A Spark of Truth in Childhood
AT A 1962 circuit assembly in Washington, D.C., a woman witness of Jehovah related this experience: “Last year I had the very pleasant experience of receiving a phone call from a Witness in Arlington who asked me if I would conduct a Bible study with a person of goodwill who was attending a college in our territory. Of course, I said Yes. I found this person to be a young girl of twenty years of age who had a very interesting background as far as the truth is concerned. This girl had first heard God’s truth when she was seven years of age. As a young child of seven she came in frequent contact with Jehovah’s witnesses by knowing a neighborhood maid. When her family found that their child was taking an interest, they immediately ended this association. Then they sent her to a Catholic high school and later on to the Catholic college in Virginia. Yet the spark of truth that was planted at the age of seven did not die out.
“Many things that she had been told about God’s purposes were brought to her remembrance. The only one that she could turn to was this maid she knew in her childhood. The maid, living in New York, immediately put her in contact with the Witnesses in Virginia. A Witness called on her but almost immediately she was transferred to the college in our territory in the District of Columbia. Because of opposition from her friends and parents, we studied God’s Word in secret. In five months she came to the positive conclusion that she would be a witness for Jehovah.
“Thinking it only fair that she should inform her parents, yet fearful of their opposition, she asked that I accompany her to New York to give her moral support.
“We arrived in New York apprehensive, but certainly not prepared for what actually happened. When informed of her decision, her father grew violent, struck her to the floor and threatened her with a mental institution. He immediately withdrew her from college, forbade her any association with Jehovah’s people and arranged a lawsuit against me, charging that I was contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Because she was twenty years of age, she was not free to disobey her parent’s request. I left her in New York, with the admonition to stick close to what she knew to be the truth and with the promise that we would renew our friendship when she was twenty-one.
“After her father’s demonic spirit calmed, he consulted the family priest, who advised kindness to be shown her. So for the next period of her confinement, she became the center of attention in the family circle, being showered with gifts such as a 1962 convertible, an offer to go to Europe, and so forth. Since she is from a wealthy New York family, these things were possible.
“We are very pleased to say that none of these tactics worked, because when she reached her twenty-first birthday, she informed them that she was still determined to stick to the decision that she made six months previously, to serve Jehovah. Again the violent tempers flared and she was kicked out, told they did not want to see her again and that as far as they were concerned she did not exist. In August, I received another phone call, which not only renewed our friendship—I was to receive another roommate, for when I found out she was homeless I extended her the invitation to live with us. She is now bringing the good news to others every week and freely pursuing her new-found purpose in life. Today you will be glad to know she is our new sister as she has symbolized her dedication to Jehovah by water baptism.”