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“I Had Been Waiting for Your Phone Call”

“I Had Been Waiting for Your Phone Call”

 Ed and his wife, Jennie, first tried phone witnessing in 2010. a “I did not like it one bit,” says Jennie. “I told my husband, ‘I will never do that again!’” Ed’s feelings were much the same. He explains, “I don’t like getting calls from telemarketers, so I couldn’t imagine myself witnessing by telephone.”

 Then COVID-19 arrived, and Jehovah’s Witnesses stopped going from door to door. But in obedience to Jesus’ command to proclaim the good news, they continued engaging in the ministry, largely by means of letter writing and telephone witnessing. (Matthew 24:14; 28:19, 20) At the same time, Christian meetings, including meetings for field service, were held via videoconference. At one such meeting, Ed mustered up the courage to try phone witnessing again. How did he feel when he was about to make his first call? “I was so nervous that I prayed for help!” he states. “Then I made the call. And that’s when I met Tyrone.” b

 Tyrone and his wife, Edith, live in rural Kentucky, U.S.A. At 83 years of age, Tyrone has poor vision. Nevertheless, he accepted Ed’s offer of a Bible study. He read the study material with a magnifying glass and began studying the Bible regularly with Ed over the phone.

 About a month later, both Tyrone and Edith began attending the meetings held by the local congregation. However, because they have no Internet connection, they tied in by phone. What stimulated Edith’s interest?

 During the study with Tyrone, Ed and Jennie could hear Edith in the background helping Tyrone with his answers and with finding scriptures in their Bible. But that was the limit of her participation. “There was a deep sadness in her voice,” says Jennie, “but neither Ed nor I knew why.”

Ed and Jennie witnessing by phone

 One day, Jennie felt impelled to talk with Edith. So at an appropriate moment, she asked Ed for the phone. “Tyrone,” she said, “I can hear your wife’s voice in the background, and I just want to invite her to read a scripture or make a comment.”

 After a brief pause, Edith spoke on the phone. “I’ve been wanting to talk to you,” she began in her soft voice. Then she said: “I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I’ve been inactive for 40 years.”

 Jennie was stunned. “You’re my sister!” she exclaimed, and they both began to cry.

 Soon thereafter, Ed gave Edith a copy of the brochure Return to Jehovah. In the weeks that followed, Ed and Jennie noticed a positive change in Edith. “At first, there was so much pain in her voice,” says Ed. “Now there’s life in it.” Edith made fine spiritual progress and once again serves as a joyful publisher of the good news. Her husband was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in July 2022.

 When Ed reflects on his former attitude toward phone witnessing, he also calls to mind a conversation he had with Tyrone. After Ed read John 6:44 to him and explained that Jehovah draws people to the truth, Tyrone agreed, adding: “I had been waiting for your phone call.” Jennie too is glad that she and her husband worked up the courage to share in phone witnessing. “Jehovah blesses such efforts,” she says.

a Jehovah’s Witnesses carry out their ministry in compliance with applicable data-protection laws.

b Some names have been changed.