Alertness Leads to Fine Results
ARE you alert to preaching opportunities that may unexpectedly present themselves in your congregation territory? Our Christian brothers in the historical seaport city of Turku, Finland, were, and their alertness led to fine results.
Some time ago, the brothers in Turku noticed that a group of Asian men had arrived in town to finish the work on a huge cruise ship that was being constructed at a local shipyard. Later, a brother found out which hotels the foreign workers were staying in. He also learned that early in the morning, the workers were taken by buses from their downtown hotels to the harbor. Immediately, he alerted the brothers in the English-speaking congregation in Turku.
The elders in that congregation realized that the presence of so many foreigners offered an unexpected opportunity to share the Kingdom message with them, and they quickly arranged for a special campaign. On Sunday of that week, ten publishers gathered near the bus stop at seven o’clock in the morning. At first, no workers appeared. ‘Are we too late?’ the brothers wondered. ‘Did they leave Turku?’ But then, one worker dressed in overalls came around the corner. Another worker followed, and more appeared. Before long, a swarm of workers had gathered near the stop. The publishers swung into action, approaching the workers with English-language publications. Fortunately, it took about an hour before all the workers had found a seat on the buses, which gave the brothers enough time to talk to most of them. When the buses drove off, the workers carried with them 126 booklets and 329 magazines!
The fine results encouraged the brothers to repeat the campaign the following week, during the visit of the circuit overseer. On a rainy day, at half past six in the morning, the circuit overseer conducted the meeting for field service, and 24 publishers headed for the bus stop. This time, they also carried with them literature in Tagalog because they had found out that many of the foreigners were from the Philippines. That morning, when the buses drove off to the harbor, the workers took with them 7 books, 69 booklets, and 479 magazines. Imagine the joy and excitement of the brothers and sisters who shared in the campaign!
Before the workers returned to their countries of origin, the brothers were able to visit several of them at the hotels where they stayed and to explain the Kingdom message in more detail. Some workers said that they had been contacted by Witnesses before in other parts of the world. The workers expressed their appreciation to the brothers for having taken the initiative to contact them during their stay in Finland.
Are you alert to opportunities that may unexpectedly arise in your congregation territory? Do you take the initiative to reach out to people of different backgrounds? If so, you too may have experiences like the ones enjoyed by our brothers in Turku.
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