Brother Weldon gives us tons of encouragement.
My dear brothers and sisters:
For days on end I’ve been trying to get self to cooperate—to get a letter started so you would know I’m alive and thinking of you. Some of you have called and that was very loving of you. There have been so many disasters and other events that have brought much pain to even our brothers. So perhaps these experiences will give you comfort as you think of them and remember all in your prayers.
In my last letter I shared an experience from a sister in the San Francisco bay area about a 12-year old brother. Here is a bit more on his efforts and the results:
I just saw this young brother last Sunday, he asked if the girls were still studying, I said yes and said thanks to you, he said no the credit goes to Jehovah. And this from a 12 year old. How dear, also I met his Father and he was smiling from ear to ear!
The young woman who was planning to have an abortion:
I returned with the Learn from the Great Teacher book and step by step instructions on how to find videos to teach her son good lessons. She was in bed early with a bad headache, but the boy’s father accepted the literature and he was very impressed by what I left him. I hope this family will start a Bible Study!
Here’s another experience: we have 2 cemeteries in our territory. I was able to get the business card for the location manager at one of them and emailed requesting an appointment. The appointment was for yesterday at 3 pm. I explained that our community is very diverse and there is a large population of Jehovah’s Witnesses. We are involved in a worldwide campaign to distribute this message and I had some for her location in several different languages (Spanish, Punjabi, Tagalog, Korean, English, Indonesian). As the manager picked them up and read the title she looked pleasantly surprised. Then she said we are not allowed to place religious literature out but that she would call and talk to headquarters about it. I explained I understood and then I shared this experience with her: My parents have a niche located there and when my mother died we forgot to bring our music to play before the services started, an employee brought out some music for us to play and were pleasantly surprised to hear the Kingdom Melodies, this really touched our heart. Before she gathered the tracts to take with her, I also gave her a print out with our website and listed all the languages that the tract is printed in and explained that some of them also had audio recording of them. The manager was very appreciative and we left. By the way before we met with the manager, outside we noticed that there had just completed a Memorial Service and I saw some women who looked Punjabi. I asked one woman what language she spoke, she said Hindi and I said oh, I have something in Punjabi, she took it from my hand and read it. Then she said I can read Punjabi, and took it. This is a cemetery that we frequently enter and share tracts and magazines that provide comfort for those visiting. (End of letter)
A few years back we had a young brother attend the MTS (it has a new name now). He has had some construction experience so ended up doing work at the branch in Nigeria and also found himself a wife to help him. They had been assigned to the Malibu, California congregation but again they are going off to work in Africa and this time to the branch in Zambia. Zambia has many native languages and I just got this note from a brother there (which helps explain why Jared and Heather are going):
I am sure you have been busy in Jehovah’s service, even as we too are.
We had a privilege of going to the first Mambwe-Lungu special assembly day program this October.
This is a new language in which our branch is now translating. It was simply fabulous!
Please pass our warm love to the dear friends.
With warm love,
Japhet & Sharon
Above I mentioned the disasters that seem to be abounding. Wind storms/tornadoes seem to be raging all over the earth. Here in the US a terrible storm hit Washington, Illinois, and this little report makes us so happy. Why? Because the brothers knew where they should be that day – and they were there – and here is what was sent:
Report on the tornadoes in Illinois
We had an announcement this morning about the tornadoes in Illinois. No brothers killed or injured in Peoria or Washington. Most of the English-speaking brothers were at their Special Assembly Day program in Romeoville Assembly Hall. There was one apartment and one house where Witnesses lived that were totally demolished so help is being given to the families. (End of report)
By this time probably most have read reports from the Philippines about the terrible destruction unleashed by the Typhoon. Here is one very encouraging letter that came to me:
This highlights a point. Not just short term help but long term as well is needed with this disaster…..
All the relatives of the Bethelites from Tacloban, the hardest hit city, are accounted for and are safe. The brothers from Tacloban will be resettled near Calbayog City, about 106 miles away from Tacloban. The Society leased a 1.5 hectare of land for some years so houses can be built for the brothers. A medical facility was already put up there manned by 3 brothers from France. They are teaching medical volunteers to care for the victims. I believe a Kingdom Hall will also rise up there. And as an icing to the cake, brother Mark Sanderson, the newest Governing Body member, will be coming on the 2nd week of December to comfort the brothers there and in other parts of the country affected by the typhoon. Isn’t that wonderful! Jehovah is so loving as well as the Governing Body.
An announcement was sent to all Bethelites regarding brothers from other countries who want to make monetary donations. We were advised to inform them to send an email to the accounting office here in Philippines Bethel so they can be given instructions on how to make the donations. The email add is: firstname.lastname@example.org. (This information is for the brothers in the Philippines for those in the USA should follow instructions received in prior disasters.)
Some of you have asked about bro. Eli Reyes, he and his family are ok. They live in the northern part of the Philippines so they were not affected by the typhoon.
Thanks so much again my friends for all the concern and support you give to us here in the Philippines. It’s truly overwhelming to think how Jehovah never abandons us in time of dire need and uses all of you to give tangible proof of his loving care. Take care as well my friends. (End of letter)
Many do not realize that there are a number of indigenous languages in the USA and our brothers have been working hard among the tribes of Indians in the Southwestern US. A very large group are those who speak Navajo and this is a lovely letter about the work:
We are excited that more literature is being printed and recorded in Navajo. For most Navajo speakers, the Navajo language has only been known to them as an oral language. Instruction on tradition and so forth have been passed down orally from generation to generation. Most have never read Navajo and therefore cannot read the Navajo Bible or Bible literature that we have in Navajo. We have to come to appreciate that. So we also teach our Bible students, those who want, how to read their own language. The excitement on their faces just melts our hearts when they can understand what they are reading. Since many can’t read Navajo we use the recordings of the literature in Navajo from the website—JW.org . We feel like what the brothers must have felt like when using the phonograph. People stop and readily listen. And even if they decide that they are not interested, at least they know and understand what they have declined.
As Jehovah’s people, we teach from the Bible, so we work hard on giving simple explanations of the Scriptures in Navajo. For example, I prepared, in Navajo, to explain that Jesus and God are not the same to an IIY. Using John I0’28, John 5:I 6 and Ps, 68:4 (where Jehovah’s name is found in the Navajo Bible) I could tell she was understanding the truth from the Bible about Jehovah and Jesus’ Identity. Then Will read Col. 1:15 in Navajo. In an attempt to explain it Navajo, he said to her: Jesus ei Jiihovah bizhe’e’. Which means that Jesus is Jehovah’s father… . . l looked over in disbelief. But before I could say anything, she had learned enough in her mother tongue to correct him and said “No, you mean Jesus ei Jiihovah bi’y ’ Which means Jesus is Jehovah’s son. Later he told me that he was testing her.. You be the judge.
Shiprock is a border town on the Navajo Nation reservation. The terrain is described as high desert, which to me means dry and dusty. But it does have a beauty of its own. While in the ministry we take time to enjoy the beautiful views this area has to offer. There is a grocery store in Shiprock and a Walmart 40 minutes away. Will doesn’t wear a tie (out in service) anymore! and suits make many feel uncomfortable. Instead he wears a cowboy hat, a bolo tie and cowboy boots. Many studies have been started because of his outfit.. And because we sometimes end up far away from anything, I have learned to use outdoor “facilities”. Oh the changes we make to become all things to all people.
Best you read this on the original PDF Letter DOWNLOAD and share. (End of letter with report of Navajo reservation witnessing)
Now here is something very interesting—especially for all those who are in Spanish-language congregations. A wonderful and outstanding film was made called “Knocking.” The producer was able to get this on many public tv stations. You probably have seen the film for it was made about a family affected by the Holocaust, and a brother who needed a kidney transplant (thus blood was a question mark through all this), etc. It has been widely shown on Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Well, there are many copies now available for those who speak Spanish and this is the letter that explains what needs to be done. It is quite urgent for these have to be moved before the end of this month—so if you are interested I suggest you act immediately. Sorry I’m a bit slow in getting this information out to you.
This is how anyone can obtain free copies of the film ‘KNOCKING.” These are DVDs in Spanish and if you wish to donate them ot anyone who will learn from them about our stand on war, blood, etc. We have a surplus of Spanish DVDs that are scheduled to be destroyed at the end of December. Rather than throw away the DVDs, we would prefer JWs use them for free in their Bible studies or with unbelieving family members. Our hope is that JWs will order a box (each box contains 100 DVDs), pay a $25 shipping charge and then donate the DVDs to their local Spanish congregation.
Here are the instructions to get free boxes of Spanish-language Knocking DVDs (each box contains 100 DVDs).
Send an email to:
Include your address and credit card info and tell her how many boxes you want.
The cost will be $25 per box through USPS media mail.
You can also call her at 800-343-5540
Please share this info far and wide. We only have 50 boxes left. Surely, enough JWs across the United States would like to donate a box to their local Spanish congregation. There are 100 DVDs in each box.
The boxes must be cleared from the warehouse by December 31 or they will be thrown out and destroyed.
(End of letter from the Producer of the film)
Now again, here is a wonderful letter from friends who are in the traveling work in South Africa. The pictures add such a wonderful dimension to the accompanying letter.
October had been jam packed with Theocratic activities including the wonderful district convention. We had also started with the new congregations added to our circuit and enjoyed meeting new brothers and sisters.
Enjoy the journey with us.
Antoinette and Charles OCTOBER 2013
Eventually we visited the first Afrikaans congregation of the new congregations added to our circuit.
DOWERGLEN CONGREGATION in Edenvale was the first congregation on the West Rand to be visited and our hosts for the week were the Combrink family, namely Paul, Jenny and their two children Arno and Nadia. What a lovely spiritual family! We really enjoyed our stay with them and to be part of their lives for the week. ( Jenny is Ronnie and Koba of Zeerust’s daughter)
Fortunately the hall was not too far from our accommodation and we were quite surprised to see a number of brothers and sisters whom we knew and they were all happy to see us again. Some who had moved here from a previous circuit were really very happy in their new congregation. We also enjoyed meeting new folks and getting to know them. We could see how the Afrikaans congregation had benefited the Afrikaans speaking brothers and sisters. The one Afrikaans brother had progressed to be and elder in the short space of time since he and his family had joined the Afrikaans congregation. There were also many faithful older ones who set a good example for the younger ones in the congregation.
We were also a stone’s throw away from Charles’ family and it was good to be able to just pop in and have a quick visit here and there.
We worked along with the congregation to give out the invitations for the district convention that was just around the corner.
On Friday after being asked to leave the shopping centre where we were doing business territory, we found a big complex just across the road that kept us busy for the rest of the morning. Charles and his partner also found some smaller complexes where they had a good time.
The one 20 year old pioneer sister had set such a fine example when her father’s family had insisted on a pastor giving his funeral talk (her father was never baptized). When the pastor said all the incorrect things like that her father was jumping up and down in heaven, she had the courage to stand up in front of all the mourners to set the record straight that that was not what her father believed and gave them a good witness with bible scriptures. I do not think that the pastor was too happy but those in attendance admired this young girl’s courage.
During streetwork a lady told me that she was the minister’s wife and that her son had tried to get Jehovah’s witnesses to come to their church. I told her that the difference between Jehovah’s witnesses and their church was that we maintained the moral standards of the bible and they had compromised by allowing couples to live together before they are married. I was amazed at how she was trying to justify their stand, saying that no where in the bible does it say that you have to be married before living together. Well, I mentioned that the bible condemns adultery and fornication. I think that she grudgingly had to admit that that was how she actually felt. Yes, there is so much that we have to be thankful for when we see how religions have compromised to keep their church members.
Saturday afternoon we were off to Alberton to go and look at the modern day drama for the assembly and afterwards had a lovely visit with some friends.
Sunday after eating out with some old friends of Charles we went to a Verdi concert; it being the 200th year since he was born. This concert was in celebration of his choruses. The Verdi choruses are of my most beloved music and it was so dramatic when the concert opened with the Slave choir of Nabuco and the conductor, Richard Kock, mentioned that at Verdi’s funeral 100,000 people lined the streets and sang this song in memory of this great composer. It must have been a very moving event. The choirs were interspersed with some orchestral pieces as well as some solo and duet performances. The last song on the agenda was the triumphal march of Aida and when the audience insisted on an anchor the choir obliged with ending off with singing the Slave choir of Nabuco again. We were just happy that we had been in the close proximity to have been able to attend this wonderful show.
KEMPTON PARK CONGREGATION was next on the agenda and we were happy to stay with my old friend Jackie and her husband Nico O’ Neil in their guest house. She was so kind to make an apartment available for us where we could enjoy some privacy. Jackie and I pioneered together many years ago before we were married.
The guest house is called Palm lodge because of all the palm trees that stand sentinel and give this wonderful ambiance to the lovely garden and pool area. We often heard the birds chirping in the back ground and the resident wagtails made their appearance every now and then, wagging their tails as they walked along.
Every morning we could just put in our order and our breakfast would be ready for us in the dining room.
During the afternoon field service arrangement Charles was very happy that he had his hat on as a birdie did his business on his head and his shoulder also felt a bit wet. His partner tried to clean him up as best she could. Shortly afterwards Charles heard her scream and she said that a bee wanted to “bite” her. What a challenge it was when Charles tried to find the “bee” in her thick bush of hair. They could hear it buzzing as it got quite lost in this forest of hair. Just when they got the “bee” out, it went back into her hair. They were both relieved when the “bee” or what ever buzzing insect it was got itself free and flew away. I would not have minded being an eye witness to this bizarre episode.
We were quite busy giving out the invitations and as there were not many folks at home, we mostly put them in the post boxes. We also managed to find some folks in the business territory and streetwork who were prepared to take the invitations.
We enjoyed our meals with the various couples and it was a way of getting to know them and hearing how they accepted the truth. We also admired the real stalwarts who had been here so many years loyally serving Jehovah. Some being baptized before we were even born. I enjoyed going along with Charles to pay a visit to some of them in the retirement village namely Uncle Schalk and Tannie Josine Coetzee as well as Chris and Denis Smithwho are part of the Theocratic history of this area. These older ones set such a good example for the younger ones in faithfully serving Jehovah despite failing health.
Charles had been quite enthused about public witnessing and between him and Nico they designed a stand with wheels that can be used. It was quite light weight due to the fact that it was made out of aluminium. Another sister had printed the posters for Charles and the mobile display was so designed that the posters could be changed. At the end of the week Charles was delighted with his mobile display and off he went with his posters to try it out. It is still early days and Charles is looking forward to honing this new kind of witnessing. “Go where the people are”, has become our slogan.
After enjoying a nice coffee and light meal with Nico and Jackie at a popular coffee shop, we later on in the day spent a most enjoyable evening with Charles’ sister and family. The weather was perfect and we could sit outside and just enjoy the lovely evening while chatting away about this and that.
We had a record attendance for the meeting on Sunday and one always hopes that something in the talks will touch somebody’s heart and motivate them to serve Jehovah.
As the assembly was just round the corner Charles was very busy with his preparations for seeing to it that the assembly would run smoothly.
We had been spoilt at the guest house with the comfortable accommodation and the lovely breakfasts and suppers that we so enjoyed!!!!
Eventually it was time to say our good-byes and our next destination was the circuit overseer’s apartment at MIDRAND ASSEMBLY HALL where our District convention would be held. Eventually our turn for our “God’s Word is Truth” District Convention was getting closer and we were getting rather excited about it as the enthusiasm of the other brothers and sisters who had already attended their assemblies, was filtering through, just heightening our expectations.
On arrival our flat was all ready and waiting for us and as always we were warmly welcomed by the two assembly overseers and their wives.
During the evening Charles and his assistants listened to all the many interviews and demonstrations in preparation for the assembly. As he was waiting at the gate, I got a phone call from him to come and look at the little baby chick of the Blacksmith Plovers. The parents were both hovering above the little one screeching a warning us not to come too close to their precious, little one. He was enjoying himself under the guarding eye of mommy and daddy, catching worms and tasty morsels for supper. Later Dolores told me that they had made their nest in the middle of the one lawn area. Graham, the one assembly hall overseer always made a wide berth around their nest, so as not to harm the little one. One day they were all saddened to see that the little eggs were gone, wondering where they had disappeared too, until they saw these minute little chicks running around. Then their happiness returned knowing where the eggs had disappeared to. They had hatched!!!!!
Although relaxing, the week was also a busy one, because as chairman of the assembly, Charles had to read through all the talks which kept him quite busy. Wednesday there were some more dress rehearsals and everyone was starting to feel that they were now ready for their parts. Charles was also happy that Leonard Bornman was assisting him with this assignment.
Eventually on Friday all the assembly delegates started arriving and there was an air of anticipation. What spiritual meal had Jehovah prepared for us this time? Charles gave the first talk of the assembly; the chairman’s address. We were reminded why we have such confidence in God’s word; that as his written word he had used it through the centuries to communicate with us. This set the tone for the rest of the assembly with the theme: GOD’S WORD IS TRUTH. (John 17:17)
It was interesting to hear that 40% of witnesses heard the truth through informal witnessing while others heard it either through their parents, family, house to house witnessing, our publications etc.
Everybody was touched by the drama showing the hope of the resurrection, putting us right into the paradise with Job. It just made the hope of the resurrection a reality for all of us who have lost loved ones in death.
It was nice seeing some friends whom I had not seen for many years and many delegates expressed their appreciation for hearing the assembly in their own language namely Afrikaans.
There were 16 baptized with the youngest being 10 years old and the oldest being 90 years old. It just shows that one is never too old to dedicate one’s life to Jehovah. The sister Daleen’s husband from Koster congregation, who had started studying, was also amongst the ones standing up to confirm his dedication to Jehovah.
Everybody also enjoyed listening to the sound drama, living into the account of Peter and hearing the application of it in our day.
Then one of the highlights was also getting the new book on the various bible characters that had been highlighted in the Watchtower every few months. Some folks had collected these articles and they would really be delighted to get them in this book form. It is always amazing what wonderful spiritual dish Jehovah’s organization will prepare for us for the strengthening of our faith and determination to serve our heavenly father.
Finally on Sunday afternoon we all enjoyed the drama of beautiful Queen Esther who married Ahazurus, the king of Persia . We all appreciated learning the lesson that just as Esther and Mordecai, her cousin, trusted in Jehovah to save their nation from extinction, we too can trust that Jehovah will give us the same support if we had to face difficult trials. Queen Esther’s courage in going to the King uninvited is an example to us to also have courage and faith that Jehovah will also never let us down if we put our confidence and trust in Him. Yes, Jehovah is also there for us in times of adversity
The acting was excellent and the costumes opulent, according to the royal atmosphere at the castle in Sushan. We were so happy that we could sit back and enjoy the drama on a stage and indoors as just this Sunday the long dry spell was broken and the heavens opened and the long awaited rain had come to refresh the thirsty earth. Now the drab winter greys and brown of winter will be transformed into the summer green.
After the assembly all went home happy and satisfied at the wonderful spiritual feast that they could have enjoyed with their spiritual brotherhood.
With all the beautiful flowers at the assembly hall I also had some fun photographing some of the flowers and flower beds that just lend so much colour and beauty to the grounds. Here is also a photo of one of the seeds of the cycads. We do appreciate all the hard work of the two overseers and their wives who work so hard to keep the grounds in a tip top condition.
After the assembly we went back to continue visiting the congregations on the East Rand (eastern side of Johannesburg ). With the growth of the city all these towns had all melted into one another, thus becoming part of this mega city. This time we were off to BOKSBURG where we stayed with the Kloppers family. Braam and his wife Mandy have two lovely daughters Jamie-Lee and Chanelle who immediately made us feel very much at home. We were again settled into our own little apartment at the back of their home and we could not complain as everything was very comfortable. This is something we could used to, namely having our own little flats (apartments). The family could not do enough for us and we appreciated all their kindness.
This area is definitely not the most beautiful area, being surrounded with industries. In between these businesses and big shopping centres there are pockets of residential areas and it is in one of these pockets that we found our accommodation, across from a great amount of upmarket townhouse complexes.
This was a bit bigger congregation than some of the others that we had recently visited. We were very warmly welcomed and nearly everybody came and greeted us. It is just a big challenge to try and remember who is who. As the week progresses it does get a bit easier.
The Kingdom hall is situated across from the Boksburg Lake and in the past it was a beautiful area with this wonderful view. But with the years the area has deteriorated to this neglected condition it is in now. As there is also no secure parking, with the increase of crime in the area, the congregation is in the process of selling this hall and they already have a new property where they are planning to build a new kingdom hall in a more secure area. I was quite interested to see the little elevated chair where a brother sits to watch the cars parked outside in the road. It is a pity the congregation has to move because it is a very nice hall and has served the congregations here for many years.
This congregation has many elderly, very faithful brothers and sisters and one can admire their determination to still take part in the field ministry despite getting on in years and health limitations. They truly set a good example for the younger ones. On Wednesday morning I had the privilege of working with Oom Hannes Botes who was the presiding overseer in the congregation which we attended when we got married. He is now 87 years old and worked along with me for an hour with his little mobile walker with its little wheels that he pushes for support and it even has a little seat he can sit on if he tires. I must admit he is quite nimble with this device. It is very lonely for him now as his wife died recently.
During the afternoon I went with Marinda to a bible study that is making good progress and later on my way home while waiting at a red robot (traffic light), I just heard a splash as a birdie decided to relieve itself on my windscreen. I could not believe it when I heard a second and then a third and then a fourth splash and there were a few really unsightly blotches on the windscreen. Did the birdie have a very bad case of diarrhoea or did 4 birds have a bad case of diarrhoea? It was truly uncanny!!!!
Young Jamie-Lee is really such a zealous young girl and in between still studying for her final exams she regularly auxiliary pioneers. I also enjoyed sitting in with two studies that she conducts with young girls. She has her heart set on full time service and would like to follow the example of her aunt who has been in bethel for many years.
I was quite amused on Friday when we approached a young man sitting behind his desk in his office and he had this unusual comment when we approached him: “So, are you the people, who when we see you coming we make sure our gates are locked, our curtains are drawn and wee peep at you from behind these curtains and hide away?” “Yes, that is us”, I replied and today we have caught you here at work.” He could not help but smile. Well, my partner soon had the bible out and shared two scriptures with him about the hope of the resurrection and he was very willing to take the magazines. It just goes to show that if one can only find the people to speak to, one can still get a good response from them.
On Friday late afternoon I popped into a pet shop with lovely gardens and birds and admired the beautiful peacocks. I was so hoping to see them open up their beautiful feathers to catch the attention of the female but the prettiest ones did not want to oblige. Instead the half Albino peacock gave a bit of a lopsided display of his feathers trying to get the attention of the uninterested peahen pecking away at some seeds. Unfortunately he will not win any beauty competition.
It was also nice seeing the Alpacas in a pen. They come from South America and these were rather wooly as they had not been shaved. In South America their wool is greatly sought after as it is very warm against the cold.
Charles was still very keen to try out his mobile display and on Saturday he eventually took it out near the flea market and his partner for the morning had a whale of a time getting folks to come and examine the questions and take some of the brochures. She was ecstatic, saying how much she enjoyed working with the display.
Another sister who had worked some of the not at homes of the week was also very happy when after showing the one lady the truth tract, she asked her to come back on Tuesday afternoon to come and start a study with her. She was off course delighted with this positive reaction and Charles was happy that with working the not at homes, many more of the householders were being reached with very positive results.
Otherwise we also enjoyed visiting friends that were not too far from where we were staying and enjoyed their association.
As Sunday had the later slot of the meeting time, Charles and I did something that we had not done for years and that was to have something quick to eat and drink at the road house. It brought back memories of how we used to go to a road house when we were still courting. Yes, a lot of water has gone under the bridge since those times!!!!
Sunday afternoon after visiting some more old friends, we drove along the beautiful Homestead lake and it was just so lovely seeing the families out picnicking and enjoying some relaxation here in the middle of the concrete jungle. I could not believe it when I saw some grey headed sea gulls circling around. Why were they so far away from their home by the sea?
Yes, all in all it was a most rewarding visit and we enjoyed meeting so many new folks. We were impressed by the warmth and friendliness of the congregation and they all expressed their appreciation for the visit. It is these expressions of appreciation that makes the circuit work so worthwhile and rewarding.
On Sunday my sinuses were starting to trouble me and it was steadily getting worse. Monday I took Charles to the bird place and so much wanted to see the peacocks open their feathers but it was not to be. Instead we did see the most beautiful snow white peacock and its pea hen but unfortunately it was in a cage. I would so much like to see this peacock open its feathers. It must be such a magnificent sight.Otherwise we did enjoy the other birds that were around and saw the sweet little rabbits munching away. One thing that I did see that I had never seen before were some baby hedgehogs. They were kept in a glass cage with lights to keep them nice and warm. It is amazing how white they are when they are born before they turn their traditional speckled brown.
I am sure that their prickles must still be quite soft before they harden and darken.
With our next visit we would overlap into the new month but we were soon all packed and on our way to SPRINGS, EIDELWEIS CONGREGATION where I had lived before and pioneered for a short time many years ago. Susan Victor had keenly been anticipating our visit and we enjoyed our stay in her comfortable home. She had lived in Rustenburg for many years and two weeks before they were to move to Springs, her husband had died and she had to go through with the move as their other home had been sold and this one bought. Although difficult in the beginning, she managed in the end and has now been here for 22 years. She is a keen gardener and it was a joy to see the profusion of flowers in her garden. The roses were especially beautiful with their colourful blooms brightening the grounds.
I was very disappointed that I had to spend most of the week in bed trying to recuperate from the sinus attack and prevent it deteriorating into bronchitis, affecting my lungs and for this reason I went to see the doctor. As the saying goes: ”A stitch in time saves nine.”, with the result that I was better by the weekend. Yes, these days one cannot be too careful with your health. I definitely do not want to be out of action for longer than what is necessary.
On Friday afternoon I did manage to go with Maretha du Raan to a call of hers and it turned out to be a very interesting return visit. She and another sister had met this lady at another location and she had been quite willing for them to come and see her at her home that was in an apartment block that is inaccessible to the public. In the interim her daughter and her husband had been involved in a terrible car accident in which her son-in-law had been killed and her daughter been seriously injured. She was in bed as her back had been badly injured and she had to lie on her back for weeks to convalesce. Maretha had already had some discussions about the condition of the dead and the hope of the resurrection that had been of great comfort to them. While we were there, a neighbour came to visit and was quite interested in the conversation as she had also lost a daughter in death as well as some other family members. She also wanted to know if the resurrected ones would be able to recognise their families. In the end it turned out to be a very lively and informative discussion and the neighbour was very willing for Maretha to come and visit her as well as she had many, many questions.
I had enjoyed reading Maretha’s experience in the August 15 study Watchtower. She is such a faithful sister and pioneer, despite her infirmities and a good example for us.
Saturday I was happy that I was eventually well enough to go out in the streetwork and we had a wonderful time at one of the shopping centres. Charles was happy that he had received permission to do his display witnessing and had some nice experiences. Maretha also joined him for the last hour and it was a blessing for her to be able to sit down and the folks come to them to have a look at the display and receive some literature.
Since I had missed so much of the week I was happy that Susan had arranged a little get together with snacks and nice edibles on Saturday after field service and I was able to get in a little association with the brothers and sisters that I had missed seeing during the week.
Sunday was the first time I could actually attend a meeting and I was quite impressed with the renovations that had been done to the hall with its lovely lilac interior, as I had been in this congregation over 30 years ago.
An old friend of mine from our previous circuit who is with the French group specially came to say hello to me and I really appreciated it very much. Thus I went to visit the two sisters Natalie and Sophie on the Monday and it was just so nice to see them again and catch up on all the news. I was happy to see that they are still pioneering and it is great that they can give a contribution to the French field that is opening up here in the Springs area.
All our meals are usually very special but on Sunday the sister just went that extra mile and we had such a lovely multi course meal in a lovely setting.
One thing that I also enjoyed in Springs was the lovely gardens of the sisters and I even went and took some photos to add to my collection. (The one sister’s garden is even used to take wedding photos in.)
The one thing that we have had enjoyed about this circuit so far, as I have mentioned before, is the close proximity of the family and thus we ended off this week with a visit to my brother Francois and my sister in law Minnie.
All the time that one can spend with one’s family is always precious and we must grab at the opportunities while we still have it.
To end this letter here is a wonderful, wonderful report from our dear sister Danielle who is now serving (no longer in the Dominican Republic) in Haiti. What delightful teaching—for us an example:
Well here we are in December, 2013 is on its way out. But it has been a busy year for all of us and still keeping quite busy. This won’t be that long but I just wanted to share some nice experiences.
While in street witnessing recently I offered a woman one of our newer tracts about the family. She attentively listened and afterwards I invited her to our meetings, she thanked me and left. About 1/2 hour she came back and said “can you please give me 2 more so that I can share them with some friends. They live near another KH but I want to invite them to the meeting since just like your inviting me encouraged me, I know inviting them will encourage them. Thank you so much for being out here today.” Yes people are in need of encouragement and we have exactly what they need.
In our Wt. Sunday it mentioned that by being in the ministry often we come to have a deeper appreciation for the truth, thus we love to share it with others even when it may appear they are not interested. Please take note of the following conversation to see how what may be a simple truth to us can enlighten and refresh people.
JW: Knock, knock…Honor…(typical greeting in Creole)
HH: WHO IS IT ! ? WHAT DO YOU WANT!!?? (very mean and hollering….)
JW: We wanted to share some good news from God’s word with you if you have a minute.
HH: I SAID WHAT DO YOU WANT? Open the curtain and come in. ( I was actually a lil scared to go in) SIT DOWN.
JW: We were talking to all of the persons in your neighborhood about the solution that Jehovah God has promised to end any and all problems.
HH: I don’t want to talk to you because people say that you believe in some other God, this Jehovah. I know there is only one God and I don’t know any Jehovah.
JW: We are happy to find persons like you who believe in God. Let me assure you that we also believe in the one true God and thanks to the Bible we have learned that his name is Jehovah. Let me show you.
HH: (she bows her head in shame and says) I have been converted for 30 yrs in the same church but I never learned to read.
JW: we will read it for you, notice what Rev. 4:11 says. So the one who made all things has a name and his name is Jehovah. JWs didn’t make the name up, it is found in the Bible in over 7,000 places.
HH: You know what you are right because in church we sing a song and we say Jehovah Shalom be the praise. I never realized I was saying God’s name. Why didn’t the pastor tell us that is God’s name? You noticed I said people say you don’t believe in God, but I never said that.
JW: We don’t know why the pastor didn’t tell you God’s name but now that you know it you should use it as Jesus encouraged us to do in the Our Father prayer. Do you remember that prayer? Let’s repeat it together.
HH: um, I can’t. I never learned it. Can you teach it to me? I have always wanted to know it but since I couldn’t read I never learned it.
JW: sure we can, let’s look at it in your nice Bible at Mt. 6:9-13
HH: Please let’s repeat it again.
JW: Ok, no problem. (we repeat it and she repeats after us with a big smile) Well thank you so much for allowing us to come in and sit down to talk with you, we are very happy to find persons like you that are interested in hearing the truth from Jehovah’s word.
HH: No I am happier than you because today I learned God’s name and the our Father’s prayer. Thank you so much for visiting me today. Any time you want you can come back.
Just to think this 70 yr old woman was angry and seemingly not interested in hearing the good news. We left that door so happy to have the truth and to know that Jesus is still directing us to honest hearted persons in the territory who are indeed sheep without a shepherd. Enjoy your week and keep that kingdom smile shining brightly!
Agape …. Danielle
All this is sent with my warm Christian love this Monday evening.
Your brother, Weldon