Helping Older Ones to Know and Serve Jehovah
HERE are some experiences of Jehovah’s witnesses that demonstrate the results of patience, kindness and resourcefulness. The first is from a Witness in Massachusetts:
“I obtained a subscription for the Watchtower magazine from a Lithuanian lady. As I returned to visit her, many misgivings crossed my mind. You see, she was nearly seventy years old and could read very little because of poor eyesight. Also, there was a language barrier to some extent, and she was steeped in many false religious ideas.
“In spite of my misgivings, I called and we discussed the true God. I arranged to call again. The following week, she met me with a broad smile, saying: ‘I am so glad that you came again. I have been so happy since your first visit! Why is it that I had to wait sixty-nine years to learn that God has a name? Why did not the church tell me this before?’ We continued to study and soon she came to appreciate the Bible’s teaching on the condition of the dead and that the doctrines of a burning hell and purgatory are false. Each time she would ask why the church had not taught her the Bible truth.
“Next she attended a public talk dealing with prayer and I had doubts if she understood what was being said, because of the language problem. On the way home, I found that she had understood clearly what was said. She was upset about the fact that Jehovah disapproved of the use of the rosary. After all, she used it all her life, being taught by her parents and her church. ‘What am I to believe?’ she asked. I assured her that to please God she must listen to his Word above all. We spent our next study discussing prayer, but she was still upset.
“When I came for our next study, she again brought up the matter of prayer and she said, ‘I went into my bedroom the other night and I got down on my knees and said, “Jehovah God, I am just a poor, dumb, old woman and I do not know how to talk to you, but maybe if you will listen . . . and I thanked him at the end for hearing me.”’ With tears in her eyes, she then asked me, ‘Do you think he listened?’ Evidently he did, for, drawn closer to Him and His people, she attended our circuit assembly.”
Another Witness told this experience at a circuit assembly in New York: “One day I saw a woman pushing a shopping cart full of groceries. Since she was having difficulty with it, I approached her and offered to help her with it to her home. She accepted my offer gladly, for she lived seven blocks away.
“As we walked along, I used this opportunity to discuss the Bible with her. She responded to my kindness by accepting my offer to call on her later and continue our discussion.
“When I called, we began studying the Bible together and she progressed rapidly. Now she attends most of the meetings at the Kingdom Hall and participates in the Watchtower study. This lady is eighty-seven years old and it is a most happifying thing to help her to know Jehovah.”
In Peru a missionary has been helping a bedridden eighty-nine-year-old woman to learn the Bible. In time this woman came to appreciate God’s truth and his organization. She knew that preaching was one requirement that she had to meet to please Jehovah. However, she did not know how to do this, for she had very few visitors, no telephone and could not write with a steady hand. Prospects were indeed dim. The missionary encouraged her to pray to Jehovah, continually asking him to open the way so that she could do something to be a real Witness.
Soon the way was opened up. For no apparent reason her family, who assigned a housekeeper to care for her, changed housekeepers. The new one noticed the Bible and the literature at her bedside and began asking questions. How elated she was when the missionary came to study with her! Here, right in her own room, she found a person with a meek heart. How could she help her? The missionary helped her to care for this interested one by typing out questions in all-capital letters on a paper for her to read to her housekeeper. During their study, the missionary seldom needed to make any additional remarks. In time this new praiser of Jehovah was able to care for this interested person. Now, even though bedridden, she too joyfully shares in giving a witness.