Missionaries Convert Missionaries
ERITREA is a land just north of Ethiopia and federated with it. From an American Watch Tower missionary couple in that land the following letter was recently received:
“We have many Bible studies here and some of them are doing very well. Among them are three teachers from the Swedish Mission who have studied twice weekly now for five months and have expressed their desire to be baptized. They have already taken part in the house-to-house preaching work and continually witness to their friends. As teachers of the Mission they take turns at preaching in their church, which they do in Tigrinia, the language of the common people. The leaders of the Mission have not taken the pains to learn the native tongue.
“Well, when it came the turn of one of our new brothers to preach he prepared a talk about the new world and exposed the false teaching that the earth would burn up and all good persons would be taken to heaven. The natives listened as they had never listened before. At times there would be clapping of hands as a false teaching was exposed, but the Mission leaders were none the wiser, as they did not understand the language. They felt proud of the excellent teacher they had developed! But this pride was short-lived when, on the following day, they learned the nature of the sermon that had been based on what appeared in The Watchtower, ‘Let God Be True’ and like publications.
“The visit of a director from Sweden brought matters to a climax. He called for a special meeting of all the teachers and asked for a showing of hands of all who had studied with Jehovah’s witnesses. They nearly all had, which made him furious. He asked them to promise not to go to Jehovah’s witnesses any more and almost all of them did so promise. Then a special meeting was called the next evening in which pressure was brought to bear on those who had refused to drop their studies with the witnesses, and all but five then yielded.
“These five were asked to stay after the others were dismissed and for three hours they discussed Bible teachings. The new brothers ably defended Jehovah’s worship on every point raised. Time and again this director would get excited and shout, and so repeatedly they would remind him: ‘Jehovah’s witnesses never shout at us if we disagree with them. They just open their Bibles and show where we are wrong.’
“He was especially angry when he learned that they had been going from house to house preaching these things. Upon his warning them that they would either have to drop the witnesses’ teachings or lose their jobs, three of them replied: ‘Neither you, loss of jobs, nor anything else can separate us from Jehovah.’ This dismayed the director, as he confidently expected them to yield.
“The upshot was that they were told that they could keep their jobs as teachers at the Mission and efforts would be made to help them to see the error of their ways. They told him that they would do their work conscientiously but that they no longer could teach what they now knew to be false doctrine. So it was decided that they would teach everything except religion, which would be handled by others. This proved to be a real victory for them.”