Preaching and Teaching Earth Wide
TO HIS first-century disciples, the words of Jesus must have seemed puzzling. He foretold that they would be objects of hatred by all the nations—they would be killed and delivered up to tribulation. Moreover, many would be stumbled and betrayed. But then, Jesus said that the good news would be preached in all the earth. (Matt. 24:9-14) Just how successful could a global preaching campaign be in the face of worldwide opposition? In the pages that follow, you will find the answer to that intriguing question.
2010 Grand Totals
Branches of Jehovah’s Witnesses: 116
Number of Lands Reporting: 236
Total Congregations: 107,210
Worldwide Memorial Attendance: 18,706,895
Memorial Partakers Worldwide: 11,202
Peak of Publishers in Kingdom Service: 7,508,050
Average Publishers Preaching Each Month: 7,224,930
Percentage of Increase Over 2009: 2.5
Total Number Baptized: 294,368
Average Auxiliary Pioneer Publishers Each Month: 287,960
Average Pioneer Publishers Each Month: 844,901
Total Hours Spent in Field: 1,604,764,248
Average Home Bible Studies Each Month: 8,058,359
During the 2010 service year, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent over $155 million in caring for special pioneers, missionaries, and traveling overseers in their field service assignments.
◼ Worldwide, a total of 20,062 ordained ministers staff the branch facilities. All are members of the Worldwide Order of Special Full-Time Servants of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
BIBLE STUDIES 2,596,614
GROUP SEARCHES FOR TRUTH. In a small village in Madagascar, 80 people decided to leave the National Protestant Church. They built a church for themselves and began to search for the true religion, examining each of the local religions in turn. They concluded that the Catholics did not study the Bible and that within the Lutheran Church there were dissensions. The Pentecostals, they felt, did not teach the truth, and the Seventh-Day Adventists had too many taboos. Then they approached one of our brothers and asked him if he could teach them the Bible. The brother readily agreed.
A few publishers arranged to visit these interested people. The brothers met 26 of them gathered in the church that they had built, and they were ready to listen to Bible information. Using chapter 15 of the Bible Teach book, the brothers explained how to find the religion approved by God. The people were satisfied with the explanation. When the brothers returned, 73 met with them. And on the third visit, 142 were in attendance!
TEXT MESSAGE GOES ASTRAY. To encourage her Bible student, a Witness named Menen, who lives in Ethiopia, sent her the 2009 yeartext as a text message on her cell phone. However, she entered a wrong number, and the message went to another cell-phone subscriber. The woman who received it read it repeatedly: “‘Bear thorough witness to the good news.’—Acts 20:24, NW.” As she was God-fearing, she agreed with the message but did not know how she could apply it. She was also puzzled by the mysterious “NW” [New World Translation] at the end. Weeks went by, but the matter was still on her mind. Finally, she phoned the sender of the text message. Our sister was surprised to hear what had happened to her message, but she seized the opportunity to answer the woman’s sincere inquiry. This led to a Bible study, which is being conducted twice a week.
YOUNG PIONEER PARTNERS. Persis, who lives in Cameroon, became an unbaptized publisher when she was six years old. Her first service report showed ten home Bible studies. The congregation secretary thought that it was a mistake. When questioned, Persis explained to him that she actually had ten different students. He further asked: “How do you know how much time to report, since you do not have a watch?” She replied that she knew that her school recess was one hour long. She started preaching at the beginning and stopped when the bell rang. Her bold witnessing influenced her mother and cousin, who later became unbaptized publishers. Now ten years old, Persis is baptized and is serving as an auxiliary pioneer while in school. Her eight-year-old friend Aasy is already an unbaptized publisher. A Bible student said of them: “At the meetings I was happy to see children greeting everyone, especially the elderly ones, before going to sit with their parents. I never saw this at my church. I know children growing up that way will be better people in society tomorrow.”
BIBLE STUDIES 3,967,184
SHE DID NOT KNOCK. Miriam, who lives in Bolivia, prayed to God for a week. Her prayer went something like this: “Please help me to know you, but I do not want help from Jehovah’s Witnesses. I do not want them knocking on my door.”
Later that week the phone rang. It was Candy, a special pioneer, who offered to take Miriam our magazines in one hour. She accepted. Within an hour Candy was at her door. Miriam abruptly opened it and ordered Candy to come in and sit down. Miriam then began to pace and shake her head, obviously upset. Candy asked her what was wrong. “I am in shock!” Miriam said. “For over a week, I have been praying to God for direction and guidance, but I was very clear in my prayers that I didn’t want the help to come from Jehovah’s Witnesses who are always knocking on my door! And then you phoned me instead of knocking! Since your call an hour ago, I have been praying to God that you would not come to visit me. And you came! I am in shock! It is very obvious that he wants you people, Jehovah’s Witnesses, to help me.” A study was started immediately.
THEY LEFT HIM FOR DEAD. Pasensi was a popular former village head, or kapiten, in Suriname and a close ally of the granman—the chieftain, or king—of the whole river area in the interior. Pasensi proudly defended local traditions. He opposed Jehovah’s Witnesses because he thought them to be a threat to traditional ways.
In time, a young man claimed to have the ability to identify villagers who practiced sorcery. His many followers accompanied the young man along the river in canoes, beating those accused and taking all that belonged to them. Large sums of money had to be paid over to “cleanse” the accused of the evil spirit they were said to possess. Among the many innocent victims was Pasensi, who was beaten and left for dead. Even his friend, the granman, could not help him, afraid that his own life and reputation would be at stake if he helped someone accused of sorcery. Friends and relatives were forbidden to give any help. However, Pasensi’s son-in-law mustered up courage and took him to a village inhabited mostly by Jehovah’s Witnesses. The brothers discussed the matter and, knowing the risk to themselves, decided to help. They arranged for Pasensi to be taken by canoe to a nearby village where a brother works as the station manager at an airstrip. From there, this former opposer was flown to a city for medical treatment.
Pasensi, who recovered from his wounds, was moved by the love shown him by the people he once opposed. He began to study the Bible and was baptized in December 2009. Pasensi is now a zealous preacher of the good news, and though he is 80 years old, he auxiliary pioneered in April 2010.
HE THOUGHT HE KNEW THE BIBLE. A bearded man named Eric showed up at a congregation meeting in the United States with Bible in hand. When one of our brothers greeted him, Eric began asking about our beliefs. He declined the Bible Teach book, preferring to use only the Bible. His Bible-reading schedule was 20 pages per day, and he had read the entire Bible more times than he could recall. After the meeting, his discussion with the brother continued for more than three hours. By the end of the visit, Eric said, “I feel sick.” Our brother asked why. Eric responded: “I felt confident that I knew the Scriptures quite well. However, after this visit I realize that I don’t know them at all.” He then accepted a Bible Teach book.
The following day, the two had their first study together. Eric had stayed up the night before, reading the first ten chapters of the Bible Teach book. His conclusion? “I have finally found the truth!” They studied three to four hours a day five days a week. He began preparing for and attending all the meetings along with his entire family. Within the first week, he wrote letters of resignation to three different churches, shaved off his beard, and resolved not to celebrate holidays. Within two weeks he joined the Theocratic Ministry School, and within four weeks he became an unbaptized publisher. He was baptized in April 2010, only six months after his initial contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses!
BAPTIZED AT SEVEN. Paola, who lives in western Mexico, is being raised by her grandparents. Her grandmother began studying the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses when Paola was five years old. Paola listened in, and the truth took root in her young heart. Although her grandmother did not progress, Paola began to attend the meetings by herself. She would ask her grandparents to help her get dressed and to help her cross the street to get to the Kingdom Hall.
As soon as she learned to read and write, Paola enrolled in the Theocratic Ministry School and became a publisher. Because of her love for Jehovah, she got baptized at the age of seven. When asked why she attends the meetings and preaches so zealously, even without her family’s support, Paola, who is now ten, answers: “I like the talks a lot because they encourage me to keep on studying the Bible and to stay out of trouble. And I preach because I want to teach people what Jehovah is going to do for them in the future and because the Bible can make them happy right now.”
WRONG-NUMBER WITNESSING. In the Dominican Republic, a sister was receiving many wrong-number telephone calls, which interrupted her work. After a few days, she thought, ‘I can use this inconvenience to preach.’ How did she do it? When responding to wrong numbers, she said that she regretted that the caller had dialed a wrong number, but she then added, “Let me take this opportunity to ask you, Have you read the Bible today?” Though some hung up, quite a few answered that they had not read the Bible. She then asked, “Do you know why it is so important?” To provide a Scriptural answer, she would then read Psalm 1:1-3. One government official talked at length with the sister and said that he did not have a Bible. Arrangements were made to take him a Bible and some Bible literature. Two weeks later he telephoned, this time to thank her for her interest and the literature.
On another wrong-number call, a young woman asked, “Are you one of Jehovah’s Witnesses?” When the sister replied that she was, the woman began to weep, explaining that she was an inactive publisher. The sister encouraged her and arranged for someone to help her spiritually. The woman is now a reactivated publisher.
ASIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
BIBLE STUDIES 601,306
“THE SAMARITAN WOMAN.” It was a hot summer day in Kazakhstan. Two pioneers, a brother and a sister, were out preaching and saw a woman drawing water from a well. The brother asked her for a drink of water, and while he was drinking, the sister witnessed to the woman. The woman showed interest and invited the pioneers to her home so that she could learn more about what they were telling her. They talked for a while, and the pioneers left Bible literature with her. The sister promised to call back two days later.
As promised, the sister returned, along with her mother, who is also a Witness. They found the woman waiting for them outside her home, holding the literature that had been left with her. She gave it back to the sister and said: “This is from Jehovah’s Witnesses! Yours is a Russian religion!”
The mother then asked the woman if she might read a text from the Scriptures to her before they left. Wanting to show the woman God’s name in the Scriptures, she turned to Exodus 3:15 and read: “Jehovah the God of your forefathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you.” To the sisters’ surprise, the woman invited them into her house. What made her change her mind so suddenly? The woman had forefathers named Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. She reasoned that if Jehovah was the God of her ancestors, she should not turn away his Witnesses. On the next visit, a Bible study was started. She was so eager to learn the truth that the study was conducted twice a week. Despite opposition from her sons, she grew spiritually, and now she is an unbaptized publisher. In addition, her daughter-in-law and the daughter-in-law’s mother are studying the Bible and regularly attending meetings. Because the initial contact resembled the account at John 4:3-15, she is known in the congregation as “the Samaritan woman.”
“I HAVE SOME QUESTIONS.” From Cyprus an elderly pioneer sister writes: “On a Wednesday morning, I was not feeling very well, but rather than stay at home, I wanted very much to do street witnessing. So I prayed to Jehovah, asking if he would send someone who had the time to come and sit next to me on the bench, so that I could start a Bible study. Soon a young man from Nepal came along. I was holding the magazines in my hand, and before I even had the chance to speak to him, he asked me what the magazines were about. When I told him that they were based on the Bible, he said: ‘Madam, I have the time, so may I sit down next to you? I have some questions about the Bible that I would like to ask you.’
“Of course I agreed, as that was just what I had asked Jehovah for! The man then continued: ‘My first question is, What does the Bible really teach?’ I was so surprised that I could hardly reply! I took out the book What Does the Bible Really Teach? from my bag and showed it to him. He looked at the book, looked up at me, and asked, ‘Isn’t the title of this book the very question I just asked you?’ So I started a Bible study right there on the park bench! He is now regular in his study of the Bible as well as in meeting attendance, and he has expressed his desire to enroll in the Theocratic Ministry School. I really appreciate the value of fully relying on Jehovah’s strength and direction in performing the Christian ministry, even though sometimes I feel physically tired.”
GRANDPA TEACHES GRANDSON’S MURDERER. Miguel’s grandson was killed several years ago. The murderer, Esmeraldo, was caught but did not admit to the crime when tried in court. Nevertheless, based on the evidence, he was sentenced to prison.
Later, an elder invited Miguel to accompany him to witness in the very prison in the Philippines where Esmeraldo was incarcerated. Miguel hesitated, knowing that his grandson’s murderer was there. However, he went along and joined in teaching some inmates who were having a Bible study. During the study, he looked up and saw Esmeraldo walking toward him. To defuse what might have been a volatile situation, Miguel spoke to him mildly, saying: “Esmer, I came here, not to quarrel, but to show love to people like you. Look, we are discussing the Bible with this man. What happened to you would not have happened had you known the Word of God. Please study the Bible with us.” To Miguel’s surprise, Esmeraldo stayed for the rest of the study. Touched by what he heard, he openly admitted to Miguel that he had indeed murdered the grandson. He then asked for forgiveness.
The elder, who had not heard their private exchange, saw that they appeared to be having a cordial conversation, so he asked Miguel to study with Esmeraldo. Miguel felt fearful at first, knowing that his grandson was not the only person murdered by this man, but he agreed. Esmeraldo had a long struggle to conform to God’s standards; but his patient efforts paid off, and on February 1, 2010, he was baptized in symbol of his dedication to Jehovah. Miguel, in a display of Christian forgiveness for what Esmeraldo had done, is now working to shorten his sentence so that Esmeraldo might share Bible truths more fully with others.
BIBLE STUDIES 830,888
HER TWO DESIRES WERE FULFILLED. Nelena, who is 19 years old and lives in Bulgaria, had two desires—to be baptized and to auxiliary pioneer. However, she suffers from hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy, which for the moment is incurable. She breathes with the aid of a machine, and this restricts her ability to move about. Fulfilling her first desire, baptism, presented a problem because her condition did not allow her to leave her apartment to attend an assembly. So when she was 18 years old, a Scriptural talk was given at her home, after which she was baptized in a tub.
What of her desire to auxiliary pioneer? During the season when the weather is good, she can sometimes breathe for an hour or so without the aid of the machine. She then enrolls as an auxiliary pioneer, and a publisher pushes her from door to door in a wheelchair. Nelena also conducts a home Bible study by means of voice calls over the Internet. At times, sisters in the congregation conduct their Bible studies in Nelena’s home, allowing her to participate. Consequently, Nelena was able to auxiliary pioneer three times during the past year. She says: “I am happy that I have fulfilled my two desires. Doing so has drawn me closer to Jehovah, my loving Creator.”
HE NOW WEARS A TIE. A sister in Armenia was ridiculed at her place of work for being one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A workmate had the habit of taunting her, saying that “the people who wear ties” had coaxed the sister into accepting their religion. After trying to reason with him many times but to no avail, she decided to ignore his comments and, in imitation of Jesus Christ, “made no answer.” (Matt. 27:12) Eventually, the worker was laid off for his bad behavior and for causing trouble for our sister. Months later, a man walked into the workplace looking for her. It was the former workmate who had caused her so much heartache. His appearance caught her by surprise. Though he had ridiculed Witnesses for wearing ties, he was now wearing one himself and carrying a book bag. He said to our sister: “I apologize for the hurtful words I said to you. Now I know I have found the truth.” The man had studied the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses, and despite opposition from his family, he had been baptized and had enrolled as a regular pioneer.
“DO YOU KNOW MRS. NADIA?” Nadia is a pioneer in a congregation in northern Italy. In September 2009 she spoke through the intercom to a man who immediately interrupted her to tell her that his wife had just died and that he did not want to talk to her. The following Sunday, Nadia went back to express her condolences and to highlight the Bible’s resurrection hope, but the man’s reaction was the same. The Watchtower Study that was held that same afternoon included the experience of a sister who had written a letter to someone who had lost a loved one in death. That made Nadia think of the man she had spoken to over the intercom, so she decided to write a letter of condolence and include details about the resurrection hope. Two days later, she left the letter in the man’s mailbox.
Several days later, Nadia was engaging in street work and stopped a man in his 70’s to read a Bible verse to him. The man asked if she was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Nadia replied that she was. The man went on to explain that he had been visited by one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, who had left him a beautiful letter that deeply moved him. He then asked, “Do you know Mrs. Nadia?” With much amazement on the part of both of them, Nadia introduced herself and made arrangements to visit him with her husband. Not only did the man start to study the Bible but he is now regularly attending the meetings.
THEY CAN’T STUDY WITH ALL. Four baptized Witnesses live in the town of Bujanovac in southern Serbia. These Kingdom proclaimers were overjoyed to have 460 in attendance at the 2010 Memorial! The elders of a nearby congregation have organized regular meetings in Bujanovac at a rented facility. On average, more than 50 attend—most of whom are of Roma descent. Because of the tremendous response to the Kingdom message, the special pioneers assigned to this territory cannot conduct Bible studies with all those who have shown interest. Therefore, they study only with those who come well-prepared to all the meetings.
A CENTENARIAN AND MORE! Elin, the oldest publisher in Sweden, is 110 years of age—the age that Joshua reached. (Josh. 24:29) She lives in a home for elderly people and seizes every opportunity to speak to visitors and to all she meets there. She places many books. When an elder, together with his daughter, preached from house to house in the neighborhood, they met a young woman who said that Elin had preached to her and had left her a book. This resulted in a fine conversation.*
SHE FOUND THE BOOKS AT CHURCH. Tatyana, who lives in Belarus, was surprised to receive a phone call one day from a young woman whom she did not know. The woman wanted to get Bible answers to her questions. A lively conversation followed. How did she get Tatyana’s phone number? The woman explained that while visiting a church, she had found a Bible Teach book and a New World Translation under a bench and that Tatyana’s phone number was written in the books. How did the books end up in the church? They had been taken there by the mother of a girl with whom Tatyana had studied the Bible. Evidently, the mother’s motive was to check with the priest to see if her daughter should read them or not. For some reason, the books were left under the bench. The woman saw them there and decided to take them home. The phone call has led to further Bible discussions.
LOST COAT OPENS THE WAY. Elena, a special pioneer sister, noticed a nice coat lying on a street in Minsk, Belarus. The coat was clean and did not look like it had been thrown out. Picking it up, she found $1,200 (U.S.) in the pocket. Looking at people walking by, she quickly identified the man who must have lost the coat. He was frantically running about as though searching for something. Elena had to run to catch up with him. He was a businessman from Bangladesh, living in Moscow. He was delighted to get his coat back with the money. He also wanted to know why the sister returned the coat, even running after him to do so. She explained that she was one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. He said that a few days earlier, two Witnesses had spoken with him. For about 30 minutes, he had argued with them and defended his religious beliefs. The man then asked Elena how he could show his appreciation for the returned coat. She said that she did not want to turn the incident to her advantage but that the best way to show his appreciation would be to study the Bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses upon his return to Moscow. He agreed to do so.
BIBLE STUDIES 62,367
MANAGING A SPEECH DISORDER. Hamish, a 23-year-old brother who lives in Australia, has a severe speech disorder that causes his words to be jumbled or unintelligible or not to come out at all. This disability, however, has not diminished his zeal for public speaking or for the field ministry. For example, to deliver a talk at the Kingdom Hall, Hamish first types his manuscript into a portable electronic device that converts written text into audible speech. When delivering his talk, he places the device on the speaker’s stand and operates the keyboard to select and replay blocks of speech. The synthesized speech is picked up by a microphone and amplified through the sound system. When his part calls for audience participation, he acknowledges the comments by typing into the device. In the field service he communicates in much the same way, using a mixture of prepared sentences, scripture quotations, and fast typing! As a result, he has many fine return visits. Since 2007, when Hamish was appointed as a ministerial servant, he has served as an auxiliary pioneer several times each year.
PROBLEMS WITH HER PRINTER. In New Caledonia, David, a computer repairman, got a phone call from a woman who had trouble with her printer—a document could not be printed. David swiftly fixed the problem, but he was surprised when he saw that the printed document read: “DO NOT call. Jesus is in our home. We do not need any other religion.”
David said to the householder: “Excuse me, but as I was repairing your printer, I read the message on the document. May I ask you why you wrote it?”
She answered: “Oh, you know that Jehovah’s Witnesses come every weekend. We are tired of seeing them in this area. I tell you, none of them will get across our doorstep.”
David asked: “Do you know that you have already invited one of them into your house?”
She replied: “Impossible. That will never happen!”
David said: “I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses! And you invited me in!” The woman was amazed and a little ashamed. David kindly explained why Jehovah’s Witnesses call on people at their homes. A two-hour discussion followed. A few days later, David revisited this woman and her husband. They explained that after pondering over what had happened, they were sure that God had led David to them. Hence, they could not refuse his visit! They now regularly accept our magazines.
EQUIPPED WITH TRACTS. Nathan, aged 12, lives in Australia. He carries Bible-based tracts in his schoolbag and regularly witnesses to his friends at school. One day, while walking home from school, he saw an elderly lady standing in the front yard of her home. The lady smiled, so Nathan smiled back and gave her one of his tracts. The lady then told him that her husband had died three years earlier. At this Nathan reached into his bag and pulled out the tract What Hope for Dead Loved Ones? The lady’s eyes brimmed with tears as Nathan told her about the coming resurrection when she could see her husband again in Paradise. “But when will all suffering end?” asked the lady. Nathan reached for another tract, All Suffering Soon to End! The lady then asked Nathan what else he believed. So he gave her yet another tract from his bag, What Do Jehovah’s Witnesses Believe? After that, Nathan left. Weeks later he saw the lady again in her front yard. She called him over and gave him a hug. “Guess what, Nathan?” she said. “After you gave me those tracts, two Witness ladies called on me, and now I am studying the Bible with them!”
THEY HAD ONLY ONE MEMORIAL INVITATION. Michael helped in the construction of the new branch complex in the Solomon Islands. After that, he decided to preach to people on Mbanika Island, an isolated island where he had lived as a child and where his fleshly brothers lived. There were no Witnesses on the island. There is also no regular ship to the island, no postal service, and only one available telephone.
He traveled to Mbanika Island with Hansly, a young pioneer. On their arrival, they immediately began to build a small palm-leaf Kingdom Hall and to invite people to attend the Memorial of Christ’s death. Since they had only one printed invitation, the two brothers just showed it to people and explained the importance of the Memorial.
A day before the occasion, the brothers paddled two hours to the other side of the island to extend an invitation to a family who lived there. However, they found only the children at home. Michael decided to leave them the only copy of the invitation that he had. He gave it to the older daughter and asked her to give it to her father.
The next afternoon, as Michael and Hansly were preparing for the Memorial, they saw the family coming in a canoe. The father had read the invitation and concluded that the Memorial must be a very important event, so he brought everyone in his family. That evening, 52 attended the Memorial. Michael and Hansly continue to preach and to study the Bible with those who attended.
Elin died as this yearbook was being finalized.
[Chart on pages 40-47]
2010 SERVICE YEAR REPORT OF JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES WORLDWIDE
[Maps on pages 48-50]