An Open House With a Purpose

“WHAT do they do there?” Many who drive past the large complex of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Mogale City (Krugersdorp), near Johannesburg, South Africa, ask that question. So the Witnesses decided to hold an open house at the branch complex on October 12 and 13, 2007. The purpose was twofold​—to dispel false rumors and to show the public what the branch office is doing to support the work commanded by Jesus Christ.​—Matthew 28:19, 20.

Those serving at the branch office placed large signs at the entrance welcoming the public, and they delivered special invitations to neighbors. Business associates and their families were invited. The response? Over 500 visitors who are not Witnesses toured the facilities.

A big attraction was the MAN Roland Lithoman web-offset press that prints up to 90,000 magazines an hour. The vast shipping area that processes over 14 tons of literature daily also impressed the visitors, as did the bookbindery. Witnesses in the various departments prepared attractive displays, including one that summarized the history of mechanized printing, from Gutenberg to modern litho-offset printing. Another display highlighted how the branch takes care of the environment. For example, a special unit eliminates toxic gases and odors from dryers on the presses, and filters collect paper dust for disposal.

A local newspaper ran an article stating that the 700 volunteers living on the property “are ordained ministers who have dedicated themselves to Jehovah.” It also commented on “the impeccable cleanliness and timely fashion at which every thing runs” in the printery. A man who was opposed to Jehovah’s Witnesses came on tour. Afterward he wrote a letter that read: “Congratulations. It is not often that one can experience excellence on such a scale.”

Many visitors expressed appreciation for the tour of the facilities and were surprised to see that the branch is stocked with Bible-based literature in 151 languages and prints publications for 18 countries in southern and central Africa. Branch facilities of Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world are open for tours during work hours. Why not find out the time available for a tour by contacting the branch in your locality?

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Tours arriving at the branch complex

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South Africa branch complex at Mogale City, South Africa

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MAN Roland Lithoman web-offset press

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