Accessibility setting

Search

Select language

Skip to secondary menu

Skip to table of contents

Skip to content

Jehovah’s Witnesses

English

2014 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses

 SIERRA LEONE AND GUINEA

Jehovah Raised Me Up

Jay Campbell

Jehovah Raised Me Up
  • BORN 1966

  • BAPTIZED 1986

  • PROFILE A polio victim who became a regular pioneer.

I GREW up crippled from the waist down, and I lived in a compound in Freetown with my mother and several other poverty-stricken families. Ashamed and afraid of how strangers might view me, I ventured outside the compound only once in 18 years.

When I was 18 years old, Pauline Landis, a Witness missionary, called at my compound and offered to teach me the Bible. When I told her that I could not read or write, Pauline said that she would teach me that too. So I agreed.

What I learned from the Bible filled me with joy. One day, I asked Pauline if I could attend a congregation meeting in a home about a block away. “I’ll walk there on my wooden walking blocks,” I said.

When Pauline came to pick me up, my mother and my neighbors watched me apprehensively. Gripping my  wooden walking blocks, I reached forward and placed them on the ground. Then I swung my body up and past the blocks. As I made my way across the courtyard, my neighbors yelled at Pauline: “You are forcing her. She has tried to walk before and failed.”

“Jay, do you want to come?” asked Pauline gently.

“Yes!” I replied. “This is my decision.”

My neighbors watched quietly as I approached the gate. When I exited the compound, they erupted in cheers.

How I enjoyed that meeting! Next, I was determined to get to the Kingdom Hall. That involved “walking” to the end of the street, taking a taxi ride, and then getting brothers to carry me up a steep hill. I often arrived wet and muddy and had to change my clothes at the hall. Later, a sister in Switzerland kindly sent me a wheelchair, which allowed me to travel with dignity.

Reading the experiences of other disabled Witnesses motivated me to serve Jehovah more fully. In 1988, I became a regular pioneer. I prayed to Jehovah to help me reach my goal, which was to help someone in my family and someone in my territory to become a servant of Jehovah. My prayers were answered when I was able to help two of my nephews and a woman I met while street witnessing learn the truth.

Now my arms have lost their strength, and I depend on others to wheel me around. I also suffer from chronic pain. But I have found that one remedy for pain is teaching others about Jehovah. The joy it gives me eases my pain and comforts me because Jehovah raised me up, and now I lead a purposeful life.