Donation-Based Tour Experiences From Around the World
Experiences provided by one of our excellent tour guides in Australia.
Last night I joined a breakout room after the tour. In the group was a family of 6 from Papua New Guinea. The brothers from Papua New Guinea are generally shy, but very happy. This family consisted of Dad, Mum, two children (aged about 14 and 12), plus two younger ones. I asked them to turn their camera on so we could see them.
The brother explained that they live in a small village next to the ocean in an isolated province. There is no internet in the village, so the family has to climb to the top of a mountain at the back of their village to pick up a weak signal. The shelter they were in was built on top of the mountain to provide protection from the elements while allowing them to join their congregation meetings on Zoom. They have 21 publishers in their congregation.
Darkness has set in during the tour, so the area is now pitch black apart from the glow of the screen on their device and a small torch held by one of the children. With heartfelt gratitude, they thank us for allowing them to benefit from the tour. Despite the internet signal dropping in and out, they are keen to take the journey up the mountain next week for the next tour. They would use the small torch to guide them back down the mountain to their home in the village.
In another part of Papua New Guinea, a sister watches the tour on her phone while sitting in her car. She lives near one of the larger towns in the country. The internet in her area is so expensive that she cannot afford it, so she drives into town and parks her car as close to a café or restaurant offering free Wi-Fi as she can so that she can pick up their internet signal. The camera is shaky in her hands but her warm smile is unmistakable.
In India, the capital city of New Delhi has over 28 million people living in it. In one breakout room after the tour, we met a brother in his 90’s who was thrilled to be able to watch the turn. He turns his camera on and we see him standing in his one-room home. In a corner is a small stove and sink. There is also a table buckling under the weight of many theocratic publications, and there is a bed in another corner. The floor is concrete. He is materially very poor but spiritually rich.
He tells us that his father learned the truth in the early 1950s and that he himself was baptized in 1953. Despite his many years in the truth, he tells us that, since Covid-19 has stuck, he is struggling with his ministry. With some disappointment in his voice, he informs us that he is now conducting only 6 bible studies. When the pandemic broke out he quickly visited all his studies and asked if they could continue by phone. Many agreed, but they were so poverty-stricken that they did not even own a phone! (In Asia nearly everyone seems to have a phone) Undeterred, the elderly brother went out and bought cheap phones for his 6 students so that they could continue their bible studies. Phone witnessing is all he can do now. Since Covid-19 has decimated the Indian population he knows that when he is allowed to preach in public once again, he will find that many of his return visits and other studies will have passed away in death.
He was so encouraged by the tour, and to have an opportunity to enjoy the company of his spiritual family from all over the world.
These are just a few examples of the many brothers and sisters from poor countries who are now able to enjoy the tours. We regularly now see devices from Hong Kong, Vietnam, The Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, India, Pakistan, Mauritius, and the islands of the Pacific.
All of these brothers and sisters reassure us that they enjoy the same spiritual feeding program at the meetings as we do. No one is left out. Their zeal and love for Jehovah and the truth is very evident. Their knowledge of the scriptures, despite their limited resources, is amazing! Truly, only Jehovah could accomplish this spiritual feeding program worldwide.