BIBLE STUDIES 847,343
The Class Visited the Kingdom Hall
Ines, a fourth-grade pupil in Finland, heard that her class was going to discuss Jehovah’s Witnesses as part of their religious instruction, so she decided to invite the class to visit the Kingdom Hall. Both the students and the teacher thought that this was a good idea.
The next week, 38 pupils rode their bicycles about three miles to the Kingdom Hall. Two teachers and the headmaster also came. Two brothers and three sisters met them at the Kingdom Hall. While having some refreshments, the pupils asked questions about the hall and the Witnesses: “What takes place at the meetings?” “What is that room over there?” They were referring to the library. “Why is ‘six divided by ten’ on the wall?” The yeartext was Matthew 6:10.
Because the school participates in a project to prevent school bullying, the brothers showed the class the whiteboard animation video Beat a Bully Without Using Your Fists, on jw.org. They also showed them other sections of our Web site and played a Kingdom song. The visit lasted about one hour.
The headmaster, the teachers, and the children were enthusiastic about the visit. The headmaster was interested in the material on our Web site because he felt that it could be used during the lessons on religion. He was delighted to hear that other classes were welcome to visit the Kingdom Hall. As a result, a teacher of another class contacted the Witnesses the very next day and asked if they too could visit the hall.
She Found a Treasure in a Garbage Dump
Cristina, who lives in Romania, never went to school and could not read or write. She was very poor and made a living by searching the city’s garbage site for cans and plastic bottles. One day while she was doing this, something caught her attention—it was Bible literature with beautiful pictures of happy people. She said to herself, ‘Such people must exist somewhere in the world.’ Cristina was curious about what was in the publications, so she asked someone to read them to her. On hearing that the publications discussed religious subjects, she was saddened that people had thrown information about God’s Word in the garbage. Cristina continued to go to the dump to collect brochures, tracts, and magazines. Some of them were complete, and others were torn to pieces. She learned how to read so that she could find out more about the publications.
Later, Cristina was contacted by the Witnesses, and a Bible study was started. She was very happy to know that Jehovah had drawn her to him by means of publications that other people had not appreciated. She attends the congregation meetings and is fascinated by what she is learning. One of her greatest joys is that she now has new magazines, books, and brochures. She no longer has to look for them in the garbage. Indeed, Cristina found a treasure in the garbage dump!
The “Forest” Bible Study
Every morning Margret goes for a walk with her dog in a forest in Germany. “I try to talk to passersby,” she says. “If they are relaxed, I direct the conversation to the Bible.”
One day she met a woman in her seventies who was also walking her dog. Margret initiated a conversation with the woman. The woman enjoyed the chat and told Margret that she prays to God and reads the Bible every day. From then on, they met daily and talked about spiritual things. One day the woman asked Margret: “How do you know so much about the Bible?” Margret explained that she is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Several times Margret offered the woman a home Bible study, but she rejected the offer. The conversations, however, continued. Some months later Margret again offered her a home Bible study. This time the woman disclosed that she was afraid to study because the man she was living with disliked Jehovah’s Witnesses.
The next time Margret went for a walk in the forest, she took a Bible and the Bible Teach book with her. When she saw the woman, Margret courageously said: “This time I don’t want to offer you a home Bible study but a ‘forest’ Bible study.” With tears in her eyes, the woman readily accepted. She comes for her “forest” Bible study six days a week. Depending on the season and the weather, Margret sometimes has to conduct the Bible study with an umbrella and a flashlight.
A Confusing Headshake
A sister named Delphine studied the Bible with Irina in Bulgaria. Irina appreciated what she was learning and regularly attended the meetings. However, Irina’s husband did not want her to have any contact with the Witnesses. He moved the family to a small village in Sweden, and Irina lost contact with Delphine. However, two pioneers, Alexandra and Rebecca, met Irina, who did not speak any Swedish. The sisters used the booklet Good News for People of All Nations and let Irina read the message in Bulgarian. Afterward, with the help of the booklet, they asked her if she wanted to have literature in her language. Irina shook her head vigorously from left to right. The sisters left, concluding that she was not interested.
Alexandra later remembered that Linda, a Swedish sister serving in Bulgaria, was coming to visit in a few weeks. She thought that it might make a difference if Irina heard the truth in her own language. When Linda arrived, she and Alexandra visited Irina. Irina told Linda that she had been praying to Jehovah every night, asking him to help her to be able to continue her Bible study. She often carried her Bulgarian Bible Teach book with her. She wanted to be ready to show it to the Witnesses if she met them on the street, but she never saw any Witnesses. How happy Irina was to receive more literature in Bulgarian!
Linda asked Alexandra why she had concluded after the first visit that Irina was not interested. Alexandra explained that she had shaken her head to indicate that she was not interested. Linda smiled and explained that Bulgarians shake their head up and down to indicate disagreement and sideways for agreement. So, until she learns Swedish, Irina continues her Bible study in Bulgarian. How? She was reunited with Delphine and studies via videoconferencing.
A Father’s Good Example
Jemima, who lives in Spain, was taught the truth as a child. However, when she was seven, her life was turned upside down. Her mother decided that she no longer wished to be one of Jehovah’s Witnesses and divorced her father. At the age of thirteen, Jemima stopped associating with the Witnesses and refused any spiritual help from her father.
As Jemima grew up, she got involved in social and political movements, seeking “justice” for the common people. Later, when she found herself without work, her father, Domingo, offered her a job with him as a painter.
One day while they were working together, Domingo offered Jemima a Bible study. She refused, however, saying that if she were ever interested, she would let him know. Domingo listened to Bible and magazine recordings while he was painting, but his daughter preferred to listen to pop music with her earphones.
In November 2012, Domingo, who had remarried, received an invitation to the Bible School for Christian Couples. It impressed Jemima that her father would go to a Bible school for two months and then leave everything and go wherever he was sent. For the first time, Jemima realized how deeply the truth was rooted in her father’s heart, and she wanted to know why.
Jemima stopped listening to her music and began to listen to her father’s recordings. She also started to ask questions. One day when Domingo was up on the ladder painting, Jemima said: “Do you remember when I said that I would tell you when I was ready to study the Bible? Well, now is the time.”
Domingo was delighted to hear this. In January 2013, they began to study together twice a week. The school began in April, and he continued conducting the study by videoconferencing. Jemima came to his graduation, and she enjoyed the program very much. On December 14, 2013, Jemima was baptized.
“Jehovah has shown me a lot of patience, and I know that he never gave up on me,” says Jemima. “He has given me what I never found in the world—true friends. The worldwide brotherhood makes me appreciate Jehovah’s great love even more.”
The Power of Respect
On March 30, 2014, Vasilii, a longtime member of the Russia Bethel family, was witnessing with a literature cart near the branch office when a police car approached. A policeman got out of the car and politely asked Vasilii to stop his activity, since there had been complaints from some in the neighborhood. Another policeman videotaped the discussion. Vasilii decided that it would be best to obey the police and not argue about his rights. By this time, quite a few passersby had stopped to see what was going on. Vasilii left, but two days later he requested a meeting with the police chief. His request was granted. During the meeting, Vasilii thanked the chief for the important service that the police perform for the community and for their polite conduct when they spoke to him two days earlier. The chief turned to his assistant and said, “In all my 32 years of serving on the force, I have never heard anyone thank us for our work!” During the course of the discussion, the police chief was helped to understand that our public preaching activity is completely lawful. The chief asked Vasilii why he, although knowing that he was fully within his rights, did not object to the policemen’s demands for him to stop his activity? Vasilii replied: “I respect the police. Imagine how it would have appeared in the presence of all those onlookers if I had accused the police of not knowing the law.” The chief and his assistant were very impressed, and they assured Vasilii that there would be no more problems with his using the literature cart in the future.