ONE morning, for one place wey dem dey call Brookings wey dey South Dakota, for U.S.A, everywhere just cold. E make me remember sey snow go soon start to fall. That day, me and other people stand for front of one big container wey dem dey use give animal water. The water cold and we dey inside one house for farm dey shake. Even though sey cold dey catch us, we want enter inside the water and fire no dey the house to make am warm! But before I go talk why we dey there, make I first tell una about myself.
WHEN I DEY WITH MY FAMILY
Dem born me for March 7, 1936. We be four children and na me be last born. Our house dey one small farm wey dey east for South Dakota. Na farm work our family take dey chop so we no dey take am play. But we no take am as number one thing for our life. My mama and papa baptize as Jehovah Witness for 1934. Dem give Jehovah their life and the first thing for their life na to do wetin e want. My papa name na Clarence and I get one uncle wey im name na Alfred. Two of dem don be company servant (wey we dey call coordinator of body of elders now) before for our small congregation wey dey where dem dey call Conde for South Dakota.
Our family dey always go meeting and go preach to people about the better things wey Jehovah go do for front. Wetin my mama and papa do and the way dem take train us make us love Jehovah well well. Me and my sister wey im name na Dorothy start to preach when we dey six years. For 1943, I enter one new school wey dem just start for our meeting wey be Theocratic Ministry School.
Our family no dey play with convention and assembly at all! For 1949, we go one convention for where dem dey call Sioux Falls for South Dakota. For there, Brother Grant Suiter give one talk wey the topic na “It Is Later Than You Think! (Time No Dey!).” E talk why e good make everybody wey don give Jehovah their life suppose use am preach about God Kingdom. That talk touch me and e make me give Jehovah my life. So, I come baptize for our next circuit assembly for where dem dey call Brookings for November 12, 1949. Na im make me and three other people stand dey wait to baptize for inside that cold house wey I don first talk about for beginning. And we baptize inside the big iron container.
I come talk sey I go pioneer. So, for January 1, 1952 when I dey 15 years, I start to pioneer. Many people for my family really support me for this work. Bible talk sey: ‘Person wey dey waka with who get sense, go get sense.’ I happy sey my family dey among this people wey get sense. (Prov. 13:20) My uncle wey dey 60 years, wey im name na Julius come be my pioneer partner. Even though sey e senior me well well, we really enjoy to waka together for preaching. I learn many things from wetin e don see for life. E no tey Dorothy my sister come start to pioneer.
CIRCUIT OVERSEER DEM SHOW ME LOVE
When I young, many circuit overseer and their wife dey come stay for our house. Jesse and Lynn Cantwell na one of dem. The advice wey dem give me make me start to pioneer. And I come want use my life do more work for Jehovah because of the love wey dem show me. Sometimes, when dem dey with congregation wey near our place, dem go sey make I come join dem preach. E dey sweet me to follow dem preach and I learn many things from dem!
When I dey 18 years, Bud Miller and im wife Joan, come be our new circuit overseer. That time, government dey choose people wey go join military. Dem first put my name join people wey go fight war. But Jesus sey make people wey dey follow am no put hand for war or politics matter. And wetin dey my mind na to dey preach about God Kingdom. (John 15:19) So, I come sey make dem put my name among people wey no go join military.
I happy well well when Brother Miller sey e go follow me go meet the government people. Brother Miller na person wey no dey fear and e dey quick make friend. My mind come strong because this kind person wey sabi Bible follow me go! After we don talk with dem, for 1954, dem come put my name among people wey no go join military. This one come open road for me to fit do more for Jehovah work.
Around this time, dem call me come Bethel. And I work for Watchtower Farm, wey dey where dem dey call Staten Island for New York. E reach like three years wey I take work for there. This one make me learn many things because I work with people wey get sense.
Jehovah Witness radio station wey be WBBR dey the farm for Staten Island. We use this station from 1924 go reach 1957. E no pass 20 Bethelite wey dey work for the farm. Many of us young and we no too sabi the work. But e get one anointed brother wey dey stay with us wey senior us. Im name na Eldon Woodworth. E really show sey im na person wey get sense. E treat us like im children and that one come make us dey do well for the work. Sometimes, when we get problem with each other Brother Woodworth go sey na good thing sey even with the sin for our body, God still dey use us do im work and e dey help us change.
Another person wey help us na Brother Frederick W. Franz. E get sense, e sabi Bible well well and e love us. That one still help us continue to enjoy our work. We still get another anointed brother wey dem dey call Harry Peterson. Na im dey cook for us. We dey call am Harry Peterson because e dey hard us to call im real name wey be Papargyropoulos. E use all im mind and power take preach. E do im Bethel work well, but that one no make am play with preaching. Magazine wey e dey give for preaching every month dey pass hundred. E know Bible well well and e use am answer many of our question.
I GAIN FROM SISTERS WEY WISE
For the farm, we dey arrange the fruit and vegetable dem put for container. Na around 45,000 quarts (42,600 L) we dey keep every year wey Bethelites go use. Na this time I work with Etta Huth, one sister wey really get sense. E dey tell us how to prepare the fruit and vegetable before we put am inside container. When time reach to put the fruit dem for container, other sisters dey come join us work. Etta dey respect the brothers wey dey direct things for the farm even though sey e sabi the work well well. This one na better example.
Angela Romano na one young sister wey still join us for this work. When e start to serve Jehovah na Etta help am. Angela na another wise sister wey I meet when I still dey Bethel. For April 1958, I come marry Angela and we don dey together now for 58 years. We don do many things for Jehovah work together. All this years, Angie my wife don show sey e no go leave Jehovah. And that one don make our marriage strong. No matter the problem wey we face, I know sey my wife go support me.
MISSIONARY AND CIRCUIT WORK
For 1957 when dem sell WBBR radio station wey dey Stalen Island, I work small for Bethel wey dey Brooklyn. Na when I marry Angie I comot for Bethel. Me and my wife come use around three years pioneer for Staten Island. I even work small for the people wey buy our radio station. Their station name na WPOW.
Me and my wife ready our mind sey we no go gather money and property so that Jehovah fit use us do im work for anywhere. Na im make for 1961, we fit go do special pioneer work wey dem give us for where dem dey call Falls City, wey dey Nebraska. E no tey, dem come tell us make we come Kingdom Ministry School. That time, the School na one month and e dey where dem dey call South Lansing, for New York. We like wetin we learn for the School and we think sey dem go tell us make we go back to Nebraska. So, we surprise when dem tell us sey na one place wey dem dey call Cambodia we want go do missionary work! The place fine and e dey for Southeast Asia. We see new things, we hear new things, and we smell fine fine scent wey we never smell before. We really want preach to plenty people for there.
But when katakata dey Cambodia, we come go another place wey dem dey call South Vietnam. We no stay there pass two years before I come get serious sickness. So, dem tell us sey make we go back to our country. E pain me. But as time dey go, I come well. As I well finish, we start to pioneer again.
For March 1965, Jehovah come bless us with circuit work. For 33 years, me and my wife do circuit work, district work, and we arrange different different convention. I like Convention, so I happy sey I put hand for Convention work. For some years, we visit different different congregation around New York City, and dem do many convention for Yankee Stadium.
WHEN I GO BACK TO BETHEL AND THE DIFFERENT DIFFERENT SCHOOL
Many people wey dey do special full time work dey enjoy am. Na so e still be for me and my wife. For example, for 1995, dem sey make I go teach for Ministerial Training School. After three years, dem call us come Bethel. Na for Bethel I start special full time work. So after 40 years, e sweet me sey I come back. For small time, I work for Service Department and I teach for many of the school. For 2007, Governing Body come form Theocratic Schools Department wey go dey direct all the school for Bethel. For some years, na me be overseer.
Nowadays, many things don change for the different different school wey Jehovah take dey teach im people. For 2008, we start School for Congregation Elders. Before three years, e pass 12,000 elders wey don go this school for where dem dey call Patterson and Bethel wey dey Brooklyn. We still dey do this school for other place. And na brothers wey we train dey teach for this school dem. For 2010, Ministerial Training School come get new name wey be Bible School for Single Brothers. After, we come form Bible School for Christian Couples.
For September 2014, we join Bible School for Single Brothers and Bible School for Christian Couples as one school. So, the new name come be School for Kingdom Evangelizers. People wey don marry and single brothers or sisters fit come the school. Brothers and sisters for the whole world happy when dem hear sey dem go do this school for many branch office. E really sweet me to know sey many people go get the chance to fit go this school dem. And I happy sey I don meet many people wey come this different different school.
From the time wey I baptize come reach now, when I remember the many wise people wey don help me serve Jehovah well, I dey thank am. Some of dem senior me and I senior some of dem. Many of dem no come from my place. But you go see am from their character and wetin dem dey do sey dem really love Jehovah. For Jehovah organization, we get many wise people wey we fit make friend with. I don do am and I don really gain.