Kingdom Proclaimers Report
Preaching in Troublesome Season
THE apostle Paul foretold that “in the last days critical times hard to deal with [would] be here.” (2 Timothy 3:1) How accurate those words have proved to be! The people of El Salvador in Central America have long experienced this bitter reality. For more than a decade, that country was engulfed in a civil war that brought misery and death to many thousands. The war is over now, but misery remains. Crime has risen sharply after the war. One local television commentator stated recently: “Violence and robbery now constitute our daily bread.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses have not been spared this crime wave. Burglars have broken into many Kingdom Halls and have stolen sound equipment. On several occasions gangs of armed youths have stormed into Kingdom Halls while Christian meetings were in progress, stealing money, watches, and other valuables from those in attendance. While going about their daily activities, a number of Witnesses have even been killed by robbers.
Despite these obstacles, Jehovah’s Witnesses in El Salvador continue to work hard in preaching the good news. They do this in obedience to the Scriptural injunction: “In all the nations the good news has to be preached first.” (Mark 13:10) There are still many in this land who yearn for the Kingdom hope that the Bible holds out, and the Witnesses are endeavoring to reach every one of them. Informal witnessing is proving to be an effective method of preaching.
While receiving medical treatment at a hospital, one Witness used every opportunity to talk to other patients about God’s promises for the future, as found in the Bible. One seriously ill patient sadly lamented: “Soon I am going to die!” But the patient’s gloomy outlook did not discourage the Witness from sharing the good news of God’s Kingdom. Rather, he read aloud to the man from the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth, published by Jehovah’s Witnesses. A few days later, the Witness left the hospital, thinking sadly that the man was on his deathbed.
Four years later the Witness had to undergo medical treatment at another hospital. While he was there, a patient came up to him and said: “Do you remember me?” It was the man whom he met four years earlier, the man who was supposedly dying! What a joyful surprise when the man hugged him and added: “Now I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses too!” The man had embraced the Bible’s hope for the future, studied the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and dedicated his life to Jehovah. Not only was he a Witness but he had been sharing in the full-time ministry as a regular pioneer for about two years.
In this case, the seeds of truth that had been sown in an informal setting reached a responsive heart. This privilege of helping people to come to a knowledge of the truth impels true Christians to continue the preaching work in spite of these “critical times hard to deal with.”