What Can I Do?
WHAT can I do? That is a good question. But more to the point, what do you want to do? Have you dedicated your life to the Giver of every good thing, Jehovah God? Would you now like to carry out that dedication in the fullest manner possible?
Possibly you are now employed in some kind of secular job. But if you are one of God’s dedicated ministers you can never make a career of that job, can you? You may even enjoy to some degree the luxuries of these modern days. But is it not a fact that these soon become commonplace? Car, television, comfortable home, and so on—they still do not fully satisfy. Nothing short of having the fullest share possible in the primary work of God’s devoted servants here on earth can really satisfy.
Well, there is a way for single men and women, and young married couples, yes, and older ones too, to gain more joy and peace in dedicated service. It is in a career of full-time preaching. Instead of giving the major part of your time and energy to secular activity, why not give it to the Kingdom work, with just enough secular work to defray daily expenses? Trust Jehovah, whose Word, the Bible, promises: “Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other [necessary] things will be added to you.”—Matt. 6:33.
But are you not so sure? Why not give Jehovah God the opportunity to make good his promise in your case? Those who have tested out the certainty of God’s promises have discovered that this is the way of success.
TESTIMONY FROM PARAGUAY
Here is what one missionary in Paraguay says: “Arranging my personal affairs so as to be unencumbered with financial and other obligations proved to be the only obstacle to my taking up missionary work. After serving for more than ten years here in Paraguay, I am still firmly convinced that I made the wise decision. Helping spiritually impoverished ones with God’s Word and aiding fellow Witnesses to grow to maturity have been a source of great spiritual happiness to me.”
And a young woman, not quite two years in a missionary assignment, explains: “I wanted to be used to the fullest extent in Jehovah’s service. Reading the Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses stimulated my desire to teach Bible truth to people in other lands who have not been privileged to hear the Bible message. So I started out as a pioneer. Then came the call to Gilead School for training as a missionary. Now, here I am in Paraguay, happy to have attained such a wonderful privilege.”
And the opportunities in Paraguay have not run out. Referring to Concepción, a city of 30,000 inhabitants, a report has this to say: “Missionaries have served here in the past, and the small congregation of seven continues to spread Bible knowledge faithfully. We hope soon to be able to bolster their efforts with special pioneer help. Its setting, along the east bank of the Paraguay River, and the friendliness of the people make it a most desirable assignment.”
“Then there is Villarrica,” the report continues: “Local special pioneers (engaged full time in preaching) are now looking after this congregation of thirty persons. If the needed personnel were available the Society would reopen a missionary home here, for with new industries starting up the population is bound to grow. The Witnesses already there would appreciate help, and would give their fullest cooperation to anyone who might come to assist them.
“Though the Society maintains two fine missionary homes in Asunción, Paraguay’s capital, and though there are three congregations there with a total of some 300 Witnesses, there is still plenty of territory and so many interested ones that the Witnesses here cannot find time to call back on all of them. There are many among the city’s population of 350,000 who will patiently listen to the Kingdom message, even if spoken in faulty Spanish. People here still have time to talk about the Bible and God’s purposes.”
Of course, there are many other places in Paraguay that just as eloquently answer your question, What can I do?
URUGUAY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED
Note, too, the experiences in Uruguay of those who came from other lands, learned the local language and customs, and settled down to a career of aiding humble Uruguayans to an accurate knowledge of God’s Word. There is one Witness from the United States, a former Catholic, who left the comfort of home to take up full-time preaching. She was invited to Gilead School for missionary training, and now has been in her foreign assignment for more than twenty-two years. She says: “I wouldn’t want to change a day of it.”
And another missionary here in Uruguay graduated from Gilead School’s first class back in 1943 and has been busy here ever since. Is he sorry about the way things turned out? “Why should I be sorry,” he says, “when I have been an eyewitness to the growth of the Kingdom work in this land? I have observed and shared in the growth from 33 Witnesses to well over 2,400.” To this day he recalls how, when the public lecture campaign began, twenty persons to whom he had witnessed about the Kingdom came to hear. Today, several in that first audience are themselves active Witnesses.
But there is still lots of opportunity for willing helpers. A missionary Witness relates that she and three others were assigned in 1963 to work a section of Montevideo, a vast territory extending along the coast and including the pleasant residential area of Carrasco. When they first began work they conducted a Bible study in their apartment for the benefit of a handful of eager students. Now the attendance has grown far beyond the apartment-size study group. And they report that even now much of the territory is reached but once a year. Help is truly needed in order to concentrate better on the planted seeds of Bible truth, if they are to be productive of more praisers of God.
ANSWERING YOUR QUESTION
So there is something you can do, if you are willing, if you are prepared to do without nonessentials, if you really want to fill your life with satisfying labor that will always be remembered by God. (Heb. 6:10) You may not need to leave your own land, if it contains areas where there is still need for more intensive Kingdom proclamation. You could, under direction of the branch office of the Society in your country, move to another area and find some kind of part-time secular work with which to maintain yourself in a fruitful ministry.
It may even be that there is urgent need for more preaching activity in your own neighborhood. In that case your enrolling as a full-time representative of the Society would give you the extra time. It may be that your present employer would consider keeping you on on a part-time basis, leaving ample time for you to carry on the vital Kingdom ministry. Otherwise, you may seriously consider changing your place and even your type of secular work, just so you can put the Kingdom and its interests first in life.
If, however, you are in position to move to another land, it is your privilege to write the Office of the President, Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, 124 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201, and inquire for basic information needed by those who wish to enter a foreign land. Also, it would be of assistance to write the Society’s branch office in the country to which you would like to move. Such correspondence should be sent to the Watch Tower Society at the appropriate address appearing on the concluding page of the 1968 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
If you lay your circumstances before the branch office, frankly informing them about your health, your financial status, your plans and your knowledge of the language, your Christian brothers there will be able to appraise the situation and advise you of the possibilities that are open to you. It must be kept in mind, of course, that the Society’s branch office cannot become responsible for you. However, it will give full cooperation in matters such as putting you in touch with local Witnesses, informing you of the types of secular work available, setting out the requirements for those entering their country, and so on.
Meantime, you could obtain a beginner’s grammar book of the language in the country to which you plan to go. If you have previously studied a foreign language, you will have the advantage of knowing how to go about it. If there is someone who knows the language, it may be that you could enlist his aid. If you can attend evening-school classes in the language, without interfering with your ministry and theocratic studies, this could be helpful.
It is, of course, to be expected that obstacles will arise as you take steps toward a life of greater usefulness in the Kingdom ministry. Is it not obvious that the “god of this system of things” will seek to discourage you in such a purpose? (2 Cor. 4:4) But be persevering. Refuse to be easily deterred. Remember, it is God’s will that “in all the nations the good news has to be preached first.” (Mark 13:10) He will assuredly bless your consistent effort to increase your share in this most unselfish service.
Finally, can you think of any more effective answer to the question, What can I do? than that appearing on page 59 of the 1968 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses? It says:
“With the marvelous expansion now taking place in foreign lands and the crying need for more disciple-makers, every one of Jehovah’s witnesses with health and the freedom to take up missionary work should give the most serious consideration to saying, ‘Here I am! Send me.’ The highest profession one can follow is to serve Jehovah full time. The missionary service in particular is a privilege, which, if engaged in zealously between now and Armageddon, will ensure immeasurable happiness in the ages to come. Consider the joy of experiencing, in the new order, the happy companionship of those you now help to escape the destruction of this system of things.”
Even if you are not eligible for Gilead training as a missionary, it may well be that your maturity and years of experience as a minister of the Kingdom have equipped you so that you could do justice to some other assignment where the need for Kingdom preaching is urgent. Why not answer the question, What can I do? with positive action?