JUNE 26, 2020
Many governments around the world have required physical distancing and have canceled public gatherings. Jehovah’s Witnesses are determined to comply with these requirements while continuing to meet together safely. To do so, congregations have been using videoconferencing apps, such as Zoom, to hold meetings.
To provide a consistent and secure arrangement for our meetings, the Governing Body approved the use of donated funds to purchase Zoom accounts for congregations. This has proved to be of great assistance to some congregations that could not afford the typical price of a videoconference account of $15-$20 or higher. These congregations were often resorting to using free apps that place limits on the number of connections or do not provide adequate security. All congregations that use these organizational Zoom accounts benefit from their easy-to-use security settings and allowance of a large number of people to connect to each meeting. To date, over 65,000 congregations in more than 170 countries are using these accounts.
The Kairagi Congregation, in Manado, North Sulawesi, Indonesia, switched from a free videoconferencing app to the organizational Zoom account. Brother Hadi Santoso explains: “Even brothers and sisters who are not familiar with how to operate electronic devices can now enjoy the meetings, in large part because they no longer need to log in several times during one meeting.”
Lester Jijón, Jr., an elder in the Guayacanes Oeste Congregation in Guayaquil, Ecuador, relates: “Because of the economic situation of many of the brothers and sisters, it simply would have been impossible for some congregations to pay for a Zoom license that would allow the entire congregation to attend the meetings. Now, because of the amount of possible connections using the Zoom accounts that are provided, we are able to invite others to the meetings freely, without the fear of reaching the connection limit.”
Johnson Mwanza, an elder in the Ngwerere North Congregation in Lusaka, Zambia, writes: “Many brothers and sisters have repeatedly said, ‘the organizational Zoom arrangement not only makes us feel closer to our brothers and sisters but it makes us feel loved and cared for by Jehovah.’”
These organizational accounts are purchased using funds budgeted for disaster relief. Such funds are supported by voluntary donations to the worldwide work. Many of these donations are made via donate.jw.org. Thank you for your generous contributions, which also assist with other relief efforts around the world.—2 Corinthians 8:14.