Number of lands: 56
Number of publishers: 983,057
Number of Bible studies: 1,769,182
Did you know that the good news is being preached in the Sahara? Seventeen-year-old Nafissatou lives in a mining town in northern Niger. When the conversation among a group of her schoolmates shifted to the topic of pornography, Nafissatou walked away. A student followed and asked what was wrong. Nafissatou replied that she did not like that kind of conversation. At first the girl made fun of her, remarking that just looking at pornography could not have bad consequences. Nafissatou replied that the matter was serious because the Creator does not approve of such things. She then took the book Questions Young People Ask—Answers That Work from her school bag and showed the girl the portion that discusses the dangers of pornography. Next she took out her Bible and read 2 Corinthians 7:1 to the girl. The girl admitted that when she watched immoral videos, strong feelings arose in her that she could not explain. She asked for a copy of the Young People Ask book. Nafissatou gave her one and later said: “The next time I saw her, she was alone, so I asked where her friends were. She said, ‘My friend is this book.’ I started a study with her, and she attended the Memorial.”
More than 15 years ago, a woman studied the Bible with a missionary sister in Tanzania. The study was conducted for several years. The woman hesitated to take a stand for the truth because of opposition from her family, and eventually the study was stopped. However, her two young daughters had been quietly listening as their mother studied. When the older daughter moved out of the house at the age of 18, she immediately went to the Kingdom Hall and asked for a study. She made rapid progress and was baptized. Her younger sister also asked to have a Bible study, and she too was baptized. The mother, encouraged by her daughters’ firm stand for the truth, decided to resume her Bible study. This time she overcame the fear of man that had previously held her back, and she was baptized at a circuit assembly in May 2004.
When a congregation obeys the command “to look after orphans and widows in their tribulation,” Jehovah’s blessing is certain to follow. (Jas. 1:27) This proved true of a congregation in Lesotho. One of the baptized members of the congregation was a single parent named Mapolo, who had four young sons. Mapolo knew that she had a terminal illness and prepared her children to care for themselves. She studied the Bible with them, took them to meetings, and taught them how to make brooms, which they sold by the roadside. When Mapolo died in 1998, her orphaned sons came under the care of their grandmother. The missionary sister who had helped Mapolo to become a baptized Witness approached a social welfare agency on the orphans’ behalf and obtained payment of their school fees. Other Witnesses provided the boys with clothing. Then the grandmother died. A brother in the congregation studied the Bible with them and paid their rent. All four boys attend the meetings regularly. Two are unbaptized publishers, and the oldest, Rantso, now 20 years old, was baptized at a circuit assembly in March 2004. He conducted a Bible study with his cousin, Retselisitsoe, who was baptized on the same day. Rantso expresses deep appreciation for the loving care that the brothers have given to him and his siblings for many years.
A missionary in Cameroon reports: “Each week, as I was studying the Bible with a young man, I heard someone in the house singing religious songs. I asked my student, ‘Who is the mysterious singer?’ It was his brother, Stephen, who is blind. Using the audiocassette for the brochure What Does God Require of Us? I started a Bible study with Stephen. Our goal was to memorize one Bible verse each lesson. Stephen has an excellent memory and learned many Bible verses. He also attends meetings and frequently comments. Recently, he gave his first talk in the Theocratic Ministry School. It was a Bible reading, and since Stephen does not know Braille, he had to learn it by heart. I look forward to taking Stephen by the hand and accompanying him in the ministry soon. One of Stephen’s favorite Bible verses is Isaiah 35:5, which says: ‘The eyes of the blind ones will be opened.’ Stephen rejoices that his spiritual eyes have already been opened, and he now sings praises to Jehovah, thanking him that in the future his physical sight will also be restored.”
In war-torn Liberia, a woman named Nancy approached a Witness and asked for a Bible study. Her church pastor had told her that God would send Jehovah’s Witnesses to hell because they are false Christians. However, she lived near some Witnesses, and she observed that whenever there was a lull in the shooting, the local elders of the congregation would always check on the welfare of their brothers. She noted, too, that the Witnesses took advantage of any calm period to preach to others. Nancy and many others in the town were impressed when a vehicle from the branch office was the first to cross the lines with badly needed relief supplies, donated by Witnesses in France and Belgium. “I think that you people have the truth,” she said. She progresses well in her study.
A young man came to a village in Uganda to do some masonry work on the house where the brothers conduct meetings. One of the pioneers took the opportunity to witness to the mason, who liked what he heard. Soon, though, he had to return to his village farther up the mountains. Since there were no Witnesses where the man lived, the pioneer explained where he could find the nearest Kingdom Hall. The young man rode his bicycle some 20 miles [30 km] on narrow dirt roads down a mountain to look for the brothers. Since he didn’t find anyone at the Kingdom Hall, he left a note under the door, requesting a Bible study. A pioneer who later went to look for him at his village was surprised to find some 200 people waiting to hear the Bible’s message! Many of them showed sincere interest in studying the Bible. Meetings are now being conducted in this remote area.
Early one evening in a small village of about 600 people in southeastern Nigeria, the villagers saw a bright light in the sky reflected in the river. The light seemed to be advancing in their direction, so the villagers ran for safety. Many thought that it was the destruction that Jehovah’s Witnesses had been preaching about, so they ran to the Kingdom Hall, saying, “Armageddon will not destroy this building.” Finally, at about 10:00 p.m., the villagers realized that the source of the light was a large bushfire. When the brothers asked the villagers why they did not run to nearby churches, one man replied: “Others are nonsense churches. Your Armageddon will destroy them but not the Kingdom Hall.”
A sister who is a regular pioneer in a refugee camp in Guinea relates: “While in the house-to-house ministry, I met an eight-year-old girl at her home. She is disabled. She told me that her parents usually leave her at home all day and lock the door. I told her that I wanted her to be my friend. I then asked her what she would like God to do for her. She told me that she wanted God to make her walk. I opened the Bible to Isaiah 35:5, 6 and showed her that Jehovah promises that the lame one will walk. I then opened the brochure Enjoy Life on Earth Forever! to the picture that shows Jesus healing the sick. I also told her that these blessings would be hers if she studied the Bible and did what Jehovah requires of her. She agreed to a home Bible study. We have completed the Life on Earth brochure and have almost completed the brochure You Can Be God’s Friend! After three weeks of study, she expressed her desire to attend meetings. Since she cannot walk to the meetings, I go to her house and carry her on my back to the meetings. She loves the meetings so much that if I do not go to get her, she becomes upset with me and will even cry.”
▪ THE AMERICAS
Number of lands: 56
Number of publishers: 3,165,925
Number of Bible studies: 3,089,453
Marie from Guadeloupe reports: “On the beach by the hotel where I work, a few customers called to my attention that some clothes and shoes had been left on a rock for two days. I collected the items with the idea of finding information that might identify the owner. What I found was a purse that contained 1,067 euros [$1,372 U.S.]! Several bystanders urged me to keep part of the money and to share the rest with them. Right away, I told them that I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and that my conscience compells me to be honest. So I took everything to the reception desk of the hotel. The employees there were also astonished that I did not keep the money. Again I explained my position. When I went back to the beach, some of the people there were eager to know more about our beliefs. Using the Bible, I witnessed to them. Among them was a woman who said, ‘I will employ only Jehovah’s Witnesses to work for me.’” Since then, the owner has been found, and the police congratulated the sister for her honesty.
Antonio is a Bethelite in Mexico who takes advantage of every opportunity to speak to people about the truth. Recently, while traveling by bus to a congregation meeting, he placed a tract with a well-dressed man and woman. A pleasant conversation ensued. “I said good-bye to them at my bus stop,” said Antonio, “but to my surprise, they wanted to get off with me to continue the conversation, even though it was not their stop. After getting off, we talked a little more, and again I said good-bye. They asked, ‘Where are you going?’ ‘To a meeting with my congregation,’ I answered. They looked at each other and then asked, ‘May we go with you?’ ‘I will be happy to take you!’ I replied.” Both the young woman, who is a lawyer, and her nephew, who is a university student, had heard the message of truth some years before but did not pursue it because of family opposition. While they accompanied Antonio to the meeting, they expressed the hope of seeing the person who had first spoken to them about the Bible. What a pleasant surprise it was for them to meet her there! They were delighted at having attended and were eager to study the Bible. “It was Jehovah who guided us here, and from now on we will continue to come,” said the young woman. Arrangements were made for a study, which is being conducted twice a week.
In Haiti, Jacqueline, a circuit overseer’s wife, was accompanying a pioneer sister in the preaching work when they saw a young woman sitting alone along the roadside and crying. The sisters approached her and asked why she was so distressed. At first, the young woman refused to answer, but in response to gentle insistence, she replied, “I have done what I wanted to do.” Immediately discerning that she had taken poison, Jacqueline asked her and received a confirming nod. The sisters quickly rushed her to a hospital for treatment. The following week, the pioneer sister returned to visit and encourage her. A Bible study was started.
At the checkout at a supermarket in Paraguay, Lourdes was shocked to learn that she was paying with a counterfeit bill. The cashier immediately called security. Lourdes and Ingrid, her five-year-old daughter, were taken to a small room to await the police. The manager of the supermarket and the security guard demanded that the sister tell them where she had got the counterfeit bill. Lourdes could not remember where she had got it and told them that she did not know that it was counterfeit. Upset, Ingrid looked at the manager and the security guard and said: “You are treating us like thieves. My mother is not a thief. We are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and we do not lie to people.” The manager asked Lourdes if she was a Witness, and she said yes. A phone call to the branch office of Jehovah’s Witnesses finally convinced the men that Lourdes was indeed a Witness. They apologized to Lourdes and Ingrid for the inconvenience and let them go. Young Ingrid later said that the worst thing about the whole situation was that they were unable to buy the bag of popcorn that she wanted so much.
A brother was preaching in Costa Rica and decided to approach his Catholic neighbor to witness to him. The brother was fearful because the man did not like the Witnesses; he had even been abusive toward them. To the brother’s surprise, the man invited him inside and explained his change of attitude. A friend of his had invited him to visit a distant community to attend an Evangelical church. Once there, the man was invited to give his personal “testimony.” He just said that he was Catholic. The people did not like that and ordered him out of the church, telling the friend that he risked being condemned because he associated with a Catholic. The man left the church, but since he was far from home in an unfamiliar area, he did not know where he would spend the night. He called at a house and explained what had happened, and he was invited in. There he was fed, and a place was offered for him to spend the night. The owners of the house also preached to this man. Yes, they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. What an impact it had on this man to find out that the Witnesses truly love their neighbor! Now he is studying the Bible with the Witnesses.
A sister in Trinidad writes: “While I was doing street witnessing, a woman approached me and asked for the latest magazines. After placing several magazines with her, I offered her a free home Bible study. The woman said that she had studied before but had recently moved into the area. I asked for her name and address, but the woman refused, saying that if we really serve the true God, he would show me where she lived. The next day while in the door-to-door ministry, I knocked on a door, and the same woman answered. On seeing my partner and me, she laughed in astonishment and said, ‘How did you find me so quickly?’ I asked if she remembered what she told me the previous day. She invited us into her home, and a study was started. Now the woman is an unbaptized publisher.”
▪ ASIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
Number of lands: 47
Number of publishers: 574,927
Number of Bible studies: 444,717
Ghanshyam is a regular pioneer in Nepal. He makes his living driving a taxicab. In his work he meets people of many backgrounds and finds that most of them are in a hurry, even during the night, and have little time for conversation. Still, he makes a conscientious effort to initiate a conversation. Whenever possible, he gives his passengers an appropriate tract and the address of the nearest Kingdom Hall. Many passengers have expressed their appreciation. Five of them now study the Bible with Ghanshyam.
In Taiwan a sister’s husband often used his powerful voice to berate his wife, especially when she was about to go to a Christian meeting. Then one day he had a stroke. He was paralyzed and confined to a hospital. The sister patiently cared for him and tactfully used his rehabilitation period to help him appreciate Bible truth. She said: “You need to exercise your brain, so I will give you some information, and you try to remember it, OK?” He knew that he had to think, so he agreed. The sister used information from various brochures to teach him some basic truths, such as God’s name and attributes and the theme of the Bible. Additionally, many of the brothers visited him and showed him kindness. This moved him so much that on returning home from the hospital, he agreed to have a Bible study. He has now started attending meetings in a wheelchair and is using his powerful voice to comment.
Rohana, a special pioneer working in a rural area of Sri Lanka, faced opposition from a man who operates a pedicab—a tricycle with a two-seat passenger compartment. On seeing Rohana in the ministry, he would shout abuse. Once he threatened Rohana that if he did not stop preaching in the area, he might be stabbed. Rohana reacted with mildness. Later, the man met with an accident and was hospitalized with severe injuries. Rohana visited him in the hospital and brought him a gift. When the man saw who had come to visit him, he began to cry and asked Rohana’s forgiveness for all the abusive treatment that he had given him. “Sir, because of the way I treated you, it would have been better for you to hit me with a pole than to come all this way to comfort me,” the man said. Now he is out of the hospital and continues his pedicab service. He also regularly reads our magazines.
A large number of foreigners come to Hong Kong to work as domestic helpers. One such woman had begun studying the brochure What Does God Require of Us? in the Philippines and wanted to continue her Bible study. However, she did not know how to find the Witnesses, so she prayed for help in finding them. On her day off, she traveled across the harbor to the main business district and central park area where many Filipinos gather on weekends. She searched but did not see anyone whom she could identify as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, though they regularly witness in the park on the weekends. Nevertheless, she did see a Require brochure thrown in a trash bin. The woman picked up the brochure and saw that it had a phone number written on it. The number was that of the sister who had originally placed the brochure. The woman was greatly surprised and overjoyed to learn that the sister worked in the same housing complex that she did. She resumed her Bible study and is attending meetings.
A circuit overseer and another elder in the Republic of Korea made a shepherding call at just the right time. They visited a sister who had been inactive for ten years. Her husband, an atheist, had decided to attend church after he underwent an operation. When the brothers visited, they met her husband, who after a friendly conversation accepted the Require brochure. The elder encouraged the sister as he studied with the husband. The husband accepted an invitation to attend the district convention, after which he stopped attending church and became regular at meetings. The sister also progressed and asked that visits be made to their four sons and daughters living in another city. As a result, this sister’s husband, her eldest daughter and her husband, and her youngest daughter have been baptized. Later, her eldest son and his wife were also baptized, making a total of six new Witnesses.
Yuki, a high school student in Japan, found it difficult to tell her classmates that she was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Aware that she should give a witness, she realized that she would have to take the initiative, since her classmates never brought up the subject of religion. She decided to let her friends see her offer a prayer at lunchtime. All morning, she prayed earnestly for courage. Then, instead of racing through her lunchtime prayer so that no one would notice, she bowed her head and prayed a little longer. When she finished, a classmate asked her if she was feeling all right. However, Yuki was unable to witness. Feeling very bad about it, she later apologized to Jehovah in prayer and again asked for courage. The next day, after Yuki prayed, her classmate again asked her how she was, and Yuki thought, ‘It has to be now!’ She explained that she is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. At first her classmate was surprised, but then she bombarded Yuki with questions—What do you pray for? What is God’s name? Who was Jesus? and so on. Yuki was thrilled.
In Kupang, Indonesia, Glenn was known as a drunkard and a drug addict. People would hire him to threaten or beat up others. He was staying with his parents when two of Jehovah’s Witnesses called and discussed the Bible with them. Soon Glenn accepted a Bible study and with great effort began to break free from his unwholesome habits. One day a shop owner advanced him a huge sum of money to beat up a certain man. Glenn thought about the offer but decided not to accept such jobs anymore. He returned the money and refused the job. Later when Glenn went to a different shop, that owner was afraid that he had come to beat him up. Glenn convinced the owner that now he studies the Bible and lives a peaceful life. The shop owner accepted a Bible study and also gave him a job at the shop. At the district convention last year, Glenn was baptized, and the shop owner was present.
Number of lands: 46
Number of publishers: 1,490,345
Number of Bible studies: 733,728
After Jacoba, an 88-year-old sister in the Netherlands, passed away, her relatives received an official letter from the local police. She had faithfully delivered the magazines to them for many years. The letter read, in part: “She was very special to us. She paid regular visits to our station, and we loved having a cup of tea with her. We admired her courage—at her ripe old age still going out on her bicycle, come rain or shine, to visit people in order to spread her beliefs. She will be sorely missed around here.”
From Switzerland comes this experience. A family of Jehovah’s Witnesses going on vacation entrusted the keys to their apartment to the son of another Witness family, asking that during their absence, he feed the fish in the aquarium. When the boy first went to the apartment, he had a problem unlocking the door. A woman in the apartment opposite heard some noise and peeked out of her door. When she saw the boy trying to open the door of the apartment, she concluded that he was a burglar and called the police. After the boy finished his task, he came out and was confronted by two armed policemen! “What are you doing here?” they inquired. “I just fed the fish, as I was asked to do,” he answered. The policemen did not believe him. He explained: “I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and so is the family living here. They asked me to do this for them during their absence, so they gave me their keys.” The policemen were not convinced and wanted to take him to the police station. “Wait a minute,” said the youngster. “My friends left their mobile phone number here on this paper; you can call them right now and ask if what I said is true.” The policemen then called the number and verified the boy’s story. At that, they excused themselves and left. When the family returned home from vacation, they contacted the woman in the apartment opposite, who had only recently moved there. They thanked her for her concern. Then they explained that like themselves, the boy is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and that he is absolutely trustworthy. Since the woman did not know much about Jehovah’s Witnesses, a conversation ensued, which led to her accepting a Bible study.
While engaging in house-to-house witnessing in Italy, a sister had the opportunity to speak with a young woman who is a mother and a busy career woman. Having tried many times to contact her again but without success, the sister decided to telephone her. On the phone, the young woman explained that she really did not have time to discuss the Bible. The sister said: “In 10 or 15 minutes, you can learn something new, even by telephone.” “Well, if it’s by phone, then, OK!” answered the woman. Recently, the sister left her the book Knowledge That Leads to Everlasting Life and started the study over the telephone. The study is usually held Saturday mornings, but the 10 or 15 minutes have now become 30 minutes.
Angela is one of a growing number of publishers in Britain who have taken up the challenge of witnessing to the many foreigners who now reside there. When she visited a Chinese take-out shop, one of the staff waved her away. As Angela was leaving, however, a Chinese woman came running out from the back of the shop, calling out God’s name in Chinese. After that initial conversation, Angela left magazines with her regularly. Although the woman liked the publications, she explained that she found it difficult to believe that God created the universe. She thought that all things came about by chance.
The woman’s work at the take-out shop was to prepare egg rolls. Angela asked her how many ingredients she used to make an egg roll. She answered: “Five.” Angela then suggested that the next time she made egg rolls, she throw the five ingredients up in the air and see how many egg rolls they made. The following week when Angela visited the shop, the Chinese woman met her, presented her with a freshly made egg roll, and said that she now accepted that God had made the universe. A regular Bible study was started, and this woman is making good progress in learning the truth from God’s Word.
In Germany, when radioactive waste from nuclear power plants is transported by railroad, environmental activists often protest. Railroad operations are therefore heavily guarded by police, who must clear the railway lines in advance of the train. In November 2003, one such operation took place close to where Gudrun was pioneering. “I envisioned policemen sitting and waiting for hours on end,” she explained, “so I decided to approach them to offer them something to read.” Gudrun found the policemen to be quite friendly. Carrying a wicker basket filled with copies of The Watchtower and Awake!, she had no difficulty in gaining access to the policemen. A group of them from Bavaria even took a photograph of her offering them the Awake! at their vehicle. In two days she traveled over 70 miles [120 km], speaking with more than 100 policemen along the route. She placed 184 magazines. “It is an experience I shall never forget!” she said with enthusiasm.
In Spain, on leaving work one day, Ana María went to the bus stop, and while waiting there, she began to read some of the notices that were posted. One of them immediately caught her eye. It read: “I urgently need to contact Jehovah’s Witnesses so that I can continue my Bible study.” Ana María called the phone number right away and arranged to meet the woman, whose name was Felicitas. She had recently arrived from Ecuador, where she had studied the Bible for two years. The Bible study was quickly resumed, and Felicitas and her son have attended all the meetings ever since. They are grateful that their spiritual progress was not interrupted for very long.
A woman in Bulgaria joined her grandson in studying the Bible with the Witnesses. She was fascinated to learn that God’s name is Jehovah. Since her Bible did not contain God’s name, she decided to go to a bookstore to buy one that did. The storekeeper asked her what she was looking for. When she told him, he began shouting at her: “You belong to that sect!” Just then, a priest walked into the store. When he was asked, “What is God’s name?” he replied: “Jehovah, of course. Now stop shouting at this woman.” The storekeeper was astounded. The woman and three members of her family are making fine spiritual progress.
A family in Russia experienced a tragedy: the parents lost their beloved son. On the eve of his funeral, the mother telephoned all the friends of her son, using the phone numbers found in his notebook. The book included the phone number of a family of Jehovah’s Witnesses, whom the mother also invited to the funeral. The Witness family did not know the parents, but they decided to take advantage of the opportunity to comfort the family. The brother spoke to the father about the resurrection hope and left with him the brochure When Someone You Love Dies. The brother visited him two days later. The father said: “The brochure made a great impression on us. We have decided to make time for studying the Bible.” The wife has enrolled in the Theocratic Ministry School and is preparing to become an unbaptized publisher.
Number of lands: 30
Number of publishers: 94,087
Number of Bible studies: 48,307
Olena was just 12 years old when she was baptized in December 2003, in Hawaii. Unlike youths who are recreation-oriented, Olena has solid spiritual goals. She said: “I was very happy to auxiliary pioneer in March and May, and I really enjoyed working with the pioneers and the older ones. For example, on Saturday afternoons I had the privilege of joining a former missionary on her Chinese calls and Bible studies. I found the language to be interesting. My big goal is to be a regular pioneer in a foreign-language congregation. To reach that goal, I go out after school on Wednesdays as well as on Saturdays and Sundays. Also, I plan to auxiliary pioneer as often as I can.” What else does Olena feel will help her to attain her goals? “Safeguarding my heart means that I have to show by my actions that pleasing Jehovah is important to me,” she said. “Associating with those who feel the same way about Jehovah will help me stay on the path of righteousness. Spending more time serving Jehovah means spending less time with people who have worldly attitudes. This protects me from thinking that material things and immoral entertainment can make me happy.”
It is a common practice in the Solomon Islands for parents to give one or two of their young children to relatives to raise. On learning what Jehovah expects of parents, one couple negotiated the return of their daughter, Deborah, who was by then a teenager. How would things turn out when she suddenly found herself part of a family of Witnesses, with their busy schedule of meetings, witnessing, and family Bible study? Deborah recalls: “Even at the first meeting I went to, I got the feeling that those attending were really glad that I had come. I expected to see some clergymen wearing special robes, but there were none. It seemed that everyone was joining in the meetings, even the little ones.” It was not long before Deborah did the same. Something that also impresses her is the way her father instructs her and her siblings. She says: “Dad helps us to think carefully about the examples of people in the Bible. This really helps me when I’m having a struggle with myself.” Deborah, now an unbaptized publisher, says how glad she is that the truth from God’s Word moved her parents to bring her back into the family and onto the road to life.
Parts of Papua New Guinea are mountainous, and many villages cannot be reached by road. Some of these villages are untouched by modern civilization. However, the good news of the Kingdom has a way of penetrating even these areas. A man named Leanna came to a congregation meeting in the capital, Port Moresby. The brothers were surprised to learn that he is a chief of an isolated village high in the mountains, where his people have no access to any modern conveniences. It took Leanna five days to walk through the bush to the highway. From there he traveled on a truck to the capital. He said that about four years ago, he came to the city, and on the street he met a brother who placed a Watchtower magazine with him. Leanna took the magazine back to his village, and after reading it, he began to teach the people in his village from the magazine. He did so every Sunday for several years, carefully keeping the magazine in a plastic cover to protect it. Finally, the people in the village persuaded him to find the publishers of the magazine. He traveled back to the city and contacted the brothers, who arranged to study with him. Leanna stayed for about two weeks with a Witness family and completed a study of the Require brochure. When it was explained to him that there was a congregation in a town that was not too far from his village, he got very excited and exclaimed: “That’s easy! That’s only a two-day walk from my village!” Equipped with a bag full of literature and a deepened understanding of the truth of God’s Word, he made the long trip back to his village. Arrangements have been made for this village to receive a visit sometime in the near future so that people there can be taught the Bible accurately.
In the island nation of Kiribati, a sister who works in the translation office of Jehovah’s Witnesses relates this experience: “One morning I put a Watchtower magazine discussing the topic of hell in my bag and decided to feature it, even though it was an older issue. My partner and I met a man. We introduced ourselves and presented the magazine to him after briefly stating what the Bible says about hell. He hung his head and said nothing for quite a while, so I asked him if something was wrong. As he lifted his head, I noticed that he was weeping. He told us that the subject of the magazine had struck him. His son died just a few weeks earlier, and he and his wife were still grieving. They both had been praying continually that God would lighten their hearts because they believed that their son was in a fiery hell. On hearing what the Bible actually says about the condition of the dead, the man was astounded and very happy. A study was started on the return visit. He often says that he prayed to God to show him the truth and that he longed to find a religion that truly teaches the Bible. He has started attending meetings and prepares well to give heartfelt answers during the Watchtower Study.”
In December 2003, more than 60,000 delegates attended the largest convention ever held in Australia by Jehovah’s Witnesses. Returning from the Sydney convention, six-year-old Alyscea was eager to show her schoolmates the new book, Learn From the Great Teacher. Coming to pick her up that afternoon, Alyscea’s mother was surprised to see the words “Give God Glory” written in large letters across the classroom blackboard. That morning Alyscea had shared her convention report with three teachers and her 24 classmates. All were impressed with the new book and Alyscea’s enthusiastic review of some of the program highlights. The words “Give God Glory” had remained on the blackboard all day.
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Rantso (second from right) with his cousin and brothers, Lesotho
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