Kingdom Proclaimers Report
Jehovah Provides Relief
RECENTLY, Jehovah’s Witnesses in South Africa received word of the desperate plight of their spiritual brothers in a nearby country where their preaching work is banned. It was reported to them that because of a severe drought, their brothers were surviving by eating certain roots. They also lacked proper clothing, which made some Witnesses reluctant to share in the field ministry.
Immediately the brothers in South Africa responded. A call was put out to local congregations in the Johannesburg area about the need for clothing. Within days, three tons of clothing had been donated. The items were then sorted out by volunteer workers. Arrangements were made to send 3 tons of beans, 1 ton of oil, 1 ton of soap, and 17 tons of maize meal. When the company that supplied the maize meal heard of the plight of the Witnesses in the drought-stricken land, they donated more than a ton of this much-needed food.
On Monday, April 16, 1990, a truck with a 25-ton load of relief provisions left South Africa on its 3,400-mile [5,500 km] trek. But now permission had to be obtained from the authorities in order to take the supplies through to their war-torn country.
The authorities at the consulate said that although Jehovah’s Witnesses were not recognized in their country, they were well aware of their presence. There would be no objection to sending relief supplies to our brothers. Permission was granted. The necessary documents were issued, and on Friday, April 20, the Witnesses crossed the border with no problem. Nevertheless, they encountered more than 30 roadblocks, where they often were required to show their documentation. Only then did they realize how necessary those documents were.
After they had traveled some 90 miles [140 km] into the country, their progress was blocked by a large river in flood. The original bridge had been destroyed, and the temporary structure in its place was unsuitable for a large truck to use. However, they found that the smaller vehicle accompanying the convoy could cross the flooded bridge safely. It was decided to split into two parties. A camp was set up at the flooded river for one party, while the other party continued on their way to meet the brothers some 160 miles [260 km] farther north. How happy they were finally to make contact with the brothers! They could not stop smiling, hugging, and shaking hands. Soon two local trucks were on their way to meet the other group of brothers waiting by the river. There, the relief supplies were transferred from the large truck to the two smaller ones.
Reports received indicate deep gratitude for Jehovah’s provision of material relief. Yet, despite their physical plight, the brothers’ cry for spiritual food was even more desperate. One congregation had access to only one Watchtower, which had to be copied for each family. Thanks to Jehovah, arrangements are now in progress to provide a steady flow of spiritual food to the brothers in that country.