Experiences

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NEW SECTION ADDED: Delegate Experiences. One new ministry experiences added @July 21, 2023. One new delegate experience added @July 22, 2023.

Ministry Experiences

“This hits Me”

@July 22, 2023

We went to follow up on a man a sister from English had found in the territory. We knocked a few times at the front door and it seemed no one was home. Just as we were about to leave, a man called for us from the side door. After introducing ourselves and confirming it was the man the sister had spoken with, we gave him the Enjoy Life Forever! brochure in Hmong and asked if he’d like to see how we study the bible with it. He agreed and we started with lesson 1. After the opening paragraph he even commented that the bible is good and can help, but he didn’t think it can help everyone, like those “killing each other on the streets”. In the last few years he now fears for his safety and that of his family. It tied in well with the next paragraph. After reading it he said: “This hits me.” It was exactly what he had been expressing earlier, specifically the question “why do innocent people suffer?” We went over the next point in the lesson and he agreed to have us visit in a few days to continue the study. He even said he wants to bring his family to the meeting and “see what we’re all about.” 🙂

“He Had Already Downloaded It!”

@July 20, 2023

“A delegate brought me to visit a man he had called on the previous week. The man opened the door and was happy to see us. He spoke mostly Hmong and told us that he had a Bible despite being traditional. We went through the Bible study arrangement and he was very enthusiastic, especially after watching the video about the process. The brother had discussed JW Library with him the previous week. I asked him if I could show him how to use it, and he gave me his phone. To our surprise, he had already downloaded it on his phone! We showed him how to use it and set up a study for next week.”

Witnessing at the zoo

@July 7, 2023

"While we were at the zoo, my son had a conversation with a little girl about butterflies. He showed her a butterfly sticker and said, 'Did you know that a monarch butterfly, like this one (pointing to the sticker), can migrate from Mexico to Canada without GPS, maps, or Siri? Do you want to see how?' He then showed her about 30 seconds of the video 'The Monarchs Migration' from 'Was it Designed.' I gave her a contact card and told her that she could watch the entire video on jw.org."

‘I don’t know much about the Bible but I would like to learn more’

@July 17, 2023

"I called at a house and a middle-aged man opened the door. He asked about our purpose for being there. After introducing ourselves, he relaxed and said, "You know, now that our parents are gone, it's very hard because we don't know how to perform the old traditional practices anymore. I don't know much about the Bible, but I would like to learn more about it. I have attended many churches, and I noticed that they all teach differently from one another." We offered the Enjoy Life Forever brochure and a Bible study.”

Reconnecting with a former Bible student

@July 15, 2023

“I was able to reconnect with a former Bible student that moved from Georgia to Minnesota. It had been years since we last spoke, but I had heard that she recently lost her husband in a tragic way. With a narrow time period, I was so happy that she happened to be free to speak with us during the only window of time I had left before having to leave Minnesota. Coincidence or Jehovah? I say Jehovah. I’m so thankful to Jehovah to have the opportunity to be able to comfort her and perhaps even resume her study with a local sister. I can’t wait to hear how things go! This definitely will be a matter of constant prayer.”

“Your visit was a gift from God”

@July 14, 2023

“A teenager opened the door, I told him we’re Jehovah’s Witnesses visiting our Hmong neighbors and then began asking him a question in Hmong. He called for his grandma. She was so friendly and invited us in. She said she came from Thailand only 3 years ago, speaks no English and doesn’t drive.

We asked if she thought the Bible could help us in our lives. She said she’s been a believer of God for 30 years. But when her husband became ill they returned to old culture in an effort to be healed. He passed away last month. As she teared up a bit, she said she thinks our visit was a gift from God to help her while she’s mourning. We reassured her that God does see her pain and wants to help.

We played the video Comfort for Those Who Mourn and read 1 Peter 5:7. She thanked us and said it would be ok to return and share what promises from God can bring us comfort.”

“How do I get that information on my phone?”

@July 13, 2023

“We knocked on the door. A Hmong woman open the door. At first, she was hesitant and didn’t want to open the door all the way. I introduced myself and my partner & told her where we are from and that we came by to share a good news to her. Then we show her the invitation 2023 convention video. After watching it, her demeanor changes.

Then she said she has health issues and mental illness. Then I offered to have her listen to the first article of the Mental Health WT. After the first article she asked, “How do I get that information into my phone?” I said, “ We have an app that has all of this information in it and we can help you download the app now.” Then she went in and got her phone and we downloaded the JW Library app into her phone.

After that we downloaded the app, we started Lesson 1 point 1. After that we further discussed about our family and children. We found out we both had common background. Then I asked her when’s the best time for us to return to see her. She said anytime on Tues or Thur. I got her contact number. She said we can come back those two days anytime.”

“I don’t usually yell at Jehovah, and you don’t usually come on Thursdays.”

@July 13, 2023

A local brother had been calling on a man that struggles with PTSD. Although he appreciated learning God's name and considering the first lesson in the Enjoy Life book, he often felt unable to talk and rarely responded to messages.

While on break, the local brother thought of this call and wanted to bring a delegate to meet him. The local brother’s wife suggested that they pick up some fruit to bring to the family. When they arrived, the man was more enthusiastic than usual and invited the brothers in. He thanked them profusely for bringing him watermelon. After a few minutes of discussion the man told the brothers that he was shaken up. He went on to explain that he had been praying out loud to Jehovah for the past two hours, yelling actually, asking why such bad things had happened to him. As he prayed aloud, “Why aren’t you with me, Jehovah,” one of his sons pointed out the window and said “Dad, I think he is.” He was pointing at the two brothers approaching their door.

The man went on to explain that the reason he hadn’t agreed to study the Bible was because he often felt angry and anxious, but he realized this visit was no coincidence and Jehovah was clearly interested in him. The delegate shared his own personal experience and applied the sowing of seed while weeping to the man studying the Bible despite negative emotions (Psalm 126:5, 6). They had him reread the paragraph from the Enjoy Life book that lists questions the Bible answers, including the one he had just been asking Jehovah. They explained that Jehovah didn’t just send the brothers to him but he wants to answer his questions, so that he can cope and have a true hope for relief.

The brothers asked him what he was doing the next day and he replied, “I guess studying the Bible.”

As he processed this answer to his prayer, he said, “I don’t usually yell at Jehovah, and you don’t usually come on Thursdays.” He later added, “Here I am yelling at Jehovah and he sends you with gifts!” As they left, he shared that he had actually been craving watermelon and now had to text his wife to ignore the message he had sent earlier asking her to pick one up. Jehovah already brought him one.

“An eye-opening moment”

@July 10, 2023

I met a woman in the territory who had previously went to church and liked learning about the Bible. However, due to a busy schedule and the pandemic, she had stopped attending. She explained that us visiting her and sharing lessons from the Bible was an eye opening moment because she wanted to learn about the Bible again. She accepted an invite to the Hmong meetings and was willing to me come back to discuss more about the Bible.

“No one understands me.”

@July 2, 2023

A Hmong man opened up about his experiences dealing with mental illness while talking with brothers and sisters at a cart outside the Hmong Freedom Festival. He expressed that his parents didn't understand his condition and had abused him.

He expressed a wish that the Hmong community would be more aware of how to help individuals dealing with mental illness and was amazed to learn that jw.org provides information on this topic in both Hmong and English.

He also mentioned that, in the Hmong community, people tend to listen to negative things instead of positive things. The sister shared that we have meetings with a positive message every week and invited him to attend. He showed great interest and expressed a desire to come. He was appreciative that we did not judge him and took the time to listen to him. He commended our work and how we are reaching out to the Hmong community.

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Update @July 8, 2023 : the man attended the weekend meeting and shared his contact information with a local brother.

“I want that!”

@July 9, 2023

A shop owner at Hmong Village commented on the skirt a sister was wearing, asking where she got it. When the sister told her that she purchased it in Thailand she was very excited as she was originally from Laos and was so curious as to why the sister knew how to speak Hmong. A witness was given and the contact card placed with a promise to go back before the sister leaves. The following day the sister went back and caught her on her break so she introduced the family happiness video as she is married with two kids. As the video finished and the family brochure is shown she said, "I want that!" Plans were made to return the next day with the brochure.

They came at the perfect time

@July 7, 2023

A couple arrived at a door filled with shaman amulets and were unsure if the occupants would be willing to listen to their message. They knocked anyway and were greeted by a woman who said that her visiting family was on their way out. However, when the brother mentioned that the video they were sharing was only a minute long, the woman agreed to watch it. It was difficult to tell if she was interested or just being polite, but in the middle of the video, she interrupted it and asked with a serious face, "Are you church people?" The brother explained that he, his wife, and their baby were Jehovah's Witnesses from California and that they were there for a special campaign to reach out to Hmong families in Minnesota about the Bible. The woman said that they had come at the perfect time. Although her parents practiced shamanism, she and her husband had just talked about converting. They gave her an invitation to the meeting and she said she’d love to attend soon.

A mini-convention

@July 8, 2023

The St. Paul Hmong congregation set an all-time attendance record of 125. Including three visitors from the field!

Chance encounter leads to an hour of encouragement

@July 5, 2023

While at a grocery store, a couple saw two women walk by who turned out to be family members of the husband. One of the women asked the couple to come to her house to share encouragement from the Bible since she had just lost her husband and eldest son to death. It turned out that she has a sister in California who the couple is currently studying with. The other woman expressed interest in learning more about the Bible as well. The couple talked with the two women for more than hour!

Mailman interested in an another kind of door-to-door work

@July 6, 2023

While out in the door-to-door ministry, two brothers approached a Hmong mailman. He commended the two for spreading the gospel to the Hmong community. They told him about their campaign and website, and asked for his help to promote it to others in the community. The brothers then read Romans 15:4 and asked him what hope the Bible promised. He responded that he knew about the hope, and cited John 3:16 in Hmong. The individuals were impressed and led him to John 17:3 to explain the what everlasting life meant. During their conversation, they learned he was married but unable to have children. They offered comfort by noting that there were people in the Bible who were without children yet still blessed by God. In the end, the mailmen agreed to check out jw.org and expressed interest in preaching the gospel himself.

“Sorry for taking so much of your time”

@July 6, 2023

A woman answered the door and was asked about her thoughts on whether suffering will ever end. After discussing scripture, she shared her past experience with the Bible and her struggles pursuing a different faith while married. She opened up about her family's story and apologized for taking up so much of their time. The visitors reassured her that they were there to listen and share good news. They told her about their campaign and asked why God allows suffering. The woman expressed interest in discussing further and invited them back.

Sister encounters man from hometown

@July 2, 2023

While talking to a Hmong man at the cart outside the festival, a sister discovered that they both lived in the same town in Wisconsin. Not only were they from the same town, but the sister calls on the man's relatives that live in his old house! The man is busy with work and grieving the loss of his wife, but very favorable toward the truth. The sister gave him a contact card and magazine and showed him how to find the local Hmong congregation on jw.org.

“Do you know Jada?”

@July 2, 2023

While shopping at Hmong Village a sister met a vendor who asked if she knew Jada, a witness in California. The sister asked how the vendor knew she was a Witness, and if she had studied with the sister mentioned. The vendor explained that they had studied together in Sacramento about 15 years ago, but the vendor personally hadn't been able to respond much due to being a single mom of 5 kids and focusing on financial needs. The vendor shared that she lived in St. Paul for about 11 years and was currently being visited by a Christian group, but didn't feel like she was learning anything and felt like they were trying to recruit her. When the sister asked how it compared to her study with Witnesses, the vendor had only positive things to say.

The sister asked if she had tried the new method of studying, to which the vendor responded that she hadn't yet. The vendor already had JW Library app on her device, so the sister showed her how to get to Nyob Kaj Siab Lug Mus Ib Txhis and explained the conversation style, noting that it could be as brief as 10-15 minutes and would leave her with something beneficial from each session. Another customer arrived, so they took a picture to send to the vendor's former Bible teacher. The vendor gave the sister her phone number, and plans to stop by with a local sister to make an introduction and invite her to the public talk.

Store clerk wished he didn’t charge Witnesses sales tax

@July 2, 2023

A sister had a chance to witness to the son of the owner of a Hmong bookstore. After buying some Hmong books, she gave him a contact card about jw.org and explained that there was a special campaign to reach out to Hmong people about the Bible throughout the month of July. He was impressed with the work and said that if he had known about the campaign before, he wouldn't have charged her tax on her purchases! Even though he didn't know how to redo what he did on the register machine, he was willing to give her the money back. The sister declined and told him that she wanted to support their Hmong store.

“This is the Truth!”

@July 4, 2023

A sister and I knocked on the door of a man who seemed to be upset at our visit. Saying a quick silent prayer, I explained that the reason for our visit was to share some good news. I said, "May I share this good news with you?" Not fully understanding what I meant by that he said, "Yes." Feeling a bit surprised at his positive response, I introduced the video "Why Does God Allow Suffering?" from our teaching toolbox.

As the video began to play and the man heard the message, his demeanor completely changed, as if he had an immediate change of heart! As he watched the video, I prayed Jehovah would give me the words to help the man process what he saw in the video. Just before I could say anything, the man said, "This is the truth!" Shocked, I immediately asked, "What do you mean? What part of the video convinces you this is the truth?" He responded, "Everything, the way this belief is explained is true." Without hesitation I told him that for the month of July, my husband and I would be offering free bible studies and we would be happy to demonstrate a bible study to him. He said, "Ok, show me." With the help of the sister with me, we gave him the "Live Forever Brochure" covered the back page together and made arrangements to have his free Bible study demonstration in two days, Friday afternoon. He speaks and understands Hmong but can only read English, we gave him a contact card and he said he would give this brochure to his sister but would check out our website. I offered to bring him a copy in English for him on Friday and encouraged him to invite his sister to the Demo Study too. He said he would.

“She Smiled the Whole Time”

@July 4, 2023

At the airport greeting some arriving friends in the middle of the night, a sister was playing the Original song “We’re your family”. After they greeted the sisters from the plane, a woman walked up and asked what song they were playing, mentioning she couldn’t get it out of her head!

A sister texted her a link to the song and explained that they were Jehovah’s witnesses, why they were there and what the song was about. She smiled the whole time!

Informal Witnessing During a Storm

@July 4, 2023

This morning service was met with a heavy downpour of rain. So the Brothers decided to go informal witness at Hmong Village. I entered a shop that carried women Beauty products. Looking to speak with a women, I was confronted with speaking to a man. Although he could not help me with what I was looking to purchase. I asked him the question “Have you ever wondered why do people suffer? He answered not really. After sharing with him an experience I had with an Hmong gentleman. He decided he wants to learn the answer that question and excepted the “Vim Cas Tibneeg Thiaj Txom Nyem” magazine. He told him that I will return when his wife is present to further our discussion.

Jehovah’s Witnesses helped save her life

@July 2, 2023

Speaking to a woman outside the Hmong Freedom Festival, a sister shared that jw.org has videos and publications in Hmong. The woman mentioned that she appreciated our organization having articles in Hmong on depression because it is becoming more common in the Hmong community.

She shared that there was a point in her life when she was so depressed that she wanted to commit suicide. But Jehovah's Witnesses always came to visit her and encouraged her from the Bible, which helped her realize that God wanted her to live and he had never given up on her.

“I miss the Bible. Please call me.”

@July 2, 2023

While cart witnessing, a sister spotted a former Bible student with whom she had studied about ten years ago. The woman was very warm and responsive, and said, "I miss the Bible. Please call me.”

Delegate Experiences

“Jehovah Took Care of All my Plans”

A few days before my trip to Minnesota my mom surprised me and said she wanted to take me out to dinner before I leave for the campaign. We had a lovely dinner with two of my aunts and an uncle who are all serving Jehovah. We laughed, talked, and reminisced. I even shared an experience with them from the campaign website. They gave me so much encouragement and told me how proud they were of me. I hadn’t really heard words quite like that in some time. What I didn’t expect was them giving me cards and monetary support. I felt guilty in accepting it because I already planned to work extra hours to cover the costs, I was certain Jehovah would provide the work I need when I came back home.

I then remembered how the brothers kept saying to let Jehovah take care of things. Just apply for the campaign and he will do the rest. I never told my family what I had spent but they ended up unknowingly covering the cost of my plane ticket and then some. Later that week, I received a message from my host telling me to cancel my car reservation because she got time off work and we would be able to share her car for the days I would be there. On the front of the card that my Aunt had wrote to me was a scripture that proved so true in my case. Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to Jehovah whatever you do, And your plans will succeed.” In the end, I paid for nothing. Not even my food at the airport. Jehovah took care of all my plans and made them a success in HIS own way, not mine.

“Is this the moment I put my trust in him?”

Two sisters were planning to be in Minnesota for only one week since they were unemployed and short on money. Just ten hours before their flight took off, an elder approached them and asked if they would like to extend their stay in Minnesota. They told him their situation and declined the offer, but he asked them to pray about it and reminded them that Jehovah always looks after his sheep.

Towards the end of the evening gathering performance, just six hours before their flight, the elderly brothers and sisters ended the show with an amazing song that touched the sisters' hearts. One of them then prayed to Jehovah and asked, “Is this the moment I put my trust in you and see how your hands will help me?”

After the gathering ended, they told the elder that they would stay to continue preaching to the Hmong in Minnesota, and right away the brothers helped them to extend their stay with their current host. They were fed by loving brothers and sisters every day, and another brother was willing to let them borrow his car for the remainder of the week. One of the sisters shared, “My sister and I can truly see Jehovah’s hand over us, and staying another week was totally worth it!”

“I couldn’t be in a better place”

After hearing about the special campaign, a sister submitted a time-off request for a week in July in addition to a week for Pioneer School. She prayed to be able to get time off for both spiritual events, hoping to at least get time off for Pioneer School, but told Jehovah if she didn’t get the time off she would quit her job.

To her surprise, she was denied both requests. So, she followed through with her prayer. She quit her job and attended both Pioneer School and flew to Minnesota to support the campaign.

The sister shared, "I have no regrets. I couldn't be in a better place. I am so happy to have been able to participate in the special campaign this year!"

Include Jehovah in the decisions not made

A couple weren’t considering applying for the campaign because the wife had lost her job and the husband had already taken multiple weeks off of work for vacation, elders school, and pioneer school. A brother in their hall asked if we were going to apply. They told him it wasn’t going to work out for them and he asked if they had prayed about it. The husband sheepishly admitted they had not. The brother encouraged him to do so, so the couple prayed together specifically about the campaign.

Afterwards the brother spoke with his boss (who is also his grandfather and a faithful brother). He not only gave the brother the time off, but offered to pay for one of the tickets using his credit card points. The points actually covered both tickets.

The words of Malachi 3:10 came to the brother’s mind: “’Bring the entire tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in my house; and test me out, please, in this regard,’ Jehovah of armies says, ‘to see whether I will not open to you the floodgates of the heavens and pour out on you a blessing until there is nothing lacking.’”

The brother added, “Jehovah has always opened the way for his servants to do more for him, we’re just happy we tested him out. We always include Jehovah in the decisions we make, but this was a great reminder to include him in the ones we don’t make.”

If Jehovah wanted her to go, he would have to help her

A sister was excited to participate in the special Hmong campaign when she heard about it, but wasn't sure if she could go due to losing her third job. She asked the boss of her second job if she could take time off to go, but instead, he laid her off, leaving her with only one job. She had to give up home internet and her gym membership to pay even her essential bills. Discouraged, she decided not to go to the campaign.

However, after hearing an encouraging experience from another sister, she prayed to Jehovah that she wanted to go but had no money, so if he wanted her to go, he had to help her. She worked along her prayer and turned in her application.

A week later, she was helping an elderly sister who asked why she would go to the special campaign if she had no money. The sister explained the importance of the campaign, and the elderly sister was so encouraged she said she would pay for her whole trip. Knowing that the elderly sister's income was limited, the sister declined but the sister insisted and gave her $500.

The sister found a plane ticket for $360, but remembered the direction not to buy a ticket until she got approved. When she finally received her assignment letter, she prayed before checking again and found that the price for that same ticket had dropped to $230. She thanked Jehovah for allowing her to participate in the special campaign.

Supporting the campaign between dialysis treatments

A sister didn’t think she would be able to attend because she is on dialysis. But after hearing the encouragement and excitement of others planning to attend she was determined to take part. She arranged to receive dialysis on Friday, support two days of the campaign, and fly home to receive dialysis on Monday.