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Motorcycle taxis, locally called zems, are a favorite means of transportation in cities in southern Benin. Désiré, an auxiliary pioneer, installed an audio player on his zem and pointed two loudspeakers directly at the passenger seat. He continually plays recordings of publications and Bible dramas. When a passenger hops onto his zem, it usually does not take long before he or she is listening attentively. Many become so engrossed in what they are hearing that upon arriving at their destination, they hesitate and even refuse to get off the zem until the end of the recording. Désiré says: “I would, of course, like them to pay and leave so that I can find another passenger, but I know that their hearing the good news is more important than money. Besides, I get to place a lot of literature this way.”
A Child Who Was Persistent
Nolla is a six-year-old girl who lives with her family in the hills of Burundi. One day, as the family was cooking a meal using a small charcoal stove, two men who were working next door asked for some of the hot charcoal to start their own fire. Nolla, who is not yet in school, was tending the fire when the men arrived. She allowed them to take a few pieces of charcoal. A short time later, Nolla walked by the two men and saw that they had used the hot charcoal to light a cigarette. This disturbed her greatly, and she said to them, “If I had known that you were going to use the charcoal to light a cigarette, I would not have given it to you.” She then remembered seeing at the Kingdom Hall a magazine with a picture of a cigarette on it. She ran to the Kingdom Hall and obtained two copies of the June 1, 2014, Watchtower, which dealt with smoking. Nolla returned to the men, gave them the magazines, and insisted that they read them right away. Later, she found them again and gave them invitations to the upcoming regional convention. Amazed by the persistence of this young girl, the men were moved to attend two days of the convention. During the lunch break, Nolla saw them and invited them to share a simple meal with her family. Impressed by what they saw and heard at the convention, both men began studying the Bible.
Witnessing in Prisons
Elders in Liberia are sharing the Kingdom message in various government correctional facilities. Yves, a special pioneer in the capital, Monrovia, explains: “In March, three inmates qualified as unbaptized publishers. This brings the number of publishers at the Monrovia Central Prison to six.” How do they share in the ministry? “They meet for field service every Wednesday and Saturday,” explains Yves. “Then, they are allowed to go from cell to cell, sharing the Bible’s message of hope with fellow inmates.” Many prisoners now enjoy their own personal Bible study and attend the meetings held at the prison. A representative from the branch office delivered a public talk to 79 inmates at that prison. Six other prisons hold regular Bible study classes and are seeing positive changes among the inmates.
“We Desperately Need Help”
Great efforts were made to help interested ones in isolated places to attend the Memorial. For example, the San, also known as Bushmen, are the original inhabitants of southern Africa. They used to live a simple, nomadic life as hunters and gatherers. For the 2015 Memorial, Glenn, a special pioneer who serves in northern Namibia, arranged to hold the Memorial in a remote San village 170 miles (270 km) east of Rundu. That was the second time a Memorial had been held there. On both occasions, the village authorities gave Jehovah’s Witnesses permission to use the magistrate’s courtroom free of charge. A total of 232 attended the Memorial in spite of heavy rains before and during the commemoration. The Bushmen in this area speak the Khwe language, which is known for its numerous click sounds. The talk was translated from English into Khwe. Because there is no Bible in Khwe, color slides were projected on the wall to explain such verses as Isaiah 35:5, 6. Glenn, who conducts a number of progressive Bible studies in the area, reports: “I have been visiting here once a month for the past two years. I camp in the area for a few days. Progress has been slow because of the language and the distance. We desperately need help. When I went to the authorities to make arrangements for the Memorial this year, a member of the committee governing the community asked me if we would please build a place of worship in the area. He said that the committee would provide the land and would put up the building at their own expense! All we needed to do was provide the ‘pastor’ or at least train one of them to be the pastor!”