Fire Stirs Up a Building Program
“FIRE! Fire! The Assembly Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses is on fire!” That startling cry rang out one Friday afternoon in October 1989 in Heerenveen, a town in the northern region of the Netherlands.
Jehovah’s Witnesses had used this fine Assembly Hall for 11 years. Almost every weekend, hundreds had gathered there for either a two-day circuit assembly or a one-day special assembly day. It had been a comfortable place for Bible instruction.
An accident occurred while work was under way on the roof of the hall. Practically in minutes, this mishap turned the hall into smoldering ruins. Thankfully, however, no one was hurt.
Sad about the loss but not disheartened, the Witnesses made plans for a new hall at another location. They found a suitable site at Swifterbant, in the province of Flevoland. This is a vast polder in the former inland Zuider Zee, 16 feet [5 m] below sea level.
By January 1991 the signal was sounded to start building a new Assembly Hall. It would be built between May and September 1991. Hundreds of Witnesses volunteered to work at the site, and some young men saw the project as a stepping-stone to serving Jehovah God full-time. Dozens of workers came from Belgium and England.
A nicely designed building was constructed. Its auditorium and cafeteria are separated by a glass-roofed corridor. The main hall seats 1,008 people, and another 230 can watch the program on television screens in an adjacent hall.
Today, thousands are saying: ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of Jehovah, and he will instruct us about his ways.’ (Isaiah 2:2, 3) This new Assembly Hall is just one of many places where such spiritual instruction is being imparted. The local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses is another. There you will find a warm welcome.