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Jehovah’s Witnesses

THE WATCHTOWER (STUDY EDITION) OCTOBER 2012

APPEARED IN

They Offered Themselves Willingly—In Brazil

SOME years ago, Rúbia, a sister now 30 years old, made a trip to visit Sandra, a pioneer who served in a small congregation in southern Brazil. During the visit, something happened that impressed Rúbia so deeply that it changed the course of her life. What was it? Let us find out from Rúbia herself.

“I COULDN’T BELIEVE MY EARS”

“Sandra took me along to visit a woman with whom she was studying the Bible. During the study, the woman casually said: ‘Sandra, three girls at my workplace want to study the Bible, but I told them that they’ll have to wait for their turn. I know you’re booked up this year.’ I couldn’t believe my ears. People who wanted to get to  know Jehovah had to be put on a waiting list! In my home congregation, I had a hard time finding even one study. At that very moment, in the home of that Bible student, I felt a deep desire to help the people in her small town. Soon thereafter I left the big city where I lived and moved to the town where Sandra was pioneering.”

How did things turn out for Rúbia? She relates: “Within two months after moving there, I was conducting 15 Bible studies and—believe it or not—before long, like Sandra, I had a waiting list too!”

MOTIVATED TO REEXAMINE HIS MINISTRY

Diego, a brother now in his early 20’s, visited a couple of pioneers serving in Prudentópolis, a small town in southern Brazil. The visit left a deep impression on him; in fact, he was moved to reexamine his own ministry. He explains: “I was coasting along in my congregation, spending a few hours each month in the ministry. But when I visited those pioneers and listened to the experiences they related, I couldn’t help but compare their joyful disposition with my own nonchalant attitude toward the ministry. When I saw how happy and excited they were, I wished that my life could be as meaningful as theirs.” After that visit, Diego began pioneering.

Like Diego, are you a young Witness who shares in the preaching work and attends Christian meetings but at the same time feels that the ministry has become a bit routine, lacking excitement? If so, can you make changes in your life that will allow you to taste the joy that comes from serving where there is a greater need for Kingdom publishers? Understandably, the idea of giving up a comfortable lifestyle may seem daunting to you. Still, many young ones have chosen to do just that. They have dared to adjust their personal goals and desires so as to serve Jehovah to a fuller extent. As another example, consider Bruno.

MAESTRO OR MINISTER?

Some years ago, Bruno, now 28 years of age, studied at a famous music school, and his goal was  to become an orchestra conductor. In fact, he progressed so well in his studies that on several occasions he was invited to conduct a symphony orchestra. He was headed for a promising career. “Still,” relates Bruno, “I felt that something was missing in my life. I had dedicated myself to Jehovah, but I knew that I wasn’t giving my all to him, and that bothered me. I told Jehovah in prayer about my feelings, and I also spoke to experienced brothers in the congregation. After serious consideration, I decided to put my ministry before my music, left the music school, and took up the challenge of serving in an area where there was a real need for Kingdom preachers.” How did his decision work out?

Bruno moved to the town of Guapiara (population about 7,000), some 160 miles (260 km) from the city of São Paulo. It was a big change. He relates: “I moved into a small house without a fridge, TV, or Internet connection. Still, the house came with some things I’d never had before—a vegetable garden and an orchard!” While serving there in a small congregation, once a week Bruno packed his bag with food, water, and literature and set off on his motorcycle to preach in the rurals. Many people in that area had never before heard the good news. “I conducted as many as 18 Bible studies,” he relates. “Seeing how these students made changes in their life gave me so much joy!” He adds: “At this point, I realized that I had found what had been missing in my life—the feeling of deep satisfaction that comes from putting Kingdom interests first. I would never have enjoyed this had I pursued materialistic goals.” And how did Bruno support himself financially in Guapiara? With a smile he says: “By giving guitar lessons.” He was still a maestro—of sorts.

“I SIMPLY HAD TO STAY”

Mariana, now in her late 20’s, found herself in a situation similar to Bruno’s. She worked as a lawyer, but despite her lucrative profession, she did not feel truly satisfied. She says: “I felt as if I was ‘striving after wind.’” (Eccl. 1:17) Several brothers and sisters encouraged her to think about pioneering.  After giving it some thought, Mariana, together with her friends Bianca, Caroline, and Juliana, decided to assist a congregation in Barra do Bugres, a remote town near Bolivia, thousands of miles away from their home. What happened next?

Mariana says: “My intention was to stay there for three months. But at the end of that period, I was conducting 15 Bible studies! Of course, those students needed much more help to progress in the truth. Therefore, I just couldn’t muster up the courage to tell them that I was leaving. I simply had to stay.” And that is exactly what all four sisters did. So did Mariana’s new career result in a more purposeful way of life? She says: “That Jehovah uses me to help people change their lives for the better gives me a good feeling. It’s a blessing for me to know that I’m now using my time and energy doing something that’s really worthwhile.” Caroline sums up the feelings of all four sisters: “When I lie down at night, I have a feeling of deep satisfaction because I have expended myself in pursuing Kingdom interests. My life centers on how to help my Bible students. It’s marvelous to see them making progress. I am experiencing the truthfulness of the words: ‘Taste and see that Jehovah is good.’”Ps. 34:8.

How happy Jehovah must be to observe an ever-growing number of young brothers and sisters all around the world who “offer themselves willingly” to preach the good news of his Kingdom in remote areas! (Ps. 110:3; Prov. 27:11) All such willing workers, in turn, experience Jehovah’s rich blessing.Prov. 10:22.