JEHOVAH’S servants in Georgia have tirelessly preached the good news, and Jehovah has blessed their hard work. As a result, the good news has reached almost every corner of the country.
In recent years, though, zealous publishers and pioneers have given more attention to the needs of those living in seldom-worked territories. In mountainous areas, some remote villages and hamlets can be reached only by four-wheel-drive vehicles or by cable car.
Each year since 2009, the Georgia branch has provided all congregations with a list of unassigned territories, inviting publishers to support the preaching work in those places. In order to participate in this activity, many have had to make noteworthy sacrifices.
Temuri and Ana Bliadze were newly married when they learned that there was a great need for publishers in the mountainous Ajaria region. They had just bought land to build a new house. But now they had an opportunity to expand their ministry.
They first spent a week in the Ajaria region. Recalling his first impressions, Temuri states: “Local publishers were walking a lot in order to reach small villages. We had a four-wheel-drive van, and I immediately thought that it would be very useful there.”
Ana adds: “Moving was far from easy because we were very attached to our congregation and our family. But we felt Jehovah’s blessing.” For over three years, Temuri and Ana have been supporting a group in Keda, a town in the Ajaria region.
The help of temporary special pioneers has been invaluable in supporting the preaching work in remote areas. When their assignment ended, many pioneers decided to stay in the area where they were assigned, in order to look after those with whom they had started Bible studies.
Two pioneer sisters, both named Khatuna, were assigned to the picturesque town of Manglisi. No Witnesses lived there, but the two sisters had a very productive ministry. They conducted 9 Bible studies the first month, 12 the next, 15 the next, and then 18! To continue caring for their Bible students, they decided to stay in Manglisi.
To support themselves financially, our sisters needed to be very innovative. Many who visit Manglisi appreciate a local specialty
One day a Bible student brought them several chicks. She explained that one of her hens had laid eggs in a hidden place and had brought home the newly hatched chicks. The woman wanted to give her Bible teachers this unexpected addition to her henhouse. One of the sisters had experience in breeding hens, so they decided to support themselves with a small poultry farm.
One of the sisters notes: “With Jehovah’s help and the help of our brothers and Bible students, we were able to stay in Manglisi for five years.” Now there is an active group of brothers and sisters there.
Pioneering in a Foreign Language
In recent years, Georgia has seen a large influx of foreigners. Many pioneers realized that a new field of service was opening up. So they began learning languages such as Arabic, Azerbaijani, Chinese, English, Persian, and Turkish.
While many pioneers have joined foreign-language groups and congregations, others have moved abroad to areas where there is an even greater need. Giorgi and Gela were in their 20’s when they moved to a neighboring country. “We wanted to give our best to Jehovah, and moving there was the perfect opportunity for doing so,” says Giorgi.
Reflecting on his time there, Gela says: “Serving as an elder in such a territory taught me a lot. It is a wonderful feeling when Jehovah uses you to help his ‘little sheep.’”
Giorgi adds: “There were challenges, but we were focused on our service and did not have any second thoughts. We felt we were simply doing what we ought to do.”
Another brother, whose name is also Gela, served in Turkey for a few years. He recalls: “In the beginning, while I struggled with the local language, it was challenging to keep my joy. However, when I was finally able to communicate with my brothers and sisters and with the people in the territory, there was no end to my happiness.”
Nino, who has been pioneering in Istanbul, Turkey, for over ten years, expresses her feelings this way: “I felt Jehovah’s support from the very first day after my move. Pioneering in a foreign field allows you to have ‘Yearbook experiences’ almost every day.”