Kingdom Proclaimers Report
God Makes It Grow in Alaska
BENEATH a mantle of snow and ice, a tiny seed awaits the opportunity to develop to maturity. Within the three short months that make up the Alaskan summer, a cabbage seed one eighth of an inch [3 mm] in diameter may grow to nearly 90 pounds [40 kg]! Yes, this land that was once thought by many to be a barren, glacial wasteland can produce abundant fruitage.
This is especially true of the spiritual field in Alaska. There, in the land of long winters, Jehovah’s Witnesses continue to sow Kingdom seed. As in other parts of the earth, God makes the seed grow in fertile hearts.—1 Corinthians 3:6, 7.
● While on a school bus, a young Witness named Vanessa observed a fellow student, Ann, who always sat by herself. Ann appeared sad, so Vanessa invited Ann to sit next to her. No wonder Ann was sad! Her mother had died from a heart attack, and a short time later, her father died from cancer. That is why Ann was living with relatives in Alaska.
Vanessa stopped by the home of her new acquaintance while in field service one Saturday and left her the brochure Does God Really Care About Us? The following Monday at school, Ann sought out the young Witness. Ann had many Bible questions, which Vanessa was able to answer. “Where do you have your services?” she inquired. That evening Ann attended her first meeting at the Kingdom Hall.
It did not take long for this 17-year-old orphan to find many ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers,’ just as Jesus promised. (Matthew 19:29) And what a joyful occasion it was to see a happy and smiling Ann symbolize her dedication to Jehovah by water baptism at the “Messengers of Godly Peace” District Convention!
● In the remote areas of the vast Alaskan Arctic region—where villages are separated by hundreds of miles of wilderness—the Watch Tower Society’s twin-engine airplane has been used to sow Kingdom seed in over 150 communities. But spiritual growth through a regular study of the Bible depends upon correspondence. Since letter writing is a challenge for many, a Bible teacher needs to be creative in order to keep the student’s interest alive. How might this be accomplished?
Kathy conducted a progressive Bible study with Edna, although they lived more than 400 miles [600 km] apart! Rather than just copying the questions in the study aid, Kathy made up a work sheet with questions and provided space for writing in the answers. After Edna filled in the answers, Kathy replied and inserted comments as needed to clarify a point. Kathy states: “I set aside Wednesday evening for our ‘study,’ and I tried to hold to it as I would any other Bible study appointment. I also sent Edna a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Since it took two weeks for mailing time, a study through correspondence appeared somewhat slow.”
Imagine the thrill when Kathy and Edna met face-to-face at the district convention in Anchorage after ten months of studying through the mail! The Witnesses were also glad to have in attendance Bible students and other interested ones from several isolated villages in Alaska.
Although growth may at times appear to be slow, some “seedlings” germinate rapidly when exposed to the light of truth. On the average, more than one hundred new praisers of Jehovah are baptized each year in Alaska! We say, “Thank you, Jehovah,” for making it grow!