Contributions That Warm God’s Heart
THE story is not a pretty one. Queen Athaliah had seized the throne of Judah by means of subterfuge and murder. Wrongly assuming that all the natural heirs had been slain, she installed herself as queen. Another woman, the princess Jehosheba, who dearly loved Jehovah and his Law, courageously hid a royal offspring, the baby Jehoash. Jehosheba and her husband, High Priest Jehoiada, concealed the heir for six years in their temple quarters.—2 Kings 11:1-3.
By the time Jehoash reached seven years of age, High Priest Jehoiada was ready to launch his plan to dislodge the usurping queen from her ill-gotten throne. He brought the boy out of hiding and crowned him rightful heir to the kingdom. Wicked Queen Athaliah was then hauled outside the temple grounds by the royal guards and executed, to the relief and joy of the people. By their actions, Jehoiada and Jehosheba contributed greatly to the restoration of true worship in the land of Judah. But more important, they contributed to the continuation of the royal line of David, which would lead to the Messiah.—2 Kings 11:4-21.
The newly installed king was also to make a contribution that would warm God’s heart. The house of Jehovah was badly in need of repairs. Athaliah’s unbridled ambition to be sole ruler of Judah resulted not only in the neglecting of the temple but also in the pillaging of it. So Jehoash set his heart on rebuilding and restoring the temple. Without delay, he issued an edict to gather needed funds for the rehabilitation of Jehovah’s house. He said: “All the money for the holy offerings that is brought to the house of Jehovah, the money at which each one is assessed, the money for the souls according to individual valuation, all the money that it comes up on the heart of each one to bring to the house of Jehovah, let the priests take for themselves, each one from his acquaintance; and let them, for their part, repair the cracks of the house wherever any crack is found.”—2 Kings 12:4, 5.
The people contributed willingly. The priests, however, were not wholehearted in fulfilling their duty to repair the temple. Hence, the king decided to take matters into his own hands and ordered that all contributions go directly into a special box. He put Jehoiada in charge, and the account states: “Jehoiada the priest now took a chest and bored a hole in its lid and put it beside the altar on the right as a person comes into the house of Jehovah, and there the priests, the doorkeepers, put all the money that was being brought into the house of Jehovah. And it came about that as soon as they saw that there was a great deal of money in the chest, the secretary of the king and the high priest would come up, and they would bind it up and count the money that was being found at the house of Jehovah. And they gave the money that had been counted off over to the hands of doers of the work that were appointed to the house of Jehovah. In turn they paid it out to the workers in wood and to the builders that were working at the house of Jehovah, and to the masons and to the hewers of stone, and to buy timbers and hewn stones for repairing the cracks of the house of Jehovah and for all that was expended upon the house to repair it.”—2 Kings 12:9-12.
The people’s response was wholehearted. Jehovah’s house of worship was restored so that his worship could continue in a dignified manner. Thus, all contributed funds were used appropriately. King Jehoash made sure of that!
Today, Jehovah’s visible organization watches carefully that all donated funds are properly used to advance the worship of Jehovah, and true Christians have responded as those ancient Israelites did—in a wholehearted way. Perhaps you are among those who contributed toward the furtherance of Kingdom interests during the past service year. Let us take note of some of the ways your contributions have been used.
Worldwide, the following publications were printed for study and distribution:
• Books: 47,490,247
• Booklets: 6,834,740
• Brochures: 167,854,462
• Calendars: 5,405,955
• Magazines: 1,179,266,348
• Tracts: 440,995,740
• Videos: 3,168,611
Printing is done in Africa, North, Central, and South America, Asia, Europe, and island nations of the Pacific—a total of 19 countries.
“My name is Katelyn May. I am eight years old. I have $28, and I would like you to have it to help pay for the printing presses. Your little sister, Katelyn.”
“We had a family meeting about the new presses. Our children, ages 11 and 9, decided to take money from their savings and do their part. We are happy to send their contribution along with ours.”
Following are some of the building projects undertaken to support the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses:
• Kingdom Halls in lands with limited resources: 2,180
• Assembly Halls: 15
• Branches: 10
• International volunteers in full-time service: 2,342
“This weekend we had the first meeting in our new Kingdom Hall. We are so happy to have a proper place to give praise to our Father, Jehovah God. We thank Jehovah and you for giving attention to our needs by building more Kingdom Halls. Indeed, our Kingdom Hall is a real asset to the neighborhood.”—Chile.
“The brothers and sisters appreciate very much the help that is given by Jehovah’s organization. To this day, we continue to talk about the wonderful time we spent with the construction crew.”—Moldova.
“My wife and I recently celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary. We were trying to decide what to get each other for the occasion, and we decided to give something back to Jehovah and his organization, for without their help, we probably wouldn’t have succeeded in our marriage. We would like the money enclosed to be used in assisting in the building of a Kingdom Hall in one of the less privileged countries.”
“I recently received an inheritance, and since my ‘wants’ are few and my ‘needs’ are even fewer, I would like you to have the money enclosed to help build Kingdom Halls, which are so badly needed in many countries.”
In these last days, disasters often strike without warning. Many of Jehovah’s Witnesses make extra contributions so that their brothers in stricken areas can be helped. As a reminder, contributions for disaster relief are administered as part of the worldwide work. Following are some of the places where Jehovah’s Witnesses have helped disaster victims:
• Caribbean region
• Islands of the Pacific
“My husband and I would like to thank you very much for sending supplies for the relief efforts for the damage incurred during the hurricanes. We were able to put a new roof on our house. We truly appreciate that you responded so quickly.”
“My name is Connor, and I am 11. When I saw what happened when the tsunami hit, I wanted to help. I hope this will help my brothers and sisters.”
SPECIAL FULL-TIME SERVANTS
A number of Christians serve in the evangelizing work or in Bethel homes full-time. Some full-time volunteers are supported by voluntary contributions. Among these are the following:
• Missionaries: 2,635
• Traveling overseers: 5,325
• Bethelites: 20,092
“Since I cannot go to serve at Bethel now [five-year-old boy], I want to send this contribution with much love. When I grow up, I am going to go to Bethel to work hard.”
Promoting Bible Education
Jesus Christ commissioned his followers to “make disciples of people of all the nations.” (Matthew 28:19) In obedience to his words, Jehovah’s Witnesses are busy preaching and teaching the Bible’s message in 235 lands. They publish and distribute Bible literature in 413 languages.
Indeed, the most valuable contribution a Christian can make to help more people learn about God and His purposes is his time. Jehovah’s Witnesses have given of their time and strength in abundance to help their neighbors. They have also generously contributed in a financial way, and all their contributions, in one form or another, have helped to make Jehovah’s name and purposes known throughout the earth. May Jehovah continue to bless these efforts to help others to learn more about him. (Proverbs 19:17) Such willingness to help warms Jehovah’s heart!—Hebrews 13:15, 16.
[Box on page 28-30]
Ways in Which Some Choose to Give
CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE WORLDWIDE WORK
Many set aside, or budget, an amount that they place in the contribution boxes labeled “Contributions for the Worldwide Work—Matthew 24:14.”
Each month, congregations forward these amounts to the office of Jehovah’s Witnesses that serves their respective countries. Voluntary donations of money may also be sent directly to Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania, Attention Treasurer’s Office, 25 Columbia Heights, Brooklyn, New York 11201-2483, or to the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses that serves your country. Checks sent to the above address should be made payable to “Watch Tower.” Jewelry or other valuables may be donated as well. A brief letter stating that such is an outright gift should accompany these contributions.
CONDITIONAL-DONATION TRUST ARRANGEMENT
Money may be placed in trust with Watch Tower for use worldwide. However, upon request the funds will be returned. For more information, please contact the Treasurer’s Office at the address noted above.
In addition to outright gifts of money, there are other methods of giving to benefit Kingdom service worldwide. These include:
Insurance: Watch Tower may be named as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement/pension plan.
Bank Accounts: Bank accounts, certificates of deposit, or individual retirement accounts may be placed in trust for or made payable on death to Watch Tower, in accord with local bank requirements.
Stocks and Bonds: Stocks and bonds may be donated to Watch Tower as an outright gift.
Real Estate: Salable real estate may be donated either by making an outright gift or, in the case of residential property, by reserving a life estate to the donor, who can continue to live therein during his or her lifetime. Contact the branch office in your country before deeding any real estate.
Gift Annuity: A gift annuity is an arrangement whereby one transfers money or securities to a designated corporation that is used by Jehovah’s Witnesses. In exchange, the donor, or someone designated by the donor, receives a specified annuity payment every year for life. The donor receives an income-tax deduction for the year in which the gift annuity is established.
Wills and Trusts: Property or money may be bequeathed to Watch Tower by means of a legally executed will, or Watch Tower may be named as beneficiary of a trust agreement. A trust benefiting a religious organization may provide certain tax advantages.
As the term “charitable planning” implies, these types of donations typically require some planning on the part of the donor. To assist individuals desiring to benefit the worldwide work of Jehovah’s Witnesses through some form of charitable planning, a brochure has been prepared in English and Spanish entitled Charitable Planning to Benefit Kingdom Service Worldwide. The brochure was written to provide information on a variety of ways that gifts may be made either now or through a bequest at death. After reading the brochure and conferring with their own legal or tax advisers, many have been able to help support the religious and humanitarian activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide and maximize their tax benefits while doing so. This brochure may be obtained by requesting a copy directly from the Charitable Planning Office.
For more information, you may contact the Charitable Planning Office, either in writing or by telephone, at the address listed below or you may contact the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses that serves your country.
Charitable Planning Office
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania
100 Watchtower Drive
Patterson, New York 12563-9204
Telephone: (845) 306-0707
[Picture Credit Line on page 27]
Faithful video: Stalin: U.S. Army photo