JUNE 1, 2021
Jesus told his disciples: “You will be witnesses of me . . . to the most distant part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) Today, Jehovah’s Witnesses are zealously fulfilling that commission. However, parts of the earth, including some large, densely-populated areas, have not yet received a thorough witness. And some countries have relatively few Witnesses. (Matthew 9:37, 38) What are we doing to reach as many people as possible?
To help carry out Jesus’ command, the Service Committee of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses assigns field missionaries to areas of need around the world. Currently, there are 3,090 field missionaries worldwide. a Most have received training at a Bible school, such as the School for Kingdom Evangelizers. Missionaries are willing to leave their homes and move to a foreign land. Thanks to their maturity, training, and experience, these faithful missionaries help spread the good news and have set a fine example for new disciples.
Helping Missionaries Help Others
At each branch office, the Field Ministers Desk of the Service Department works with the Branch Committee to care for the missionaries’ needs, such as modest housing, health care, and a small allowance for living expenses. During the 2020 service year, Jehovah’s Witnesses spent nearly $27 million (U.S.) in caring for missionaries. Thanks to these provisions, missionaries can focus their full attention and energy on the ministry, as well as on strengthening their local congregation.
How have field missionaries benefited the preaching work? Frank Madsen, who serves on the Malawi Branch Committee, says: “With their boldness and skills, missionaries have helped congregations to start covering challenging territories, such as gated communities and foreign-language areas. Also, their hard work in learning the local language and culture sets an inspiring example for others, and they are a positive influence on young ones with regard to full-time service. We thank Jehovah for field missionaries.”
A Branch Committee member from another country says: “Missionaries are living examples that Jehovah’s people are united worldwide. Even non-Witnesses can clearly see that we are not divided by cultures, but that Bible teachings have helped us become a united brotherhood.”
How do field missionaries help local publishers? Paulo, from Timor-Leste, appreciates the missionaries assigned to his congregation. He says: “Our area is very, very hot. But even though the missionaries come from a cold place, they never let the weather stop them from preaching. They are always at the morning meetings for field service. I often see them making return visits through the middle of the day, when it is very hot, and also in the evenings. They have helped a lot of people to learn the truth, including me. With zeal and enthusiasm, they use their whole life to serve Jehovah, and this motivates the entire congregation to serve him more fully.”
Ketti, a regular pioneer in Malawi, relates how a missionary couple helped her family: “When a missionary couple was assigned to our congregation, I was the only Witness in my family. But I received good support from the couple, and they became very close to our family. Their fine example helped my children to see how serving Jehovah results in a happy and satisfying life. Thanks to the missionaries’ motivating influence, my three daughters are serving as regular pioneers and my husband has started attending meetings.”
How are the costs of caring for field missionaries covered? By donations to the worldwide work, many of which are made via the methods found on donate.jw.org. These generous contributions are deeply appreciated.
a These missionaries are assigned to congregations where there is a need in the preaching work. Another 1,001 field missionaries serve in the circuit work.