In Côte d’Ivoire a young student named Edith learned that her baptism and a school examination were scheduled for the same day. She courageously asked her teacher for permission to be absent from the exam, and he agreed. Her schoolmates ridiculed her, calling her Mary, the mother of Jesus. One boy amused schoolmates by saying that she had gone, not to her baptism, but to a swimming competition. Edith responded by offering the boy a tract about the beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
After reading it, the boy stopped mocking her and said that he too wanted to become a Witness. He studied the book Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life, and despite some opposition from his family, he was baptized. Edith is happy that she put her dedication to Jehovah first in her life and that this, in turn, helped someone else to do the same.
A missionary in West Africa reports: “One of the blessings from Jehovah is to be part of an organization that has a good reputation, even in the smallest villages on earth. I saw this dramatically demonstrated here in Ghana, where Jehovah’s Witnesses are well-known and respected. We were delivering the monthly literature shipment to some congregations in the countryside. In one small town, we could not find the person who usually took the literature parcel. I asked the driver what we should do. He looked at me, smiled, and said: ‘No problem.’ He then stopped the truck at a crowded market, leaned out of the window, and called over one of the young girls who were selling fish by the roadside. He gave the box of literature to the girl and said: ‘Please give this to Jehovah’s Witnesses.’ Without a word, she lifted the box onto her head, turned, and disappeared into the crowd. As we drove on to the next town, I asked the driver if he knew the girl. He smiled again and said: ‘No, but she knows us.’ I wondered if the brothers would ever receive that literature. I need not have worried. They received it the same day.”
In the village of Gbolobo, Liberia, the brothers wrote a letter to the town chief, informing him of their intention to hold the most important religious meeting of the year in his town. He gave permission for the brothers to use the local football field for the event and had an announcement issued to all the churches in the seven towns in his chiefdom. The announcement invited people to attend the Memorial. A large group of Witnesses came to the village to build a platform for the Memorial in the center of the football field. They worked together in a spirit of love and happiness. This impressed the villagers. Though there are only five publishers in Gbolobo, the attendance for the Memorial was 636!
A ten-year-old boy in northern Rwanda raised a small goat until she gave birth to three little ones. He recently sent a photo of himself and the she-goat to the branch office. In an accompanying letter, he wrote: “Jehovah has blessed me very much, and that is why I am contributing this she-goat to the worldwide preaching work mentioned at Matthew 24:14.” He gave the goat to the congregation elders with the request to sell it. They did so and forwarded the money to the branch.
One special pioneer in Nigeria got into a car when the driver offered him a ride. As another passenger shifted to make space for him, the driver saw The Watchtower in the brother’s hand. He ordered the brother out of the car. The driver refused to explain but just ordered him out. When some bystanders saw the car leave without the brother, they told him that his God had saved him. “That car belongs to kidnappers!” they said. The brother’s “identification” had brought him Jehovah’s protection.
Grant is an eight-year-old publisher in the Copperbelt Province of Zambia. When just a toddler, he could relate simple stories about the pictures in the book The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. Grant’s parents encouraged him to memorize portions of the Bible before he could read. Now he serves as an unbaptized publisher. Grant conducts many Bible studies, some with the help of the publication My Book of Bible Stories and the rest with the brochure What Does God Require of Us? Because of his zealous activity, local children call Grant shimapepo mukalamba, meaning in the Cibemba language “the high priest.”
A man who began to study the Bible in Senegal read the account in the September 22, 1999, Awake! about the Witness and her young daughter in Canada who returned $1,000 that they found in a secondhand purse that they had purchased at a yard sale. Shortly after reading the article, this man found a wallet on the street that contained several identification cards as well as cash equivalent to more than $500 (U.S.). He thought hard about the article he had read and was not able to get much sleep that night.
The next morning at eight o’clock, the man contacted the owner of the wallet by telephone and arranged to meet him right away to return the wallet with all the money in it. The owner was so impressed by the honesty of this Bible student that he gave him half the money in the wallet—$250! “Because of that one Awake! magazine,” said the Bible student, “I have behaved in a way that I will be proud of for the rest of my life!” Since then, he has been taking his Bible study very seriously.
In the East African country of Uganda, 12-year-old Kandole would sit quietly and listen attentively while his mother studied the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. In time, the mother lost interest in the study, but the boy missed hearing the Word of God and asked where the Witnesses held their meetings. The following Sunday, he walked the seven miles [11 km] to the Kingdom Hall and after that attended regularly. A pioneer brother began to study the Bible with Kandole, who made fine progress and was baptized at 14 years of age. Now he is 17 and recently became a regular pioneer. His goal is to become a special pioneer. His mother eventually resumed her study and is now a baptized sister. Kandole no longer has to walk to the meetings. Now he has a bicycle, on which he gives his mother a ride to the Kingdom Hall.
Márcio was invited to serve at Bethel in Brazil. He comes from a poor part of the country, and none in his family are Witnesses. To help raise money to travel by bus to Bethel, he sold his personal possessions, which along with money given him by local Witnesses enabled him to make the trip. After a three-day journey, the bus was forced off the road by armed robbers. The robbers searched through each person’s possessions and took whatever they wanted. When they opened Márcio’s bag, they saw his Bible and then closed the bag without taking anything. When the bus arrived at the next town, the passengers were hungry, but most had no money left to buy food. Since Márcio’s wallet had not been taken by the robbers, he bought food for the other passengers, and this served as a great witness.
Osvaldo, who was studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses in Chile, received notice at his job that he would have to start working on Sundays. He told his supervisor that his contract was for working from Monday to Friday. Osvaldo added: “I am recently married, and I need to spend time with my wife. Also, I have set aside Sundays to give something to God.” His supervisor said that Osvaldo would be fired at the end of the month. Osvaldo was the only one of about 3,000 employees who did not go to work on Sundays. Instead, he continued to go to the meetings, putting his trust in Jehovah.
Soon the company was visited by a high-level manager from France. He stopped at Osvaldo’s desk to congratulate him for his good work. The manager said: “You are the only one who does not have games on your computer, and you work in an orderly manner.” Osvaldo thanked him for this commendation, adding that he would soon be leaving the company. The manager asked: “Have you received a better offer?” Osvaldo said no and explained the situation.
Some days later he received an invitation to attend a meeting with the supervisor and the manager. The air was tense. The manager said: “Osvaldo, you will not be working on Sundays, and rarely will you work on Saturdays. You will also be given additional responsibility in the company.” That same week Osvaldo was baptized. He now serves as an auxiliary pioneer with his wife.
In Ecuador a young man, baptized just this year, received his first student talk assignment in the main auditorium of the Kingdom Hall. He felt that giving the talk was such a privilege that he began to save money to buy a new suit. By the time he had saved $30, he learned of a sister in the congregation who had no money for medicine. He gave the sister the entire $30 he had saved, saying: “Jehovah will love me just as much when I give that talk in my old suit as he would if I gave it in a new one!”
A sister in Guatemala was engaged in street witnessing. She saw a man sitting on the doorstep of a house, but she thought that she should not preach to him because the house was in another congregation’s territory. She walked by but then felt impelled to talk to him. So she returned and spoke to him about Jehovah’s Kingdom. The man listened attentively. He then said: “Thank you for coming to talk to me, Madam, because I am here to kill a man who is coming at 7:45 a.m. He was on his way to the grave, and I was on my way to jail! I know that you did not come here on your own initiative; it was God who sent you to me so that I may come to know his love. I am going back into my house right now so that I will not commit this crime. May God bless you!”
During December 2000 and January 2001, the branch office in Colombia organized a campaign to preach in isolated territories. Witnesses in that country were encouraged to move to those territories for one week to two months, depending on their circumstances, to preach and to cultivate the interest.
Wanting to participate, a young sister from Bogotá went to the town of Guasca. The two months she spent there made her so happy that she asked Jehovah to help her find employment so that she could remain. She bought coconuts, made coconut cookies, and sold them on the streets and in shops. In addition, she got a job washing and ironing clothes and even learned how to milk cows. In that way she has been able to make a living and has continued serving as a regular pioneer in Guasca. She conducts 25 Bible studies.
A sister in Jamaica was told by a householder that no one could ever convince her to become a Witness. The sister explained that her reason for calling was to share the Bible’s message, including the hope of everlasting life. As they talked, the sister noted that the woman had a profound respect for the Bible. She noticed too that the woman’s strong objections to certain points could be overcome by reading relevant scriptures from the Bible. This prompted the sister to use the Bible extensively when visiting this person and also later when a Bible study had been established. Subsequently, the Bible student began attending meetings and became what she initially declared that she would never become—a dedicated and baptized Witness of Jehovah.
Carol, a sister in Bolivia, studied with a man and his wife. They lived in the home of the man’s mother, a staunch Catholic who never missed attending Mass or religious processions. The house was adorned with images, each with a candle burning before it. One day during the study, the mother burst into the room, Catholic Bible in hand, and challenged Carol directly: “Where does it say that Mary had other children?” Carol showed her Matthew 12:46-50 and 13:55. Crestfallen, the mother left the room. Minutes later she returned, proudly carrying another Bible, a large gilded one with pictures. Again she left, after being shown the same texts. Soon she entered with yet another Bible, but the texts read the same. She was reduced to silence.
During the following weeks, there were more interruptions. She asked questions but gradually began to mellow. She was becoming fascinated by the answers. Soon she accepted a Bible study of her own. Her former zeal for Catholicism developed into zeal for true worship. She began bringing her friends to the Kingdom Hall and, in time, was baptized.
Asia and the Middle East
Gary, who lives in Sri Lanka, offered the brochure You Can Be God’s Friend! to a Catholic man and his Buddhist wife. The wife insisted that only her husband would want to know more about the Bible. However, the next time Gary called, she said that she too was interested in knowing how to become a friend of God. The following week a study was started in the brochure, and the couple requested a Bible. The wife said: “I think we need a Bible if we are going to become friends of God.”
By the time they studied lesson 3 in the God’s Friend brochure, the wife had become enthusiastic about the study. That night they had an extra participant—a young man who boarded in their home. A few days before their fourth study, Gary brought them a Bible. It was promptly placed on display with their brochures, which were arranged on the table. On the night of their fourth study, they proudly reached for the Bible, in which many blue strings had been placed. The husband said: “We have the lesson all prepared.” They had located all the scriptures mentioned in the lesson and had put a blue string to mark the page of each verse.
Rowena, a single mother in her early 20’s who lives in the Philippines, became interested in the truth. A Bible study was started with her, and soon she began to attend meetings. However, because of financial problems, she was forced to leave her hometown to look for a job in a distant city. There she was employed as a housemaid for a devout Catholic family. She asked for directions to the nearest Kingdom Hall in the city, but the family was reluctant to help her contact the Witnesses.
Months passed, and Rowena fervently prayed to Jehovah that he would allow her to meet the Witnesses and continue her Bible study. One morning the telephone rang, and she answered. The caller said: “Hello, is this the Kingdom Hall?”
Rowena immediately answered: “I am looking for the Kingdom Hall. Can you help me find it?” Arrangements were made. Rowena resumed her Bible study and is now baptized.
A 12-year-old girl sent a letter to the branch office in Russia. She wrote: “I am a simple girl. I live in the Tyumen region of Siberia. Not long ago, for the first time in our little village in the middle of nowhere, we received the Watchtower magazine. I saw it in our school library. I decided to take it home to read. Through this magazine, I learned many new and interesting things. It brought me great pleasure simply to consider the pictures. I would like to receive more information. I would like to study the book of Revelation and the Bible, and I would like to learn more about your organization.” Arrangements have been made to help her.
While preaching from house to house in Lebanon, two Witnesses called at a home. After knocking, they noticed a sticker saying that Jehovah’s Witnesses were not welcome. A man answered the door. The sisters engaged him in conversation, and he invited them in. When he learned that they were Witnesses, he asked if they had read the sticker on the door. “Yes,” they replied, “but only after we had knocked.” He then explained that the house belonged to his parents, who disliked Jehovah’s Witnesses. However, he wanted to learn more and was especially curious because of the door stickers, which were common in the area.
The sisters arranged to visit the man at his home. A Bible study was started with him and his wife, and soon they began to attend meetings and to apply Bible principles. The husband says that never before had he opened the Bible, but the Witnesses helped him both to read and to understand it.
A sister who operates a beauty parlor in Korea displays the Bible along with other publications produced by Jehovah’s Witnesses. She also often plays the audiocassette of the book The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived. Upon hearing the recording, one woman asked for a copy, and a Bible study was started with her. A pastor’s wife also asked about the recording, saying that she had never heard such thought-provoking things at her church. She too asked for the cassettes and began studying with the Witnesses. Because of the literature display, a Buddhist likewise became interested and is now studying the Bible. To care for the spiritual needs of those whom she had contacted through informal witnessing, the sister became a regular pioneer.
A special pioneer couple in Malaysia witnessed to a man walking along the road. The man had many questions, so he invited the couple to his home. They followed him there and had an interesting discussion. Leaving to attend the Congregation Book Study, they invited him to go along, and he did. He enjoyed the meeting. After the meeting, they gave him a Require brochure and made arrangements to visit him the next day. When they arrived, he told them that after the meeting the preceding night, he had come home but had stayed up until 4:00 a.m. reading and praying.
This man was a minister of a church of Christendom. Although he had spent years in theological schools, he could never comprehend the Trinity. The Require brochure had directed him to Bible verses that revealed the truth about this unscriptural doctrine. Delighted to know who God really is, he told the couple: “I don’t believe in the Trinity anymore.” From then on, he refused to preach at his church. Instead, he attended the meetings of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The man studied Bible literature obtained from the Witnesses and compared what he learned with his theology notes. By the end of two weeks, he decided to change his whole course of life. He had come from India to pursue theological studies at the Trinity College in Singapore. However, he said: “How can I go to that college? Even the name is Trinity!” He left for his home country, eager to contact the Witnesses there. With a grateful heart, he said: “I have found the truth!”
One sister, a native of Kazakhstan, was extremely afraid to preach to other Kazakhs. When she began to pioneer, she worked territory in which people of other ethnic groups lived. However, one day while in her territory, she encountered a Kazakh woman. She offered her a copy of Awake!, which the woman accepted. It took two weeks for the sister to muster up the courage to make a return visit. To her surprise, she discovered that the woman was indignant that she had not come earlier. The woman literally dragged the sister into her apartment, showed her a copy of the Knowledge book, and said: “Let’s study the Bible!” After some time the woman and her older son were baptized at a circuit assembly. Now also her younger son serves as an unbaptized publisher, and her daughter, cousin, and nephew are studying the Bible.
In one Middle Eastern land, a special pioneer contacted a man named Mr. John who wanted to renew his subscriptions to The Watchtower and Awake! Mr. John explained that his grandfather, who lives in India, has been a Witness for a long time. Mr. John had attended Christian meetings in India but had not lived there for 19 years. He did not know how to contact the local Witnesses.
When the pioneer encouraged him to attend a meeting, Mr. John replied that he holds a meeting in his own house at the same time, adding that the meeting was “to study the Bible and pray.” Using issues of The Watchtower and the Knowledge book, Mr. John was studying the Bible with up to 25 fellow Indians. They had held weekly meetings for some years. Meanwhile, the English group there consists of just 12 publishers. The Indian group was visited, and steps are being taken to care for those interested ones spiritually.
In Nepal a girl lived in an orphanage that was supervised by Korean volunteers. While she was studying in the orphanage school, one of her teachers claimed to have found “real Christians.” This fatherless girl had always believed herself to be a true Christian. Since the people who ran the orphanage also claimed to be Christian, she wondered about the comment. To satisfy her curiosity, she wanted to meet these “real Christians.” It so happened that her teacher was studying with Jehovah’s Witnesses and attending meetings regularly. The girl contacted her teacher and attended a meeting with her. The girl was so impressed with what she observed that she immediately accepted a Bible study. She progressed quickly and was baptized within four months. After her baptism, she began auxiliary pioneering.
Each year in London, England, an exhibition is organized to provide information for the deaf community. Jehovah’s Witnesses set up a stall with Bibles and literature, including the video presentation What Does God Require of Us? in British Sign Language. Delighted to see the stall, a deaf woman approached saying that she had been looking everywhere for deaf Witnesses. She explained that a deaf Witness had often spoken to her when she lived in Mongolia. However, it was not until her father died that she appreciated the resurrection hope and began to study the Bible. After six months she moved to England, and though she found a Kingdom Hall, she did not understand the meeting and did not mention that she is deaf. She prayed to Jehovah to find deaf Jehovah’s Witnesses, and she did. Now she and her daughter are studying the Bible and attending sign-language meetings.
Andreia, an eight-year-old Witness in Portugal, noticed a schoolmate who was very sad because her parents had separated. Several days later, Andreia received the January 8, 2001, Awake!, which featured the cover series “Can We Save Our Marriage?” Excitedly, she explained to her mother that the articles would be good for the parents of her schoolmate. Andreia then arranged for one copy of the magazine to be delivered to the schoolmate’s father and another copy to the mother.
Shortly after that, Andreia’s schoolmate said to her: “My parents are living together again, and my father told me to tell you that we are now together, thanks to that magazine you gave to us!” Next, Andreia gave the family the book The Secret of Family Happiness. Andreia’s mother is now conducting a Bible study with the schoolmate’s mother.
While in field service in Italy, two Witnesses met an elderly man and presented the Watchtower and Awake! magazines to him. The man said that he could not read. He explained that at the age of seven, he had become a shepherd. After that, he lived in the mountains for 15 years, with only his sheep for company. He never went to school. As he tended his sheep, he would pray fervently that he be allowed to know God better. He said to the brothers who had called: “If only I could read your magazines, it would be a dream come true.”
One of the brothers said: “It is not too late for you to learn to read.” The next day, the shepherd went to the Kingdom Hall. With the help of the Witnesses, he learned to read and write. Today, this elderly man is a regular Bible reader and a tireless publisher of the good news.
Greenland, considered here with Europe, is the world’s largest island, though the entire population is only about 56,000. There are seven congregations in the country, some of them very small.
Harald is a 15-year-old unbaptized publisher who belongs to one of those congregations. When his school class went on a field trip, Harald did not go along. Instead, he attended another class, where the students had been assigned to speak about their religion. Though they had been given about two months to prepare, few of the students had anything to say, and those who did spoke only for a few minutes. Since the class was not to be dismissed for another half hour, the teacher asked: “How are we going to use the rest of the class period?” Harald—the visitor—raised his hand and said that he would be happy to tell them about his religion.
The teacher said: “Are you sure about that? You have not had time to prepare.” Harald said that he was prepared, and he went on to give a fine witness to the class. When the teacher in Harald’s own class found out what he had done, he asked Harald to do the same in his own class. This time he was given a week to prepare. He brought along some Bible publications to show to his classmates and to his teacher.
Pia, who lives in Denmark, wanted her newborn baby to be christened in the church. Her husband did not believe in infant baptism, so they debated the matter. Finally, they decided to discuss the matter with their minister. The clergyman told them that infant baptism is not Scriptural. Pia was angry with the church and its clergymen because for 32 years she had been taught to believe something that is wrong. She dropped the idea of having the baby baptized and decided to read the Bible herself to find out what is right and what is wrong.
In May 2000 a Witness visited Pia, and she accepted a Bible study. After attending the district convention, she said: “I do not understand everything yet, but now I do know that the National Church does not have the truth.” She is now an unbaptized publisher and is quickly progressing toward baptism.
A brother in Slovenia was relaxing in a park with his son and noticed that a female student had separated herself from a group of students. He started a conversation with her about spiritual topics. Later, the brother and his wife started a Bible study with the student, whose name is Silvia. She brought her boyfriend along to the Bible study, and now he studies the Bible too. Silvia spoke about the truth to her mother, who also began to study. Now all three of them regularly attend meetings at the Kingdom Hall. Silvia is an unbaptized publisher. Interestingly, Silvia recalls that on the day she met the brother in the park, she had prayed to God to help her understand why this world is so senseless.
In recent years, immigrants from South and Central America have flocked to Spain. A pioneer sister preaching from house to house witnessed to a lady from Colombia. The lady listened attentively and accepted a Bible study. On the following visit, the pioneer sister offered a Bible study to others who lived in the same apartment. Several of them accepted the offer. Since residents of the apartment were constantly moving, the sister witnessed to whomever she met there. So far, she has started 20 Bible studies. Some of them have moved, and it is not known whether they continue to study. However, ten studies are now being conducted regularly, and some students are already attending meetings.
Though she has been listening to the message for the last 40 years, an 82-year-old woman in Crete only recently became an unbaptized publisher. The personal interest shown to her by a special pioneer sister prompted her to start to make progress, and she was baptized.
Others in her family soon followed suit. This elderly woman’s 86-year-old husband, who smoked for 60 years, began to study the Bible, quit using tobacco, and became an unbaptized publisher. The couple’s 55-year-old daughter is also making fine progress in her study. She attends meetings and has stopped smoking. Finally, one of the couple’s great-grandsons started to study the Bible and has expressed the desire to enroll in the Theocratic Ministry School.
While witnessing in an apartment building next to the one in which she lived, a missionary sister in Estonia met a woman who asked her if she had a good husband. The sister replied that she did. The woman then asked her where she lived. The sister said that she lived in the adjacent building. At that the woman got excited and said: “Oh, then it is you—you must be the one. You often eat on your balcony, don’t you?”
The sister answered: “Yes, with my husband.”
The woman said: “Well, I have been watching you. Your husband wears an apron, and he often serves the food. Oh, I can see that you have such a good marriage! I can’t see you from my apartment, but I always go to my friend’s balcony to watch you. We notice that you always say a prayer before you start to eat. It is so beautiful to see. Please, won’t you come in?” Since then, the lady has become a regular return visit.
This region of the earth encompasses the islands of the southern, western, and central Pacific Ocean, including Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia. Australia, New Zealand, the Malay Archipelago, and the Hawaiian Islands are also included here.
One day two sisters in New Zealand saw a woman working in her garden. They stopped to help her pull out some bamboo. Amazed at their kindness, she gave them coffee, and they gave her a witness. She wrote to the local newspaper about what had happened. The paper contacted the congregation to tell them that they had won a beautiful bouquet of flowers for their kindness.
The article said: “When Jehovah’s Witnesses dug out a widow’s troublesome bamboo, they merely did what comes naturally to them—they helped someone in need. Their kindness made her day. That Someone was so grateful that she told us all about it. This story was drawn as the winner of the August bouquet. We hope the bouquet will bring them pleasure as their kindness did.”
On one of the islands of Vanuatu, two pioneers witnessed to a young girl working in a store. She accepted both a Require brochure and a Bible study. Her father was strongly opposed and did not want his daughter to study with the Witnesses. He destroyed her Bible literature, beat her severely, and finally told her to move out of his home. Meanwhile, the girl progressed in knowledge, attended meetings, and cultivated the fruits of the spirit. (Gal. 5:22, 23) Her respectful attitude eventually impressed her father, who calmed down and invited her back home. She enrolled in the Theocratic Ministry School and attended her first circuit assembly, on the nearby island of Santo. When she was asked how she was able to afford to travel, she answered with a smile: “My father paid for the ticket.”
Clarence was a friendly man who always took the magazines whenever the publishers called at his home in Hawaii. A pioneer who met him one day noticed that Clarence had a copy of the book You Can Live Forever in Paradise on Earth and offered him a Bible study. Clarence readily accepted, saying that he had always wanted to learn about the Bible. Clarence prepared well for his Bible study and soon began attending congregation meetings.
But Clarence had changes to make. As a World War I veteran, he would proudly march with other veterans in parades on holidays. Then, at Christmastime, he would volunteer to ring the bell at a donation kettle for the Salvation Army. It took some time for him to realize what it means to be no part of Satan’s world. Eventually, though, he qualified to share in the ministry.
Clarence was baptized at 85 years of age and continues to have an active share in the ministry. He gives student talks on the Theocratic Ministry School. Recently, he has learned to use the computer so that he can do research using the Watchtower Library on CD-ROM. With firm conviction, Clarence said: “Nothing can turn me away from serving Jehovah now that I have found the truth.”
While doing telephone witnessing in Australia, a sister asked a man if he could put aside 15 minutes a week to discuss the Bible. He said he could not possibly do that. The sister asked: “What about five minutes?” He reluctantly agreed. The following week, they started having their five-minute studies. Soon he began to ask thoughtful questions. Since the sister was keeping the study to only five minutes, she would say: “Well, that’s a good question, but our time is up, so we’ll make that the subject of our next lesson. Good-bye.”
When the man asked how he could know which is the right religion, that was made the subject of the next lesson. After that lesson, he said: “Jehovah’s Witnesses must have the right religion, but I can’t just believe and convert. I think I need to take in more knowledge.” As his interest grew, the length of the studies gradually increased from 5 minutes to 30 minutes.
After they completed the Require brochure, the sister asked the man if she and her husband could meet him at his home to discuss what he had learned thus far. He agreed. They visited him, expressing pleasure for the privilege of helping him during the preceding six months and encouraging him to continue. Now the sister’s husband goes to the student’s home each week to conduct the study.
There are still many parts of Papua New Guinea where the good news has not yet been preached because the villages are difficult to reach. Generally, the only way to contact the people from these villages is to meet them when they come to town to purchase supplies. In this way a man from a remote village obtained a copy of The Watchtower. After reading it, he wrote the branch office for more information. A missionary was asked to contact him. The only way to do so was by mail, and as a result, many studies were conducted with interested people by mail.
Determined to visit the area, some missionaries set out in a four-wheel-drive vehicle. It was a six-hour trip, mostly on a hazardous bush road that twisted through narrow mountain passes and across rivers. At one point, the “road” was a riverbed. When they arrived at their destination, they discovered a beautiful low plain of four-to-five square miles [10-12 sq km] surrounded by lush, jungle-clad mountains with their tops in the clouds. It was like stepping back in time. The homes were built of bamboo, as they had been for centuries. When the people heard that the missionaries had arrived, they came together excitedly. Though many had never met Jehovah’s Witnesses before, they were already studying The Watchtower twice a week, and almost all of them had left the Lutheran Church.
The missionaries demonstrated how to conduct meetings and also announced that there would be a public talk the following day at 8:00 a.m. The next day, some men got up at 4:30 a.m. and went to nearby villages to invite people to the talk. The remaining villagers built a hall for the meeting. Large branches served as benches, and leafy branches provided shade. A speaker’s stand was made from bamboo. Everyone was excited. There were 44 in attendance at the meeting, and 11 new ones gave their names to have a study by mail. The missionaries returned home exhausted but extremely satisfied with what had been accomplished.
[Picture on page 45]
Eight-year-old Grant of Zambia conducts many Bible studies
[Picture on page 57]
The stall used at exhibitions for the deaf in England