A Good Reputation
Jehovah’s Witnesses have now been in the Dominican Republic for some seven decades. During this time, they have earned a very good reputation. People often approach publishers in the ministry and ask for literature, and it is not unusual to hear comments from people in the territory, such as: “I like this religion” or “You people really live by the Bible.”
Consider, for example, what happened when a Kingdom Hall was built on a lot that had been donated by a brother. When the brother went to register the property, he discovered that someone else had fraudulently registered it, and this individual accused the brother of trying to take the land from him. The matter was taken to court. It was a perplexing case because the person had documents that claimed that the property was in his name.
At one point, the judge asked the attorney for the brother to clarify whom he was representing. When the attorney explained that he represented the interests of an association used by Jehovah’s Witnesses, the judge responded: “If that is the case, then there is no reason to doubt the truth of these claims. I know Jehovah’s Witnesses, and I am well aware that they are honest. They would never attempt to defraud someone and take what does not belong to them.”
When the evidence was presented to the court, it was clear that the defendant had used fraudulent documents, so the judge ruled in favor of the Witnesses. “This is not an isolated case,” said the Witness attorney. “In courtrooms throughout the country, whenever Jehovah’s Witnesses are mentioned, the response is always one of deep respect.”
Looking to the Future
Time will tell how many more righteously inclined people will learn Bible truths and become worshippers of the true God. In the meantime, every effort is being made to reach such ones. For example, in 2013 Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Dominican Republic spent over 11 million hours preaching, and they conducted 71,922 Bible studies. It was also very encouraging to see that 9,776 participated in some form of pioneer service. In August of the same year, 35,331 publishers were actively participating in the ministry. Furthermore, prospects for future growth look very bright because 127,716 attended the Memorial.
The preaching and disciple-making work in the Dominican Republic has come a long way since that Sunday in April 1945, when Lennart and Virginia Johnson first arrived and began preaching the good news of the Kingdom. Jehovah’s Witnesses in the Dominican Republic treasure their rich spiritual heritage. They appreciate the courageous sacrifices made by earlier generations of true worshippers. But, even more so, they cherish the privilege that they now have of “bearing thorough witness concerning the Kingdom of God.” (Acts 28:23) They look forward to the day when all on this island along with their fellow worshippers throughout the world will join together in singing: “Jehovah has become King! Let the earth be joyful. Let the many islands rejoice.”