Annual Meeting Notes from the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society

October 2001

Pontiac Silverdome (Detroit).  Because of security, doing a search of
everyone invited, publishers invited are asked to bring ONLY a Bible,
songbook and a notepad.

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Interesting points from a talk given in Greensboro, NC by Brookyln, NY
speaker this past weekend:

 1. Islam is now larger than Christendom. According to the 'Mankind Search
for God' book, the inside map shows the amount of people in major religions.
The numbers for the Islamic religion is now much larger. So all this time
that we were looking at Christendom to be this large factor, it could very
well be the Islamic groups instead. They are so large, and with all that has
happened in the past three weeks, the religion has aggravated the King of
the South and the Wild Beast. They will be looking for a way to rid
themselves of a
large group.

2. We were urged to read Ezekiel 38 and 39.

3. The end is rushing up to meet us. The signs are all there. After a
disaster, people have all these feelings. When it reaches anger, that is
when to watch around us. This is when action is likely to be taken.

4. No neutrality or pacifism will be allowed by governments. They will
insist we take a side, and when we don't, they can use this as an excuse to
take action against us. We could be termed a 'dangerous sect.' We can look
for all property owned by the Watchtower Society to be seized. Branches,
land, farms, Kingdom Halls. They might use the excuse that they need the
land to fund wars or something of that possessions. Money, property, things,
will be meaningless to us. Only our heavenly treasures will have value. Some
of us may have to find shelter with other Witnesses.

5. We will have no legal rights to speak of. Going to court, the police,
etc. Any rights gained by us to date will not exist.

6. The Bible does not tell us how far things will go, only that we will wait
on Jehovah to take action.

7. The Kings of the North and South prophesies are coming true. They are
very important to us, even though we don't know who the king of the north is
yet. He also brought out that we don't understand everything yet, and may
not have complete understanding before this all occurs.

8. Gog of Magog is also important. He will be spewing his rage because of
the Witnesses of Jehovah. He will do anything he can to destroy us. Daniel
11:45.

9. This will be worse than any war ever fought on earth before.

Other scriptures mentioned in connection to these points: Eze 38:10, 13, 16,
22; Isaiah 30:15; Zechariah 14: 12, 13

10. No matter what happens to us during this time, we can take comfort that
God is with us. Romans 8:31. There are more with us than are with them.
Psalms 56:11, 118:16; 16:8. God will not save each and every one of his
witnesses from death, but we have too much value to him for him to let us
all be exterminated.

11. Apostates are rampant, (Matthew 24:24 )waiting for a time when they can
publicly denounce God's people. That doesn't mean they are not active now.
They are publishing materials and speaking loudly. But it will get worse.
And as Jesus and Paul pointed out, there will be traitors in the
congregation. Probably more than we have thought there would be. Because of
this we need to be cautious as serpents and gentle as doves. There will be
no need for some to know everything, especially the government.

12. Physical signs (Matthew 24:29). These will happen. The celestial signs
will occur( i.e. sun darkened, moon not there), and in such a manner as to
leave people in no doubt as to who is causing them. These will be in
conjunction with his vengeance on those persecuting his people. Zephaniah
1:17, 18. How can they hurt us if they have no eyes to see us? How can they
pull a trigger if they have no arms? As Matthew 24 points out, (verses
30-31) there will also be an angelic presence in the heavens- a visible one.
He
in the heavens, sword drawn, with the angels behind him. THESE SIGNS WILL
TAKE PLACE.

13. There will probably be a time when the preaching work will slow
drastically. Our main focus may be on keeping alive and enduring.

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ZONE REPORT - 7/18/01

Zambia:  Need 1500 KHs.  Experience: Philippe was a pioneer from Angola. He
was captured by rebels, taken to the mines and was forced to work as a slave
for some time.  In time he escaped and fled to a refugee camp in Zambia.  He
was the only JW in 20,000, but he witnessed zealously and started 12 Bible
studies.  550 attended a special meeting with a rep from the Society.

ZONE REPORT - 9/12/01

Ethiopia:  62 million pop., 6,000 pubs.  Experiences:  A woman was
prejudiced against JWs.  But she was disappointed with her church because of
involvement in politics.  But she heard that JWs were treated differently by
the govt because of their neutrality and not deported like other religions.
She began to study, and started attending meetings. In a small village there
were only 2 JWs, but they wanted to build a KH. The local authorities said
"But there are only 2 of you!"  The brothers made a petition and got 300
signatures, thus the authorities granted the permission.

New Caledonia:  Vanuatu - 2 pioneers witnessed to a young girl; her father
was strongly opposed, but she did not stop her discussions.  She obtained a
brochure and Bible and started to study, but she changed the location of her
study.  She started attending meetings, but after the first meeting when she
went home, her father kicked her so hard it knocked her out.  When she
revived, she saw that her father had broken his foot.  He said her head was
too hard.  But the incident totally changed his attitude and he stopped
opposing her.  In fact, he even paid her way to the distr. conv. where she
was baptized.

ZONE REPORT - 9/27/01

Malawi:  152,000 pubs, 49,196 Memorial attendance.  Tremendous growth: 6 new
congs. per month, 35 KHs built month Aug (current avg 1 KH per day).  After
KH built, attendance soars to 2 to 3 times the pubs.  Experience:  Sarah,
13, planned to go to the Distr. Conv. and get baptized.  The day before she
was to leave, a relative died.  Funerals very important for relatives to
attend. She was determined to go so she asked her brother to take her to the
conv. Amazingly, he agreed.  She had very little money, but the brothers
cared for her needs.  She went and was baptized as she planned.

Madagascar:  11,000+ pubs, 58,000+ at Memorial.  One group of brothers
walked 4 days to attend this year's Distr. Conv. (70 mi.).  Some in another
group could not afford to take the bus, so the women and children took the
bus and the men rode bicycles for 100 mi. to get to the Conv.

ZONE REPORT - 6/06/01

Liberia:  3500+ pubs, 19% increase; 19,700 at Memorial.  Still 2 groups of
refugees in country with 150 in each group.  Missionaries have from 12 to 20
Bible studies each.  Experience:  A brother was having a study with one man,
a relative was visiting who was a prominent politician.  He asked why JWs
were neutral.  The bro asked him if he would rather be on the side of an ant
or an elephant.  The man said the elephant of course.  The brother said
Jehovah God is the elephant and the ant is man; our allegiance is to God.
The man was so impressed he started to study and in time became our brother.

Senegal:  5.6% of total pubs baptized in 2000 service year.

ZONE REPORT - 6/20/01

Russia:  An older woman grabbed the arm of a Bethelite at a train station.
She said "Don't you remember me?"  He didn't.  She said that 2 years ago he
had left a brochure with her, she had started studying and is now a baptized
sister. One day, an unshaved man came into the lobby at Bethel.  He was from
the Caucus mtns region, had come to the St Petersburg area to get work;
wanted to know if he could get employment there.  A Bethelite explained
about the organization and witnessed to him.  He was also given some food.
Some time later, the Bethelite was at a circuit assembly when a clean-cut
man approached him and said "Do you remember me?"  The Bethelite found out
that he was the man from the Caucus region and was by then an unbaptized
pub.

A sister, who was of Gypsy extraction, was intending to go to the circuit
assembly where she was due to give a talk on the TMS.  Her husband, who
opposed her, said that if she tried to go he would stab her.  She went to
leave and he threw a knife at her and it stuck in her back 2 inches.  She
took the knife out and went to the ass'y and gave her talk.  When she
returned, she did not have any more opposition from her husband.

Belarus:  33 congs in country with a total of only 24 elders. Experience:  A
young man went to NY City to visit his girlfriend.  She had started studying
the Bible.  He did not go to the KH with her but did agree to visit Bethel.
The visit was a turning point because after, he started to study and is now
baptized.

Lithuania:  Branch located in a complex of 3 houses connected by tunnels.
The complex was built by a member of the Russian mafia with the tunnels to
be used for escape.

Latvia:  11.8 hr avg per pub.  One former Russian mafia man is now a special
pioneer.