Aged but Not Caged
WHEN age takes its toll, many become disabled, isolated from others in society. That was not the case with Fernand Rivarol, who died at the age of 95 in Geneva, Switzerland. He lived alone, for his wife had passed away and his married daughter had her own home. Although he was mostly confined to his home, he was not lonesome. He would often sit at a table in the living room, with the telephone receiver in his hand, and call people to engage them in a spiritual conversation.
During his eventful life, there was a time when Fernand was literally caged. Why? Just as Fernand and his wife became active Witnesses of Jehovah in 1939, World War II broke out in Europe. Fernand stuck to his Bible-based decision not to harm anyone. Because of that, he lost his job and had to serve several prison terms—altogether five and a half years—during which time he was separated from his wife and little daughter.
Looking back, Fernand said: “To many people, it seemed that I gave up a stable job and left my family in the lurch. People despised me and treated me like a criminal. Still, when I think of those difficult years, I remember more than anything else how Jehovah supported and helped us. Many years have passed since then, but my trust in Jehovah is still as firm as it was at that time.”
This faith impelled Fernand to share his Scriptural hope with others over the phone. If he had a good conversation with someone, he mailed Bible literature to that person. Later, he called the individual again to see if he or she had enjoyed the publication. Sometimes people would respond with a letter of appreciation, which made him very happy.
You may be contacted by someone like Fernand in your locality. Why not listen to what he has to say in order to find out what he believes? Jehovah’s Witnesses are always happy to share their beliefs with you.