We Are the Sort Who Have Faith
Offering a Message of Comfort in Italy
JEHOVAH is “the God of all comfort.” By learning to imitate him, his servants are “able to comfort those in any sort of tribulation.” (2 Corinthians 1:3, 4; Ephesians 5:1) This is one of the main objectives of the preaching work performed by Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Helping a Woman in Need
Particularly in recent years have poverty, war, and the desire to find a better life moved many to immigrate to more affluent countries. But it is not easy to adapt to new surroundings. Manjola was living with fellow Albanians in Borgomanero. Since she was residing in Italy illegally, she hesitated to speak with Wanda, who is one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Nevertheless, Wanda finally arranged an appointment with Manjola, who quickly showed great interest in studying God’s Word, even though the language barrier made this difficult. After a few visits, however, Wanda could no longer find anyone at home. What had happened? Wanda learned that all the occupants of that house had fled because one of them—Manjola’s boyfriend—was wanted for murder!
Four months later, Wanda again encountered Manjola. “Pale and thin, she had the air of someone who really had a difficult time,” recalls Wanda. Manjola explained that her former boyfriend was in prison and that friends to whom she had turned for help had bitterly disappointed her. In desperation, she prayed to God for help. Then she remembered Wanda, who had spoken about the Bible. How happy Manjola was to see her again!
A Bible study was resumed, and soon Manjola began to attend Christian meetings. She succeeded in obtaining legal permission to remain in Italy. After one year, Manjola became a baptized Witness. Comforted by divine promises, she has returned to Albania to share the Bible’s comforting message with her fellow countrymen.
Witnessing at an Immigrant Campsite
Many Italian congregations have made arrangements to witness to immigrants like Manjola. For example, a congregation in Florence made arrangements to visit an immigrant campsite regularly. The residents of the camp—many from Eastern Europe, Macedonia, and Kosovo—were experiencing various hardships. Some had problems with drugs or alcohol. Many supported themselves by petty theft.
Preaching in this community was a challenge. However, a full-time evangelizer named Paola eventually contacted Jaklina, a Macedonian lady. After a few conversations, Jaklina encouraged her friend Susanna to examine the Bible. In turn, Susanna spoke with other relatives. Soon, five of the family were regularly studying the Bible, attending Christian meetings, and putting what they were learning into practice. Despite the problems they have to face, they draw comfort from Jehovah and his Word.
A Nun Accepts Comfort From Jehovah
In the town of Formia, a full-time evangelizer named Assunta spoke to a woman who was walking with some difficulty. The woman was a nun belonging to a religious order that gives assistance to the sick and infirm both in hospitals and in private homes.
Assunta said to the nun: “You’re suffering, too, aren’t you? Sadly, we all have problems to put up with.” At that the nun burst into tears and explained that she had serious health problems. Assunta encouraged her, saying that the God of the Bible could comfort her. The nun accepted the Bible-based magazines Assunta offered her.
During their next conversation, the nun, whose name was Palmira, admitted that she was suffering a great deal. She had lived for a long time in an institute run by nuns. When she had to leave temporarily for health reasons, she was not allowed to return. Nevertheless, Palmira felt bound to God by the vows she had made as a nun. She turned to healers for “treatment” but was traumatized by the experience. Palmira agreed to study the Bible, and she attended Christian meetings for a year. Then she moved to a different area, and the Witness lost contact with her. Two years passed before Assunta found her again. Palmira experienced great opposition from her family and the clergy. Nevertheless, she resumed her Bible study, made spiritual progress, and got baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Yes, many are encouraged by the message of ‘the God who supplies comfort.’ (Romans 15:4, 5) Hence, Italian Witnesses of Jehovah are determined to continue imitating God by offering others his wonderful message of comfort.