MY PAPA name na Arthur Guest. When e be young man, e love God and e plan sey e go be pastor for Methodist church. But im plan change when e read the book wey Bible Students print and when e start to go their meeting. E baptize for 1914 when e dey 17 years. That time, World War I dey hot, and dem sey make my papa join military. Because e no join, dem come put am for one prison wey dem dey call Kingston Penitentiary wey dey for Ontario, Canada. Na ten month dem sey e go stay there. After dem release am, e do colporteur (pioneer) work.
For 1926, my papa marry my mama wey be Hazel Wilkinson. My mama mother don already learn the truth for Bible for 1908. Dem born me for April 24, 1931. We be four children and na me be second born. For our family, we no dey take Jehovah play. And because our papa no take Bible play, we self come like Bible well well even as we don big. We dey always go preaching together.—Acts 20:20.
I OBEY GOD AND I PIONEER LIKE MY PAPA
World War II start for 1939, and the next year dem ban our preaching work for Canada. Government school dey do things wey show sey dem like their country well well and wey show sey dem go do anything to support am. For example, dem dey salute flag and sing national anthem. Anytime wey dem dey do something like that, dem dey drive me and my senior sister, Dorothy, from class. But one day, my teacher do wetin surprise me. E come dey call me fear fear to disgrace me. When school close, some of my classmate come block me and dem beat me. But that one even make me get mind more more sey, ‘na God I go obey as ruler, no be people.’—Acts 5:29.
For July 1942 when I dey 11 years, dem baptize me for inside tank for one farm. Anytime wey school dey holiday every year, I like to dey do vacation pioneer (wey we dey call auxiliary pioneer now). E get one time wey I follow three brothers go unassigned territory wey dey where dem dey call northern Ontario. We preach to people wey their work na to cut big big tree for bush.
For May 1, 1949 I come be regular pioneer. Because dem dey do construction work for branch office wey dey Canada, dem come sey make I join dem. Na so I take be Bethelite for December 1. Dem put me for where dem dey print our book dem and I learn how to use one printing machine wey dem dey call flatbed press. For some weeks, I do night shift when we dey print one tract wey talk about how dem dey suffer Jehovah people for Canada.
After, when I dey Service Department, I come talk with some pioneer wey visit our branch office. Dem dey go do pioneer for Quebec, one place wey dem dey suffer Jehovah people well well that time. One of dem na Mary Zazula wey come from Edmonton, Alberta. Im papa and mama strong well well for Orthodox church. Because im and Joe, im senior brother no gree stop to study Bible, dem pursue dem comot for house. Two of dem baptize for June 1951 and dem start to pioneer after six month. As I dey talk with dem, I come see sey Mary love Jehovah and I like that kind person. I come tell myself sey, ‘If nothing spoil, this girl be like who I go marry.’ Na January 30, 1954 we come marry after nine month. After one week, dem call us make we come training to do circuit work. We do circuit work for two years for northern Ontario.
As Jehovah dey bless the preaching work for many place for the world, we come need more people wey go do missionary work. Me and my wife feel sey as we fit bear the cold weather and the mosquito for Canada, we go fit bear any condition for anywhere. We graduate from the 27th class of Gilead School for July 1956, and for November we come go where dem send us go for Brazil.
MISSIONARY WORK FOR BRAZIL
When we reach the branch for Brazil, dem come tell us about Portuguese language wey dem dey speak for there. Before we start to preach, we learn how to greet people. We still practice how we go use one minute talk when we want give people magazine. If the person wey we dey preach to like wetin we talk, brothers advise us sey make we read Bible verse wey talk about how life go be for God Kingdom. The first day wey we go preach, one woman listen to us well. I come read Revelation 21:3, 4. As I read am finish, I come faint! My body never master the hot weather, and na this problem I go dey face.
Na for one city wey dem dey call Campos, wey get 15 congregation now, we do our work. When we reach there, na only one group (no be congregation) dem get for the city and one house for missionary wey four sisters dey. The sisters name na Esther Tracy, Ramona Bauer, Luiza Schwarz, and Lorraine Brookes (wey be Lorraine Wallen now). Na me dey wash the cloths for the house and na me dey go carry fire wood wey dem go use cook. One Monday after our Watchtower Study for night, we see wetin surprise us. We dey gist about things wey we do that day and my wife relax for chair. As e remove head from pillow make e get up, na im e see snake. No be small wahala the snake cause before I kill am!
After I learn the language finish for one year, I come be circuit overseer. For the village dem wey we stay, light no dey, na mat we dey sleep, and na horse wey carry where person fit put load, we dey use travel. One time wey we go preach for unassigned territory, na train we use travel go one town wey dey for where mountain dey. We rent one room for inside one house. Branch office send 800 magazine give us wey we go use for preaching. We dey travel go post office many times go carry the different different box wey dem put magazine.
For 1962, dem do Kingdom Ministry School for brothers and missionary sisters for the whole Brazil. For six month, I just dey travel go teach for different different place wey dem dey do the school, but I no carry my wife. I go place like Manaus, Belém, Fortaleza, Recife, and Salvador. I arrange one district convention for one place wey people know well well wey dem dey call opera house wey dey Manaus. The heavy rain wey fall spoil the water wey we want drink and we no come get better place to stay chop. (That time, dem dey serve food for convention.) I go tell military people wetin happen. One of their oga come arrange to give us water for the whole convention program. E still send soldiers come make dem build two big better shade wey we go use do kitchen and wey we go stay chop. The man do well for us and belle sweet am for wetin e do.
The time wey I no dey, my wife go preach for one business area wey dem dey speak Portuguese language. Na only how to get money people dey talk about for there. E no fit preach to anybody, so e tell some Bethelite sey, ‘The place wey I no go like stay na Portugal.’ E no tey, dem send letter give us sey make we go Portugal. My wife shock! That time, dem ban our preaching work for Portugal, but we still go even though sey my wife first shock.
OUR WORK FOR PORTUGAL
We reach one place wey be Lisbon, wey dey Portugal, for August 1964. The secret police for Portugal (PIDE) suffer our brothers well well. So, e good as no brother come welcome us and we no look for any of dem for there. As we dey wait make government give us ‘permit’ wey go let us stay for the country, we first stay for hotel. After we don get ‘permit,’ we rent one house. For January 1965, branch office come fit dey reach us. I no fit talk how we happy reach when we go our first meeting after five month!
We hear sey police dey come search our brothers house everyday. Because dem lock Kingdom Hall, brothers come dey do meeting for other brothers house. Dem carry many brothers go police station to know who dem be and to ask dem question. Dem treat brothers anyhow so that dem go talk the name of other brothers wey dey conduct meeting. Because of that one, brothers no come dey call each other with their papa name. Instead, dem come dey use their own name like, José or Paulo. Na so me and my wife still do.
Wetin concern us pass na make our brothers fit get the things wey go continue to make their faith strong. My wife dey use one machine wey dem dey call mimeograph take dey make our book dem and the Watchtower wey we go study for meeting. After e don type am on top wetin dem dey call stencil, the mimeograph go dey photocopy am.
WE PREACH THE GOOD NEWS FOR COURT
For June 1966, dem carry 49 brothers and sisters wey dey Feijó Congregation go court for Lisbon, because our brothers dey do meeting for other brothers house. We no fit forget wetin happen. I do practice with the brothers make dem fit know wetin dem go face for the court. I do as if na me be the lawyer wey dey ask dem question. We know sey we no go win the case, but we see am as chance to preach. When our lawyer want finish wetin e dey talk, e no fear talk wetin Gamaliel talk for Bible. (Acts 5:33-39) News people carry the news about wetin happen. Na different different time the 49 brothers and sisters take stay prison, from 45 days to five and half month. E sweet us sey that our lawyer come dey study Bible with Jehovah people and dey go meeting before e die.
For December 1966, I come be branch overseer and I handle many court matter. We do everything wey we fit do to make government know why dem suppose allow Jehovah Witness people serve their God as Bible talk. (Phil. 1:7) At last, dem come give us free hand for December 18, 1974. When brother Nathan Knorr and Frederick Franz, wey dey among brothers wey dey direct the work that time, visit Portugal, dem show sey dem happy for wetin happen. We no go forget the meeting wey we do for where dem dey call Oporto and Lisbon wey 46,870 people come.
Jehovah don bless the work for different different island where dem dey speak Portuguese language. Some na Azores, Cape Verde, Madeira, and São Tomé and Príncipe. Because many people dey enter Jehovah organization, we come need to build big branch office. After we build am finish, na Brother Milton Henschel give the dedication talk for April 23, 1988. Na 45,522 people come and belle sweet dem. Twenty brothers and sisters wey don do missionary work before for Portugal, dey among dem.
OTHER PEOPLE EXAMPLE HELP US
For all this years, we don really learn plenty better things from brothers and sisters. For example, I learn one better thing when I follow Brother Theodore Jaracz do zone visit for one branch office. The branch office get one serious problem, and the brothers for Branch Committee don do everything wey dem fit do. Brother Jaracz come tell dem wetin make their mind come down. E sey: ‘Time don reach make una give holy spirit chance to work.’ One time wey we go Brooklyn, even though e don tey, I still remember one evening when me, my wife, Brother Franz and other brothers dey together. We tell Brother Franz make e tell us something about the many years wey e don dey serve Jehovah. E sey: ‘The advice wey I go give una be sey: No matter wetin happen, no comot for Jehovah organization. Na only this organization dey preach the good news about God Kingdom as Jesus command im disciples to do.’
Me and my wife don see sey to follow that advice dey make us happy. We no go ever forget the different different zone visit wey we follow do. E give us chance to show young and old brothers and sisters sey we like as dem dey serve Jehovah well. And we still advise dem make dem continue to serve Jehovah for im organization.
Many years don pass, and two of us don pass 80 years. Many sickness dey worry my wife. (2 Cor. 12:9) Some things wey we suffer make our faith strong more more and we come ready to do everything wey we fit do to serve Jehovah well. When we dey think about the kind life wey we don live, we know sey Jehovah don show us im favor for different different way. *
^ par. 29 Douglas Guest die for October 25, 2015, when we still dey prepare to put this story for magazine. E serve Jehovah well till e die.