BIBLE STUDIES 842,091
Mistaken Identity Leads to a Bible Study
The international convention held in London, England, was an exciting event for visiting delegates as well as for local Witnesses. Andrew and Elizabeth visited a London hotel, intending to greet some of the international delegates. Noticing a well-dressed woman in the reception area and assuming she was a delegate, Elizabeth greeted her with a warm embrace. The woman reacted with surprise, so Elizabeth apologized. “I am sorry,” she said. “I thought you were a delegate!”
“A delegate for what?” asked the woman.
Elizabeth pointed to the sign on the reception desk welcoming Jehovah’s Witnesses and was pleasantly surprised by the woman’s response. “How lovely!” she said. “Do I look the part?”
In the ensuing conversation, Elizabeth found out that the woman’s name was Vivien, that she was originally from Nigeria, and that she and Elizabeth lived only a few minutes away from each other. Vivien accepted the offer of a Bible study and wanted her children to join in too. Andrew and Elizabeth contacted Vivien at home, and it was their turn to be greeted with a warm embrace. Their chance meeting in central London had clearly made a positive impression on Vivien. When Andrew and Elizabeth showed Vivien the Bible Teach book, she surprised them by saying that she already had a copy and was reading it with four of her children. After being told that this was the book that comes with a free home Bible study, Vivien responded excitedly, “Let’s start now!”
A Letter From a Roma Brother
In November 2014, the first Romany congregation in Slovakia was formed. At a recent circuit assembly, 21 Romany-speaking publishers got baptized. All were from the same village. At the Memorial, the attendance at the Romany congregation was 495. One newly baptized brother wrote the following:
“I am of the Roma people from Žehra, Slovakia. Where I live, many white people view us as Gypsies and feel that we are dirty and that we lie and steal. When I wanted to go to church, I was told by the custodian that I didn’t belong there and should go away. After experiences like that, you can imagine my view of white people. Then Jehovah’s Witnesses invited me to the Kingdom Hall. I went with great suspicion, expecting to be disappointed again. I was surprised that even before entering the Kingdom Hall, a white man shook my hand and warmly welcomed me. During the public talk, I wasn’t able to pay attention. I could only think, ‘How is it possible that everyone is so nice to me?’
“That night, I couldn’t sleep at all because I kept thinking about what had happened at the Kingdom Hall. So I decided to go again to find out if the kindness I had been shown was just a coincidence. That time, the people there were even nicer and treated me like an old friend. I never stopped attending the meetings, and I eventually got baptized. After my baptism, the kindness of the brothers never changed, and they continue to show that they value me. At times, they even share with me better food than they themselves eat! I always want to be part of this organization, and Jehovah is the God I want to serve forever.”
A Prayer to Share the Good News Is Answered
A sister named Aysel was traveling by bus from the town of Ganja to Baku in Azerbaijan. She prayed to Jehovah, expressing her desire to talk to someone about the Bible on the way. Although Aysel already had an assigned seat on the bus, a woman insisted that Aysel sit next to her instead. Aysel began talking with the woman and was eventually able to steer the conversation toward the Bible. The woman explained that she loved Jesus and wanted to know more about him. Aysel and the woman exchanged phone numbers and agreed to meet again. The woman asked Aysel to bring her a Bible if possible.
After Aysel returned to Ganja, she visited the interested woman at her workplace. The woman mentioned that she has a “prayer book” that she reads every day. Our sister was surprised to find out that the so-called prayer book was actually the booklet Examining the Scriptures Daily from 2013! A Bible study was started, and Aysel was delighted that Jehovah gave her the courage to witness informally.
A Letter of Thanks From a Prison Inmate
From Spain comes the following letter:
“First of all, I’d like to thank you for the effort you are making to reach all sorts of people with the Bible’s message.
“The first time I had contact with Jehovah’s Witnesses was 15 years ago in Tiranë, Albania. I was surprised that a Witness had the courage to approach us, because we were a gang of ten youngsters. Nobody dared to talk to us, yet that brother did so despite our weapons. He fearlessly spoke to us about the Bible. His courage impressed me a lot.
“Four years ago here in Spain, a Witness visited me in prison and offered me a Bible study. I accepted, and since then I have changed for the better. I am no longer a violent, aggressive man. It’s been years since I last got into trouble. I have come to know Jehovah, and this has given purpose to my life. I try to live in peace with people around me, and I have been serving as an unbaptized publisher for over a year.
“Although I have been in prison for 12 years now, during the past 4 years, I have experienced happiness and peace of mind that I never felt before. I thank Jehovah for this every day.
“Some weeks ago I watched some videos on jw.org. The video about a brother who had been in prison in the United States really moved me. I am not an emotional man, but when I saw the changes he had made in his life, I could not hold back my tears.
“May Jehovah keep on blessing your efforts to reach all sorts of people by translating the good news into so many languages and also by visiting those of us who are in penitentiaries.
“Thank you very much.”
“I Have Finally Found Peace of Mind”
“I always felt an emptiness in my life and drifted along, continually searching for an inner peace that seemed to elude me,” says Felicity, who is 68 and lives in Sweden. Not satisfied with her Catholic beliefs, she began investigating a wide variety of religious ideas and ended up becoming seriously involved in witchcraft and divination.
Having found no true meaning in life, she felt so despondent that she considered taking her own life. “With tears streaming down my face, I called out loudly to God, asking him to tell me what he wanted me to do. Two weeks later, there was a gentle knock on my door. A smiling young man asked me if I was interested in listening to God’s Word. I thought to myself, ‘Oh no, God, this is not what I meant—not Jehovah’s Witnesses!’”
Although her immediate inclination was to close the door, she decided to listen and accepted a Bible study in the Bible Teach book. “I was shown the Bible from a new angle,” she says. Felicity got baptized at a regional convention in Sweden in 2014. She now says: “This is what I had searched for all my life. I have finally found peace of mind.”