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Jehovah’s Witnesses

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THE WATCHTOWER JANUARY 2014

 THE BIBLE CHANGES LIVES

“Jehovah Had Not Forgotten Me”

“Jehovah Had Not Forgotten Me”
  • YEAR BORN: 1922

  • COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: SPAIN

  • HISTORY: CATECHIST

MY PAST:

I was born into a middle-class neighborhood of Bilbao, in northern Spain. I was the second of four children. Our family were devout Catholics, and I attended Mass daily. At the age of 23, I became a teacher—a vocation that I loved and pursued for 40 years. Among other subjects, I was proud to teach the Catholic religion, and in the evenings I served as a catechist—instructing girls for their first communion.

After 12 years of happy marriage, I was widowed and left with four daughters to care for. I was only 33 years old! I tried to find consolation in my Catholic faith, but I had recurring questions. I wondered: ‘Why do humans continue to die if Christ redeemed us? Why do we pray for God’s Kingdom to come if good people go to heaven?’ And above all, I thought: ‘If God judges us when we die, why would we later need to leave heaven, purgatory, or hell for the final judgment?’

I put those questions to some priests I met. One of them answered: “I don’t know. Ask the bishop. Why does it matter? You believe in God, don’t you? Just let it be!” But I kept on searching for answers. Later, I attended lectures by Jesuits, Pentecostals, and Gnostics. Yet no one had satisfying answers to my questions.

HOW THE BIBLE CHANGED MY LIFE:

When I was in my 60’s, a seven-year-old pupil invited me to attend a meeting of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I liked what I saw and heard, but because of my busy life, I had no further contact with the Witnesses at that time. Two years later, a Witness couple named Juan and Maite knocked at my door. For three months, we had intensive question-and-answer sessions, which finally led to a Bible study.

How I longed for each study session! I investigated everything thoroughly, using three Bible translations to ensure that Jehovah’s Witnesses were teaching the truth. Soon I realized how religiously confused I had been for  decades. I felt perturbed by the vast differences between my former beliefs and what I was learning from the Bible. I felt overwhelmed, as if my beliefs were a deeply entrenched tree being uprooted.

I knew that I had found a treasure

Then, my second husband became seriously ill and died. About the same time, I retired from my job and left Bilbao for a while. Juan and Maite also moved away. Regrettably, I discontinued my Bible study. Deep down, however, I knew that I had found a treasure. I never forgot it.

Some 20 years later, when I was 82, Juan and Maite returned to Bilbao and paid me a visit. How happy I was to see them again! I realized that Jehovah had not forgotten me, and I resumed my study. Juan and Maite were very patient with me, as I would often ask the same questions repeatedly. I needed to hear the Biblical arguments over and over again to break the emotional bonds I had with my previous beliefs. I also wanted to be well-equipped to explain Bible truth to my friends and family.

The day I finally got baptized—at the age of 87—was the happiest of my life. The baptism was held in conjunction with an assembly of Jehovah’s Witnesses. A Christian elder delivered a Bible-based talk that was directed especially to those of us who were about to get baptized. The talk moved me to tears. I listened to it as though Jehovah were speaking directly to me. After I was baptized, dozens of Witnesses came up and congratulated me—even though most of them had never met me before!

HOW I HAVE BENEFITED:

I always knew that Jesus Christ is “the way.” (John 14:6) But my Bible study enabled me to get to know Jehovah, the one to whom Jesus leads us. Now I can pray to God as my dear Father and Friend. Reading the book Draw Close to Jehovah * was a turning point in my life. I first read it through in just one night! I was touched to learn how merciful Jehovah truly is.

Looking back on my long search for religious truth, I think of Jesus’ words: “Keep on asking, and it will be given you; keep on seeking, and you will find; keep on knocking, and it will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Now that I have found the answers I so longed for, it brings me great joy to share them with others.

At 90 years of age, I feel young spiritually. Every meeting I attend at the Kingdom Hall is a special occasion—both for the precious knowledge I receive and for the company of my dear brothers and sisters. I yearn to be a teacher again in the promised Paradise earth. (Revelation 21:3, 4) I especially look forward to seeing my dead loved ones return to life and then to having the opportunity to teach them Bible truth. (Acts 24:15) How I long to explain to them what a precious gift Jehovah gave me in my old age!

^ par. 15 Published by Jehovah’s Witnesses.