“I Am Not Dreaming, Am I?”
The following report comes from Malawi concerning one of the historic “Joyful Praisers” District Conventions of Jehovah’s Witnesses held there during the summer of 1995.
“ALONG a main road, about halfway up the western shore of Lake Malawi, a sign has been posted for the first time in 29 years. It reads, ‘Jehovah’s Witnesses District Convention.’
“A huge truck is parked beside the sign, and from its trailer emerge more than 200 delegates from the town of Mzuzu. They have brought bundles of clothes, blankets, pots, buckets, food, firewood, and Bibles to join about 3,000 of their brothers and sisters from other locations.
“While we are greeting the brothers coming off the truck, George Chikako, 63, arrives, pushing his bicycle through the sand, having ridden for two days from Nkhotakota. Over the years, Brother Chikako served four prison sentences as a result of his refusal to compromise Bible principles. His cousin died from beatings he received while incarcerated. ‘I am not dreaming, am I?’ Brother Chikako asks. ‘This convention is being held in broad daylight, and these people are singing Kingdom songs aloud! All this time, we have had to meet in the darkness of night, whisper Kingdom songs, and rub our hands together for applause. Now we are meeting openly, and the people are surprised to see that we are so many when they thought we were just a few!’
“The convention location is fenced with grass and loosely covered with reeds to provide shade. Small grass huts and open-air dormitories were built to house the delegates. The night air is filled with the sound of beautiful melodious voices that are no longer muted by fear of persecution.
“How fitting that the convention has as its theme ‘Joyful Praisers’!”
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