Kingdom Proclaimers Report
They Are “Hearing” the Kingdom Message in Brazil
IN ORDER to proclaim the Kingdom good news in the Deaf community, many of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brazil have accepted the challenge of learning Brazilian Sign Language. Their efforts are producing excellent results, as the following experiences illustrate.
Eva, * a deaf woman in São Paulo, started to learn sign language after she and her three children moved in with a deaf man. At a shopping mall, Eva and her boyfriend met a group of deaf Witnesses and were invited to a meeting at the Kingdom Hall. They accepted, thinking that it was to be a social event.
Because of her limited knowledge of sign language, Eva understood very little of what was said at the meeting. Afterward, a couple of Witnesses invited her to their home for a snack. Using pictures in the brochure Enjoy Life on Earth Forever!, they explained God’s promise of a future earthly paradise. Eva liked what she learned and began to attend the meetings regularly.
Soon thereafter, Eva left her boyfriend in order to live by Bible standards. Despite violent opposition from her family, she continued to make spiritual progress and was baptized in 1995. Six months later, Eva enrolled as a pioneer, or full-time Kingdom proclaimer. She has since helped four deaf people to the point of dedication and baptism.
Carlos was born deaf. From childhood he became involved in drugs, immorality, and theft. Threatened by rival gang members, he fled to São Paulo and stayed with João for a time. João, like Carlos, was deaf and led a wayward life.
Some years later, Carlos learned the Kingdom message, moving him to clean up his life and legalize his marriage. After meeting the Scriptural requirements, Carlos was baptized in symbol of his dedication to Jehovah. Meanwhile, unknown to Carlos, João had also become acquainted with the good news, and he too made great changes in his life. On learning that Jehovah does not approve of the use of images, João threw away his collection of “saints.” After abandoning his former life-style, João also got baptized.
How overjoyed Carlos and João were when they met at a Kingdom Hall and saw the changes that each had made! Both are now responsible family heads and serve as zealous Kingdom proclaimers.
In Brazil, there are currently 30 sign-language congregations and 154 groups, with over 2,500 publishers, of whom some 1,500 are deaf. At Brazil’s 2001 “Teachers of God’s Word” District Conventions for the deaf, more than 3,000 attended, and 36 were baptized. With Jehovah’s blessing, hopefully many more deaf ones will accept the Kingdom message.
^ par. 4 Names have been changed.