Youths Who Remember Their Creator
THE theme of Friday afternoon’s session at the more than 100 “Victorious Faith” international conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses during 1978 was “YOUTHS, BE EXAMPLES IN FAITH.” During the program part entitled “Youths Who Remember Their Creator,” dedicated young men and women spoke about their lives as servants of Jehovah. Below are some of the experiences that they presented.
You will note that a number of the youths interviewed decided to devote their full time to preaching “this good news of the kingdom.” (Matt. 24:14) Some are doing this as “special pioneers,” spending at least 140 hours per month in this activity. Many have become “regular pioneers,” who devote a minimum of 1,000 hours a year in proclaiming the “good news.” Let us consider some of the things these Christian youths had to say.
At the convention in New York city, a young lady related: ‘I know some youths are hesitant about obligating themselves to Jehovah God. Even some who are baptized hold back from putting spiritual interests first. I’m speaking from experience, for that’s the way I felt. But Scriptural principles, such as the one at Malachi 3:10 where we are told to pay to God what we owe him, helped me to have a change of heart. I encourage all of you young people in the audience to put spiritual interests first. Anyone who is old enough to party or be immoral or take drugs is also old enough to dedicate his or her life to Jehovah.’
ENJOYING “FIELD SERVICE”
“The field is the world,” said Jesus. (Matt. 13:38) That is why Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to their preaching activity as “field service.” At the convention in New York, a teen-age girl talked about what field service meant to her:
‘My activity in sharing Bible truths with others began at a very early age. While accompanying my parents from house to house, I would greet the householder with a cheerful smile and offer a small printed message. In time I became able to speak to people about the Bible topics. It delighted me to find that a number of those to whom I spoke wanted help in understanding the Bible. I visited them regularly and it was thrilling to see them making progress in knowledge of God and to observe them giving up unclean practices, as well as showing a desire to share their newfound Bible-based beliefs with others. Engaging in field service frequently has strengthened my faith in God’s incoming new order that will restore paradise earth wide. (Rev. 21:1-5) If I’m going to convince others about that hope, it must first be strong within me.’
A young witness who addressed the English-speaking session at Montreal, Canada, related: ‘My field service began during early childhood. I used to accompany my parents in their preaching activities. By the age of five I began giving simple presentations from door to door.
‘During those early years field service was really fun. However, in time it dawned on me that at school I stood out from the rest of the crowd. It then became awkward for me to speak to fellow students about the truth. When preaching from house to house, I began to dread the thought of meeting up with someone I knew from school. Looking back on this period, in my case I think the problem was fear of man, which the Bible says “lays a snare.”’—Prov. 29:25.
‘After getting out of school, I decided to try pioneering on a temporary basis. As a result, preaching took on an appeal that it never had before. No longer did I view it as a fun activity, nor was it a heavy burden. On seeing my Bible students progress in the truth, I enjoyed a sense of deep satisfaction at the evidence that Jehovah God was backing my efforts. Now I have been pioneering for more than two and a half years. Looking back on the opportunities that I had to choose other careers, my feelings are the same as those of the apostle Paul, who wrote: “I do indeed also consider all things to be loss on account of the excelling value of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord. On account of him I have taken the loss of all things and I consider them as a lot of refuse, that I may gain Christ.”’—Phil. 3:8.
APPRECIATION FOR THE CONGREGATION
Are youths glad to be associated with the Christian congregation? Dan, who serves as a pioneer in Quebec, relates his own experience: ‘I have been baptized only since 1975, and my life before coming to know about Bible truth was very loose and unchristian. Searching for kicks, I used to get drunk frequently. When this ceased to be a pleasure, I went to smoking marijuana and experimenting with other drugs. At the age of 17 I was smoking marijuana almost every day.
‘But the happiness that I thought I had at that time was nothing in comparison with the joy that has been mine since coming in contact with Jehovah’s people. My first meeting at a Kingdom Hall was memorable. The thing that impressed me the most was that after the meeting different ones approached me and introduced themselves in an effort to make me feel comfortable. From that time on I have regularly attended meetings at the Kingdom Hall. Before learning the truth, I had no desire to associate with older people, since we had nothing in common. But with fellow Christians I have found many good friends of all ages.’
Another young Witness from New York gave a different reason for enjoying association with the congregation: ‘I’m glad to be part of the congregation because I’m able to serve others. I enjoy assisting the elderly brothers and sisters if they need help in cleaning up their apartments. Occasionally it’s my privilege to help fellow Christians to move from one location to another. As a youth I have strength and energy. What better way is there to use it than in glorifying Jehovah by serving others in the congregation?’
A 10-YEAR-OLD SEEKS HELP
At the convention in Munich, Germany, a young man told the following experience to the Greek-speaking session of that assembly: ‘When I was in elementary school, my parents stopped associating with the Christian congregation. I’m happy to tell you that, in spite of being a child, I succeeded in maintaining some connection with the congregation.
‘At the age of 10 I began to pray to Jehovah for help. Since my parents would not allow me to associate with Jehovah’s Witnesses openly, it seemed to me that the only way to support the preaching work would be to contribute money. So I began collecting pocket money that my parents would give me. In a period of two years I collected 500 drachmas. With joy I offered this to the congregation. The brothers prayed for me and made plans for a youngster my own age to visit me. During playtime with him a Bible study was conducted, which strengthened my faith. Years later I went to a foreign land for school studies. My real motive, however, was to be free to attend congregation meetings.
‘When my parents heard about this, it had a good effect on them. They once again began attending meetings at the Kingdom Hall and now my father is serving in a responsible position in the congregation. As for myself, I now have the joy to serve as a regular pioneer and that is my wish for all young people.’
It is indeed a pleasure to hear of the many youths who have made the worship of Jehovah the most important thing in their lives. We hope that these experiences will stir yet others to heed the Scriptural command: “Remember, now, your Grand Creator in the days of your young manhood.”—Eccl. 12:1.