Love Is Not Easily Discouraged
‘LOVE is long-suffering. It bears all things. It endures all things.’ This being so, love is not easily discouraged. That love is not easily discouraged is being demonstrated in our day, as the following experiences show.—1 Cor. 13:4, 7.
◆ A few years ago a witness of Jehovah in going from house to house in Seoul, Korea, met a householder who seemed quite interested, accepted a magazine but ignored the suggestion as to the contribution for it. Not wanting to embarrass the householder by stressing the contribution, he let it go but resolved to return to see if the man truly was interested.
Upon calling back he learned why the man had failed to give him a contribution. He had been sitting at the time and it was extremely difficult for him to get up by reason of his having two artificial legs, he having lost both in the Korean war. The man proved to be genuinely interested and obtained more literature, for which he contributed as well as for the magazine he had previously obtained. A Bible study was arranged in which three other war amputees also took part. In time two of these took their stand for Jehovah as dedicated and baptized ministers of the good news. In spite of their handicaps they engaged in all features of the field ministry and this even though the terrain in which they minister is very rough.
Because of the depth of their devotion these two Witnesses matured rapidly. As a result of their zealous lead a new congregation was recently formed in Seoul. One was appointed its overseer, the other his assistant. Between the two of them they have one leg. Yes, love is not easily discouraged.
◆ A Chinese Witness in Trinidad furnishes another example. His congregation was building a Kingdom Hall and he was determined to help in some way even though he was a paralytic wheelchair invalid. What could he do? By means of an ingenious device that fits over his paralyzed hand and with the assistance of his devoted mother he was able to hold pen and brush, and he had taught himself to write and paint.
About this time the local Art Society began looking for someone to exhibit his own paintings at the opening of their new Art Center. Accepting the challenge, the Chinese turned out thirty-three paintings, oils and watercolors, in less than three months, for this art exhibit. On the very opening night half of his paintings were sold, and all but two or three by the time the exhibit closed. After all expenses were paid the net profit amounted to a sizable sum, which he gave as his contribution to the Kingdom Hall building fund.
◆ Illustrating the same principle, that love is not easily discouraged, are the cases of several full-time special pioneer ministers serving in Guatemala. One of these, a single man of limited education, was assigned to a town in which there were no Witnesses. He himself lived in a shack so that he could contribute of his meager resources toward the rent of a small room that served as a Kingdom Hall. He thought nothing of rising as early as 3 a.m. to study in preparation for congregational meetings, or of walking ten or twelve miles over dusty roads to visit persons of good will, or of traveling long distances by rickety bus or slow-moving trains to conduct home Bible studies on banana or coffee plantations. Today in this location there is a happy congregation of fifty Witnesses. And they make the same efforts to attend their congregational meetings that this minister made to bring them the Bible truth.
◆ Then there was the ministerial couple who sold their meager possessions to serve in a distant part of Guatemala, to which they had to go by plane. Due to their loving zeal a new congregation of fifteen Witnesses has been established there. As a result of the husband’s unselfish and efficient training methods two members of the congregation qualified to be sent out to still other places to serve as full-time special pioneer ministers. While he could well have used these two in his own congregation, he did not wish to hold them back but saw the importance of their serving where the need was greater. He accompanied one of them to his assignment even though it involved not only an eight-hour trip by bus but then a hike of twelve hours along mountainous trails! Truly today, even as in the time of the apostles, Christian ministers give proof that love is not easily discouraged.