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Jehovah’s Witnesses


2015 Yearbook of Jehovah’s Witnesses


Asia and the Middle East

Asia and the Middle East
  • LANDS 48

  • POPULATION 4,315,759,010

  • PUBLISHERS 703,271

  • BIBLE STUDIES 732,106

He Asked if Others Could Come

A brother gave a Memorial invitation to a parking attendant in Indonesia two days before the occasion. The attendant, a Muslim, asked if others could come since he had only one invitation. The brother explained that others could also come. The man said that he had a large family and asked for more invitations. The brother handed him 20 invitations  and explained that the occasion was the Memorial of Jesus’ death and that all, including Christians and Muslims, were welcome. The man said that he would bring about 60 to 70 people with him.

Shortly after the beginning of the Memorial talk, with 248 already in attendance, the parking attendant showed up with about 100 additional people—men, women, and children, including elderly people and a woman who was well along in her pregnancy. They had rented several cars for transportation to the hotel where the Memorial was being held. At seeing such a crowd, the hotel’s security guards initially prevented them from entering. They wondered why so many Muslims wanted to attend a Christian event. After the people showed the guards their Memorial invitations, the guards escorted the group to the auditorium. About 60 people from the group were allowed to enter the overcrowded auditorium.

A few days later, the brother visited the parking attendant and asked if the group had enjoyed the program. While he admitted that all had been a bit shy about attending, he commented that they were impressed because everyone was so nice, greeting them and shaking hands afterward. The brother then invited him to the special talk that was being held on the following Sunday. This time he came with some 40 family members and neighbors. Since they arrived toward the end of the meeting, the elders decided to present the talk a second  time. The chairman introduced the talk again, briefly explaining the program, including the song and the prayer. To help these people who had a Muslim background, throughout the talk the speaker used terms familiar to them, such as “the Holy Book” instead of “the Bible” and “the prophet Isa” instead of “Jesus.”

Later, an elder visited the parking attendant at his home and started a Bible discussion with him based on the brochure Listen to God. Twelve others joined the discussion, including some Muslim women and a few children.

Reading Material for the Buses

Mongolia: With permission, publishers distributed literature for the passengers

Buses departing from Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, travel to all parts of the country. Such bus trips can take up to 48 hours. Passengers either stare out the window or go to sleep. No reading material is provided even though Mongolians enjoy reading. With this in mind, some of the brothers from the Songinokhairkhan Congregation approached the bus drivers and said: “We would like to give you a fine book as a present. On airplanes, there is always something to read in the seat pockets. If you think your passengers would like something to read, we can put literature in the seat pockets for them.” Eight bus drivers accepted this offer. As a result, the brothers placed 299 magazines and 144 brochures. They also made arrangements to replace the magazines with the current issues once they are published.

 Mistaken Identity

In one Asian country, two elders were asked to visit a sister who had been inactive for eight years. Having never met the sister, the brothers called her and arranged to meet her at her shop in a large wholesale shopping market. After walking around a confusing maze of alleyways, they finally found a shop matching the sister’s address. As they entered they were greeted by a woman who had a small Bible on her desk. After confirming her family name, hometown, and the age of her two children, the brothers concluded that this was the inactive sister. “We are your brothers, Jehovah’s Witnesses,” they said.

“I am a Christian,” she replied with a perplexed look on her face. Her reaction seemed strange to the brothers. Nevertheless, they gave her some Bible literature, and she was very grateful. However, as the brothers were leaving, they realized that they had visited the wrong shop! They had meant to call at shop 2202, but this was shop 2200. One of the brothers said: “I felt a chill go down my spine, as if the angels had prompted us to go to that shop. The woman and the sister had the same last name, the same hometown, and their children were close in age! If the woman had had a different last name or hometown, we would have known that she was the wrong person.” Two shops down, the brothers  finally found the inactive sister who had been waiting for them to visit her.

“I felt truly humbled because even though I was inactive for so long, Jehovah never forgot me”

As a result of this mistaken visit, the first woman began studying the Bible and attending meetings. The inactive sister began attending all the meetings and having a regular share in the ministry. She said, “I felt truly humbled because even though I was inactive for so long, Jehovah never forgot me.”

Text Messaging in Bad Weather

Philippines: Greg sending text messages

Greg and Alma moved to the island of Catanduanes in the Philippines to serve where there is a greater need for Kingdom proclaimers. Some of the terrain there is mountainous, so Greg and Alma have to walk 12 miles (19 km) to reach some of their territories. At other times, they paddle a boat for up to two hours to preach on other islands. During the rainy season, they find it very difficult to make such journeys. Rather than just staying at home and not doing any preaching, they decided to take advantage of promotional rates offered by their mobile phone company that allows them to send unlimited text messages at minimal cost.

Greg says that he starts the message by stating his name. Then he adds, “I want to share a message with you from the Bible.” One of the scriptures he has found to be effective is John 17:3. After quoting it, he asks two questions: Who is the true God? and Who is Jesus Christ? He then invites the person to reply. If the person answers, Greg shares an additional scripture, such as Psalm 83:18. If the person keeps responding to his text messages, he asks if he can continue the conversation over the telephone. Greg and Alma say that many do respond.

 One woman whom Greg and Alma contacted had several questions about the Bible, thus many text messages went back and forth. This texting eventually led to a Bible study. The woman shared what she was learning with her nephew and a workmate. As a result, all three were eventually baptized.