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One Bible Study Became Many

Marta, who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Guatemala, is learning the Kekchi language in order to share the Bible’s message with people who speak that language. One day, she saw a man leaving a hospital. By his appearance, Marta suspected that he came from a Kekchi village in a mountainous area where Jehovah’s Witnesses had seldom preached. She approached him and spoke to him in her limited Kekchi.

Marta offered the man a Bible study. He happily accepted her offer but told her that he did not have money to pay for it. Marta explained that Jehovah’s Witnesses study the Bible with people free of charge. She also told him that he could study over the phone and that his entire family could join in. The man agreed. Because he could speak and read Spanish, Marta gave him a Spanish-language copy of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. She also gave him a Kekchi-language copy of the Bible study aid What Does the Bible Really Teach? The next week, the man, his wife, and their two children began studying the Bible with Marta by phone. They had their study twice a week. “Because I was not fluent in Kekchi,” says Marta, “we studied in Spanish, and for his wife the man interpreted what we said. The children understood Spanish.”

This man was a pastor in his church. He started teaching his parishioners what he was learning from his Bible study. The parishioners liked what they heard and asked him where he had learned these new teachings. When he told them about his Bible study, they began to join in one by one. Soon, about 15 people were gathering each week to study by phone with Marta. In time, they placed a microphone near the phone so that everyone could hear.

When Marta told her congregation elders about this Bible study, one of them visited the village where the students live. He invited them to attend a public talk that the circuit overseer * was going to give in a village located one hour away by car and then two hours by foot. The students agreed to come, and 17 of them attended.

Some weeks later, the circuit overseer and some other Witnesses spent four days with the students. In the mornings, they watched Kekchi-language Bible-based videos on jw.org, and they studied the brochure Who Are Doing Jehovah’s Will Today? In the afternoons, they watched features on JW Broadcasting. The circuit overseer also arranged for the students each to have a personal Bible teacher.

During the four days, the Witnesses also preached in nearby Kekchi villages and invited the people to a special meeting. At that meeting, the brothers invited the 47 in attendance to have their own personal Bible study. Eleven families accepted the offer.

A few months later, the elders arranged to hold a meeting in the original village every weekend. Today, about 40 attend meetings regularly. And when the brothers held the Memorial of Jesus’ death there, they were delighted to have 91 in attendance.

Remembering how this experience began and how it developed, Marta says: “I feel grateful to Jehovah. Sometimes I feel that I cannot do much. But we are tools in God’s hands. He knew what was in the hearts of those villagers, and he drew them to his people. Jehovah loves them.”

^ par. 4 A circuit overseer is a minister of Jehovah’s Witnesses who visits about 20 congregations that make up a circuit.