TAEM mi 12 year, mi luksavve mi garem gudfala samting for givim long pipol. Long wanfala assembly, wanfala brata askem mi sapos mi laek for go preach witim hem. Nomata mi no duim preaching waka enitaem bifor, mi talem hem mi laek for duim. Mifala go long territory, and hem givim mi samfala buklet wea story abaotem Kingdom bilong God. Then hem sei: “Iu go duim narasaed long road, and mi bae duim dis saed long road.” Mi fraet lelebet, bat mi go preach long olketa haos hia, and mi sapraes from mi givim evri buklet wea mi garem. Staka hapi for tekem samting wea mi givim long olketa.

Mi born long 1923 long Chatham, Kent, long England. Long olketa year bihaen World War I, pipol tingse laef bae kamap gud. Bat taem datwan no happen, staka pipol feel nogud, and dadi and mami bilong mi tu olsem. Tufala feel nogud tu long olketa bigman long Baptist Church wea aftarem nomoa hae position long church. Taem mi 9 year, mami bilong mi start for go long wanfala hall bilong olketa International Bible Students Association. Hem nao ples wea olketa hia wea start for iusim datfala nem Olketa Jehovah’s Witness holem “olketa class,” wea hem nao olketa meeting bilong olketa. Wanfala sista savve storyim long mifala olketa pikinini olketa story insaed Bible and insaed datfala buk The Harp of God. Mi laekem tumas wanem mi lanem.

LANE FROM OLKETA BRATA WEA MATURE

Taem mi teenager, mi laekem tumas for helpem pipol for savve long hope wea Bible storyim. Staka taem mi savve go seleva for preach long haos tu haos, bat taem mi preach witim olketa narawan, mi lane from olketa. Olsem example, wantaem mi and wanfala olo brata gogo for preaching, and pasim wanfala bigman long religion, and mi sei: “Wanfala goat long there.” Datfala brata go daon from baesikol bilong hem and talem for mitufala sidaon firstaem long wanfala log. Hem sei: “Hu nao givim iu paoa for judgem narawan and sei hem wanfala goat? Waka bilong iumi hem for storyim gud nius long pipol, and Jehovah nao bae judgem olketa.” Long datfala taem, mi lanem staka samting abaotem wei wea man savve hapi taem hem givim samting.—Matt. 25:31-33; Acts 20:35.

Narafala brata helpem mi for luksavve wei for patient and no givap hem wanfala wei for givim samting, wea man savve kasem hapi from datwan. Waef bilong hem no laekem Olketa Jehovah’s Witness. Wantaem datfala brata invaetem mi for go long haos bilong hem for kap tea. Waef bilong hem barava kros bikos brata hia go long preaching, so hem sutim mifala long olketa packet tea. Brata hia no kros long waef bilong hem, bat hem hapi nomoa and putim bak olketa packet tea hia. Staka year bihaen, hem kasem  gud samting from hem patient. Waef bilong hem baptaes and kamap wanfala Jehovah’s Witness.

Long September 1939, taem mi 16 year, Britain faet againstim Germany. Long March 1940, mi and mami bilong mi baptaes long Dover. Long June 1940, mi lukim staka thousand soldia go pas long haos bilong mifala insaed olketa army trak. Olketa kam bak from faet long Dunkirk. Mi lukim datfala war hem barava affectim olketa soldia hia and olketa no garem eni hope. Mi laekem tumas for story abaotem Kingdom bilong God long olketa mekem olketa savve Kingdom nomoa bae stretem evri problem bilong olketa man. Long end bilong datfala year, Germany start for bombim England. Evri naet olketa army plane bilong Germany flae ovarem ples wea mifala stap. Mifala fraet fogud taem mifala herem saond wea here olsem whistle, from mifala savve olketa aeroplane hia dropim kam olketa bomb. Long morning, mifala lukim staka haos wea olketa bomb hia distroem. Olketa samting hia mekem mi luksavve Kingdom nomoa bae stretem evri problem bilong olketa man.

START FOR DUIM WAKA FOR HELPEM PIPOL

Long 1941, mi start for duim full-taem ministry, wea diswan hem waka wea mekem mi hapi fogud. Long datfala taem mi waka long Royal Dockyard long Chatham, wea mi lanem hao for wakem olketa ship. Diswan hem waka wea staka pipol laek for duim, bikos company savve provaedem staka samting for olketa wakaman. Bat pipol bilong Jehovah savve olketa Christian mas no joinim war. And kasem 1941, mifala luksavve tu mifala shud no duim eni waka wea sapotim war. (John 18:36) Long ples wea mi waka olketa wakem olketa submarine, so mi disaed for finis from datfala waka and start for pioneer. Firstfala assignment bilong mi hem long Cirencester, wanfala naesfala taon long Cotswolds.

Taem mi 18 year, mi go long prison for naenfala month bikos mi no laek for joinim army. Mi feel nogud tumas taem olketa leadim mi go long cell, olketa satem door long datfala cell, and mi stap seleva. Bat no longtaem bihaen, olketa gard and nara prisoner askem mi why nao mi long prison, and mi hapi for storyim biliv bilong mi long olketa.

Bihaen mi kamaot long prison, mi pioneer witim Leonard Smith, * and mitufala preach long olketa difren taon long Kent, wea hem hom bilong mifala. Long datfala taem wea olketa aeroplane bilong Germany dropim bomb long London, olketa mas flae ovarem Kent. Start long 1944, winim wan thousand doodlebug foldaon long Kent. Doodlebug hem olketa smol aeroplane wea flae seleva and garem staka bomb insaed. Taem mifala herem engine bilong olketa smol aeroplane hia hem stop, mifala savve aeroplane hia bae foldaon and bosta. Evriwan fraet fogud. Long  datfala taem mifala study witim wanfala famili wea garem 3-fala pikinini. Samfala taem mifala sidaon andanit long wanfala iron tebol wea mifala savve haed andanit sapos eni bomb foldaon antap long haos hia. Gogo, evriwan long datfala famili olketa baptaes.

PREACHIM GUD NIUS LONG OLKETA NARA KANTRI

Mifala advertisem wanfala convention taem mi pioneer long Ireland

Bihaen long war, mi pioneer for tufala year long south part bilong Ireland. Bat pipol long Ireland barava difren from pipol long England. Taem mifala preach long olketa haos mifala talem pipol mifala olketa missionary and mifala laekem eni ples for stap. Mifala duim street waka and offerim olketa magasin. Evri samting hia, pipol long Ireland no laekem bikos hem wanfala Catholic kantri. Taem wanfala man sei bae hem killim mifala, mi go reportim hem long wanfala policeman bat hem sei olsem long mi, “Long hia hem olsem nao ia!” Long datfala taem nao mifala just luksavve olketa priest nao garem paoa ovarem pipol. Olsem example, olketa priest nao bihaenem wei for sakem eniwan from waka bilong hem sapos hem tekem buk bilong mifala. And tu, olketa talem pipol wea mifala stap witim for raosem mifala from haos bilong olketa.

So taem mifala arrive long niu area, mifala luksavve best samting for mifala duim firstaem, hem for go preach long olketa farawe area wea priest long there no savve long mifala. Bihaen datwan nao mifala preach long pipol wea stap klosap. Long Kilkenny, mifala study witim wanfala young man thrifala taem long week nomata wanfala raf grup sei bae olketa killim mifala. From mi laekem tumas for teachim Bible long pipol, mi laek kasem training for duim missionary waka. So mi apply for go long Watchtower Bible Skul Bilong Gilead.

Sailing boat Sibia hem missionary hom bilong mifala start long 1948 go kasem 1953

Bihaen mi skul long New York for faevfala month, mi and nara thrifala long class bilong mi kasem assignment for go long olketa island long Caribbean Sea. Long November 1948, mifala lusim New York City insaed Sibia, wanfala sailing boat wea long bilong hem 18 meter. Hem nao firstaem for mi go insaed sailing boat, so mi hapi tumas. Gust Maki, wea mifala go tugeta hem wanfala kapten. Hem lanem mifala hao for duim olketa waka long boat olsem for apim and daonem olketa sail, hao for iusim compass, and hao for steerim sail. Nomata sea hem raf, Brata Gust savve tumas hao for tekem boat so mifala kasem Bahamas bihaen 30-fala day.

PREACHIM GUD NIUS LONG “OLKETA ISLAND”

Bihaen mifala preach long olketa smol island long Bahamas for tu-thri month, mifala sail go long olketa Leeward and Windward island. Olketa smol island hia stap midol long Virgin Islands and Trinidad, insaed area wea hem 800 kilometer long. For faevfala year mifala preach nomoa long olketa island wea no garem eni Witness. Samfala taem mifala no savve sendem or kasem eni leta for samfala week. Bat mifala hapi tumas for story abaotem Jehovah long “olketa island” hia!—Jer. 31:10.

Olketa missionary long sailing boat Sibia (left go kasem raet): Ron Parkin, Dick Ryde, Gust Maki, and Stanley Carter

Taem mifala go anchor long bay, pipol savve kam hipap long wharf bikos olketa laek for savve hu nao mifala. Hem firstaem bilong samfala for lukim boat olsem bilong mifala or for lukim eni white man. Olketa pipol wea stap long olketa island hia olketa kaen and savve gud long Bible. Olketa savve givim mifala fish, avocado, and olketa peanut. Nomata boat hia hem smol nomoa, mifala savve kuki, sleep, and waswas kaleko insaed.

Mifala savve go shore and preach long pipol full day. Mifala talem olketa wanfala Bible tok bae kamap long evening. Then long evening mifala ringim belo long ship and hem naes tumas for lukim pipol start for arrive kam. Taem olketa wakabaot kam daon  followim hill, laet wea olketa holem luk olsem olketa star wea shaen kam. Samfala taem 100-fala pipol nao kam and olketa askem olketa kwestin gogo hem midol naet nao. Olketa laekem tumas for singsing, so mifala typem samfala Kingdom song for olketa. Mifala fofala traem best bilong mifala for singim olketa song mekem olketa singsing followim mifala. Singsing bilong olketa here naes fogud. Mifala barava enjoyim datwan!

Samfala taem, bihaen mifala study witim samfala, olketa savve kam witim mifala long nara study mekem olketa joinim datfala study tu. Bihaen mifala stap tu-thri week long wanfala ples, then mifala mas go moa long nara ples. Staka taem mifala savve askem olketa wea barava interest wea mifala study witim olketa for olketa nao study witim olketa narawan go kasem taem mifala kam bak. Hem barava naes tumas for lukim samfala long olketa barava faithful for duim datwan.

Distaem olketa island hia hem ples bilong olketa tourist for visitim, bat long datfala taem, olketa ples hia hem kwaet nomoa, hem garem olketa naes lagoon, olketa white sandbis, and olketa kokonat tree. Staka taem mifala savve sail go long nara island long naet. Olketa dolphin savve swim and plei raonem boat bilong mifala, and from hem kwaet fogud, saond bilong boat wea go antap long wata nomoa mifala savve herem. Taem moon hem shaen antap long sea wea kwaet fogud, datwan hem luk naes tumas.

Bihaen mifala preach long olketa island hia for faevfala year, mifala sail go long Puerto Rico for tekem wanfala niu boat wea ran long engine. Taem mifala kasem long there, mi meetim Maxine Boyd, wanfala naesbola missionary sista and mi laekem hem tumas. Hem strong for duim preaching waka taem hem smol yet. Bihaen, hem kamap missionary long Dominican Republic go kasem 1950, taem gavman wea Catholic Church nao kontrolem aotem hem from datfala kantri. From mi crew bilong ship, visa bilong mi for stap long Puerto Rico hem wanfala month nomoa. Then bae mifala go moa long olketa nara island for samfala year moa. So long tingting bilong mi, sapos mi no duim eni samting, mi missim chance bilong mi nao. Bihaen thrifala week mi askem Maxine for maritim mi, and then bihaen sixfala week mitufala marit nao. Mi and Maxine kasem assignment for missionary long Puerto Rico, so mi no go nao long datfala niu boat.

Long 1956, mitufala start for duim circuit waka. Staka long olketa brata and sista long there no garem staka material samting bat mifala enjoyim tumas for visitim olketa. Olsem example, long wanfala vilij long Potala Pastillo, tufala Witness famili garem staka pikinini and mi savve pleim flute for olketa. Mi askem wanfala smol gele wea nem bilong hem Hilda sapos hem laek kam preach witim mifala. Hem sei: “Mi laek kam, bat mi no garem eni shoe for werem.” Mifala baem shoe for hem and hem kam preach witim mifala. Staka year bihaen, taem mi and Maxine go long Brooklyn long 1972, wanfala sista wea just graduate from Gilead Skul kam story long mitufala. Hem redi for go long assignment bilong hem long Ecuador, and hem sei: “Ating iutufala no luksavve long mi ia, iaman? Mi nao datfala smol gele long Pastillo wea no garem eni shoe.” Datfala sista hem Hilda! Mifala hapi gogo mifala krae nao!

Long 1960, mitufala kasem assignment for waka long Puerto Rico branch, wea hem wanfala smol haos long Santurce, San Juan. Firstaem mitufala Lennart Johnson nao duim klosap evri waka long branch. Brata Johnson and waef bilong hem nao firstfala Witness long Dominican Republic, and long 1957, tufala muv go long Puerto Rico. Bihaen, Maxine kasem assignment for sendem olketa magasin long pipol wea garem subscription. Hem savve sendem winim wan thousand magasin evri week. Hem enjoyim tumas datfala assignment bikos hem savve olketa magasin hia helpem pipol for savve abaotem Jehovah.

Mi enjoyim tumas for waka long Bethel bikos mi iusim strong bilong mi for duim waka bilong Jehovah. Bat samfala taem hem no isi. Olsem example, long 1967, taem mifala holem firstfala international assembly long Puerto Rico, hem bigfala waka for mifala organizem evri samting. Nathan Knorr, wea hem lukaftarem waka bilong Olketa Jehovah’s Witness long datfala taem, hem kam long Puerto Rico. Hem tingse mi no arrangem transport for olketa missionary wea kam for datfala assembly. Bihaen, hem givim strongfala kaonsel long mi abaotem wei for organize and sei hem no hapi long mi. Mi stap kwaet nomoa, bat bihaen datwan mi feel nogud for longfala taem bikos tingting bilong hem abaotem mi hem no stret. Nomata olsem, long next taem wea mitufala Maxine meetim Brata Knorr, hem invaetem mifala long rum bilong hem and kuki for mifala.

Mifala visitim famili bilong mi wea stap long  England tu-thri taem. Taem mi and mami kam insaed long truth, dadi no interest long truth. Bat taem olketa brata from Bethel visit for givim tok, staka taem mami savve invaetem olketa for stap long haos bilong mifala. Dadi bilong mi luksavve olketa brata hia hambol. Olketa barava difren from olketa bigman long church wea hem feel nogud long olketa staka year bifor. Gogo, long 1962, hem baptaes and kamap wanfala Jehovah’s Witness.

Mitufala Maxine long Puerto Rico no longtaem bihaen mitufala marit, and long mek-50 wedding anniversary long 2003

Waef bilong mi Maxine, hem dae long 2011. Mi barava luk forward for lukim hem taem hem bae laef bak moa. Mi barava hapi taem mi tingim datwan! Insaed long 58 year wea mitufala Maxine marit, mifala lukim namba bilong Olketa Jehovah’s Witness long Puerto Rico hem grow from 650 pablisa go kasem 26,000! Gogo, long 2013, United States branch start for lukaftarem waka long Puerto Rico, and mi kasem assignment for go waka long Wallkill, New York. Bihaen 60 year wea mi stap long Puerto Rico, mi feel olsem mi man long there nao. Mi hapi tumas taem mi stap long Puerto Rico, bat mi mas go nao.

“GOD HEM LOVEM MAN WEA HAPI FOR GIVIM SAMTING”

Mi hapi for gohed waka long Bethel. Distaem mi winim 90 year, and waka bilong mi hem for encouragem olketa Bethelite. Start long taem wea mi kam long Wallkill, winim 600 brata and sista nao mi encouragem olketa. Samfala kam for askem advaes long mi for problem bilong olketa or eni famili problem wea olketa garem. Olketa narawan laekem advaes saed long waka bilong olketa long Bethel. Olketa narawan moa laekem advaes bikos olketa just marit or olketa kasem niu assignment for go pioneer. Mi lisin long evriwan wea kam story long mi and staka taem mi savve sei long olketa: “‘God hem lovem man wea hapi for givim samting.’ So hapi for duim eni assignment. Waka wea iu duim hem for Jehovah.”—2 Cor. 9:7.

Sapos iu laek for hapi long assignment bilong iu long Bethel or long eni nara assignment, iu mas evritaem tingim why nao waka wea iu duim hem important. Evri waka wea iumi duim long Bethel hem join witim worship bilong iumi for Jehovah. Wanem iumi duim hem sapotim datfala “wakaman wea faithful and wise” for provaedem spiritual kaikai for olketa brata bilong iumi evriwea long world. (Matt. 24:45) Eni assignment wea iumi kasem, hem chance bilong iumi for praisem Jehovah. Iumi shud hapi for duim eni samting wea Jehovah askem bikos “God hem lovem man wea hapi for givim samting.”

^ par. 13 Iumi savve readim laef story bilong Leonard Smith long Wastaoa bilong April 15, 2012.