Steadfastness Bears Fruit
How steadfastness defeats the purpose of persecution is to be seen from the following experience. In Eastern Germany, in the town of Y—— are to be found many Methodists. One of these, no longer satisfied with Methodist teaching and particularly disgusted with the way those of his congregation compromised with the Communists, came in touch with Jehovah’s witnesses. Soon he took his stand, was baptized and zealously proclaimed the good news of God’s kingdom. Three months after being baptized, one morning on his way to work he was pounced upon by the SSD, the State Security Service, who spirited him away in a waiting truck.
For weeks his family did not know what had happened, as he was not allowed to communicate with them. This caused them to think things over and the next time one of Jehovah’s witnesses came to the door they invited him in and arranged for a home Bible study. Before long the whole family was taking part in the study and another was started in the home of some friends.
Six months later the witness, who had in the meantime been tried and sentenced to several years’ imprisonment, was allowed to receive callers. Imagine his keen delight as his daughter greeted him with, “My dad—and now, my brother also!” Yes, by this time eight members of his family had taken their stand and were immersed as witnesses of Jehovah, the oldest being 84 and the youngest 15. In those six months the local congregation of the witnesses grew from 12 to 22! Truly steadfastness defeats persecution.