The social and economic crisis in Venezuela continues. Access to food, water, fuel, and medicine is severely limited because of shortages and high prices. Frequent power outages have intensified the food shortages, as the lack of power interferes with refrigeration. Crime is a constant concern.
Despite these difficult conditions, the over 136,500 publishers in Venezuela continue to share zealously in the ministry. For example, in January 2019, although there were 7,000 fewer publishers in the country compared to the previous year, they dedicated 90,000 more hours in the field ministry. In April 2019, more than 195,600 Bible studies were being conducted. The number of regular pioneers rose to over 30,000. In response to the special worldwide effort to invite others to the Memorial of Christ’s death, the number of auxiliary pioneers increased to 20,400. These efforts no doubt contributed to almost 471,000 people attending the Memorial—more than triple the number of publishers. Additionally, congregation meetings are well supported, in part, because our brothers continue to provide the Bible’s message to people searching for a trustworthy solution to their problems.
The Venezuela branch continues to coordinate relief efforts to help our brothers receive basic food items to supplement their diet. Each month, with the assistance of neighboring branches and generous donations to the worldwide work, the Venezuela branch distributes hundreds of tons of donated food to 75,000 publishers in 1,595 congregations.
Our brothers in Venezuela face many difficulties, but we are encouraged that they continue ‘exulting in Jehovah and being joyful in the God of their salvation.’—Habakkuk 3:17, 18.