OCTOBER 1, 2020
Jehovah’s Witnesses carry out religious and humanitarian activities in over 200 lands. But only about 35 of those lands receive enough local donations to care for their expenses. How are expenses cared for in lands that are less affluent?
The Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses analyzes the spiritual needs and activities of fellow Witnesses around the globe. Funds are carefully budgeted and used accordingly. If a branch receives more funds than it needs to care for local activities, it makes the surplus available to lands that do not have enough. This arrangement follows the example of the early Christians, who helped one another “by means of an equalizing.” (2 Corinthians 8:14) They used their surplus to offset the deficiency of other Christians who had less.
How do our brothers who have received surplus funds from other branches feel? In Tanzania, for example, where more than half the population live on less than two dollars a day, such funds were used to renovate the Kingdom Hall used by the Mafinga Congregation. The congregation wrote: “Since the renovation, our attendance has increased significantly! We are very grateful to Jehovah’s organization and the worldwide brotherhood for their generosity, which has enabled us to enjoy such a beautiful place of worship.”
Some of our brothers in Sri Lanka have suffered food shortages as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Imara Fernando and her young son, Enosh, are among them. Yet, thanks to donations from other lands, they have received needed relief aid. In a handmade card, they wrote: “We thank the brothers who showed us love during these hard times. We are really happy to be part of this family, and we keep praying that Jehovah will help all of our brothers during these last days.”
No matter where our brothers and sisters live, they are moved to share what they have. Enosh, for example, made a small contribution box for himself so that he too can donate to help families in need. Guadalupe Álvarez shows the same generous spirit. She lives in a Mexican state where few receive the minimum wage or any regular income at all. Yet, she contributes what she can. She writes: “I am thankful to Jehovah for his goodness and loyal love. I know that my donations will be added to those of others and will be useful to my brothers in need.”
Branch offices that send money to places of need are happy to do so. “For many years, the work in our country needed the financial support of other countries,” states Anthony Carvalho, who serves on the Branch Committee in Brazil. “Because of this support, we saw incredible growth. Now, our financial situation has changed, and we have the privilege of helping others. Our brothers look at the preaching work from a worldwide perspective and see the role they can now play as Jesus’ self-sacrificing disciples.”
How can Jehovah’s Witnesses best support their brothers and sisters in need? Not by sending money directly to foreign branch offices, but by contributing to the worldwide work. This can be done through the congregation contribution box labeled “Worldwide Work” or via donate.jw.org. All such donations are deeply appreciated.