Many of those we read about on the previous pages are young ones who ‘remembered their Grand Creator in the days of their youth.’ (Eccl. 12:1) In fact, one third of the 3,197 pioneers in Georgia are 25 years of age or younger. Why are so many of these young ones doing well in the truth?
Several factors seem to have contributed to this trend. For one thing, families in Georgia usually enjoy close relationships. Konstantine, who raised five children in the truth, explains: “What attracted me to the truth was the feeling that Jehovah is a loving Father. When I became a father myself, my goal was to help my children feel at ease with me.”
Malkhazi and his wife, who have three children, make earnest efforts to build strong family bonds. He says: “From time to time, we ask our children to think of what they appreciate about us and their siblings. Then we ask them to share their thoughts at our family worship. As a result, they have learned to see the good in others and appreciate them.”
“Now I Have a Truly Fulfilling Life!”
In support of parental training, elders try to involve young ones in congregation activities as early as possible. Nestori, who was baptized when he was 11 years old, states: “The elders gave me various small assignments from a very early age. This has helped me feel that I’m really part of the congregation.”
Good role models and the support of the elders are vital too. Koba, one of Nestori’s brothers, relates: “Unlike those of my siblings, my teenage years were turbulent. One young elder, who was a good role model for me, always tried to understand me and was not judgmental. He played a crucial role in my return to Jehovah.”
Today, Nestori and Koba, along with their sister, Mari, serve together in a remote territory. Koba says, “Now I have a truly fulfilling life!”
“My Children Go On Walking in the Truth”
The branch office strives to bolster parents’ efforts to train their children, by involving young Christians in theocratic projects. One Branch Committee member notes: “We cherish our youths, so we try to support them as they strive to achieve their spiritual goals.”
Working and associating closely with mature brothers and sisters makes an unforgettable impression on young ones. Mamuka, who worked alongside international servants on the construction of the Assembly Hall in Tbilisi, says: “Such international projects gave me wonderful opportunities to learn from others. Besides acquiring practical skills, I learned many spiritual lessons.”
Close family relationships, encouragement from the elders, and good role models have had a very positive influence on many young ones in Georgia. Their parents share the feelings of the apostle John, who wrote: “No greater joy do I have than this: that I should hear that my children go on walking in the truth.”
Intensifying Translation Efforts
In 2013, the Governing Body invited all branches to investigate whether publications might be needed in any of the additional languages spoken within their branch territory. The purpose was to reach more people with the good news.
Consequently, the Georgia branch decided to translate some publications into Svan and Mingrelian, two languages so closely related to Georgian that some consider them to be dialects.
Zealous pioneers from the Svaneti region wrote: “Svan people have a real interest in spiritual things and deep respect for the Bible. Even those who at first were hesitant to accept our publications were moved to take those that were translated into their mother tongue.”
All Mingrelian-speaking publishers were deeply touched when they started to have meetings in their mother tongue. Giga, a young pioneer, admits: “Now I can express myself in my own words at the meetings. I don’t need to translate thoughts in my mind before giving a comment.”
Zuri, an elder in the Mingrelian-speaking congregation in Tkaia, shares his feelings: “There have been many touching moments in my life, both happy and sad, yet they never brought tears to my eyes. But when Kingdom songs in Mingrelian were sung at the meeting for the first time, no one in the audience could hold back tears, including me.”
A major milestone in the history of the Witnesses in Georgia occurred on Saturday, April 6, 2013, when David Splane of the Governing Body delivered the dedication talk for a renovated and enlarged branch complex, an Assembly Hall, and a new Bible school facility. Many local Witnesses opened their homes and hearts to the 338 delegates who came from 24 countries.
The next day, Brother Splane delivered a special talk to 15,200, made possible by audio/
The Bible School for Christian Couples, now named the School for Kingdom Evangelizers, has proved to be a real blessing for Jehovah’s people in Georgia. Since 2013, over 200 students have graduated. Full of appreciation for the education they have received, the graduates are willing to serve zealously wherever there is a need.
“Stretching Forward to the Things Ahead”
Thanks to the efforts of the courageous early Kingdom proclaimers, the good news has become available to all of Georgia. Their unselfish love for God and neighbor and their faith, courage, and initiative have been richly blessed by Jehovah.