting Impression
NEW YORK city is big. Little things go unnoticed. Even big things appear insignificant, unless, of course, they stick out like her famous towering skyscrapers. New York city can be impressed, however, and the 1950 International Assembly of Jehovah’s witnesses did just that. The city raised its “eyebrows” and perked up its “ears” when it heard of the tremendous crowds at the stadium. Newspapers devoted much space for pictures and write-ups, admitting amazement and surprise.
The conservative New York Times remarked: “Casey Stengel and his Yankees probably don’t know about it yet, but a tiny city [75,000, not so tiny] was born under the grandstands and across the street from Yankee Stadium yesterday. . . . Hundreds of teenagers and elderly men and women worked all day . . . All had volunteered to work without pay. They went about their chores silently, cheerfully and efficiently. . . . There was no confusion. A Health Department inspector said: ‘I’m fascinated. I’ve never seen anything run as smoothly as this before.’” A few days later the Times reported that “the clean-up crew’s dawn-to-dusk toil has been a thing of wonder for New York’s police and Department of Sanitation workers alike. Both admit that the convention crowd was the cleanest in stadium history”. Police officials, businessmen, landladies, all had a change of heart because of the assembly.
After two years these still speak of the convention. The impression left by Jehovah’s witnesses from around the world has been a lasting one. The value of repeating the assembly in 1953, on even a greater scale, cannot be overemphasized. Each dedicated servant should sense the magnitude of this assembly and keenly appreciate the need for his presence. Eight days in New York city spent by you might mean an eternity of living in the new world for one of the Lord’s other sheep. Think it over.