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Neighbourly love

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As families adjust to remote learning, some Jehovah’s Witnesses members are using the experience as an opportunity to teach their children powerful lessons in compassion and community service.

Alexander Mosley, the media spokesperson for the local organisation, highlighted two young Bermudians who have been sharing the love of God with their community: Sarah Marshall,14, and Makeila Wainwright,13.

Both teenagers have been writing letters of encouragement to their neighbours.

“Once their homework is said and done, on weekends and school breaks, Sarah and Makeila both enjoy bringing hope and encouragement to their neighbours through their letters and drawings,” Mr Mosley explained.

“Love of neighbour is a central tenet of Christianity for Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is the driving force behind the organisation’s public ministry as well as its decision in March 2020 to suspend in-person preaching in response to Covid-19. Since then, Witnesses young and old have shifted to sharing a positive Bible message with their neighbours through letters and phone calls.”

The children’s efforts have touched the hearts of everyone they have reached out to.

“I think that it makes other people happy when they know that someone took the time to draw something for them,” says Sarah, who lives in Warwick.

Sarah’s father, Ernest Marshall, has found all the resources from the organisation – particularly the books, articles and videos – to be helpful.

“Being a parent, our children did not come with an instruction manual,” he said. “However, between God’s word, the Bible and timely information from our organisation, we have seen our daughters blossom into caring and appreciative young people,” he said.

In 2013, Jehovah’s Witnesses debuted Become Jehovah’s Friend, a video series designed to help parents cultivate qualities like kindness and empathy in young children.

The animated adventures of Caleb and Sophia, a loveable brother-sister duo, teach lessons in everything from sharing with others to loving your neighbour and respecting people of all races. The episodes and more resources can be found on the global Jehovah’s Witness website, jw.org.

Sarah and Makeila’s deeds are similar to those done by many other young members of the Jehovah’s Witnesses community around the world. This form of outreach helps the organisation to continue to engage their community since the suspension of their door-to-door ministry.

Jehovah’s Witnesses base their ministry on Matthew 28:19 and 20, where Jesus instructs his disciples to go and share the gospel with people from all nations. They model their outreach after this instruction and the example of First Century Christians.

During this time of prolonged social distancing and isolation, as the world becomes less and less communal, acts of kindness like Sarah’s and Makeila’s are welcome gestures.

For more information on the Jehovah’s Witnesses organisation or to watch Become Jehovah’s Friend, visit www.jw.org

Friendly intentions: Makeila Wainwright, 13, writing a letter of encouragement to her neighbours (Photograph supplied)
Making a connection: Sarah Marshall’s letters of encouragment have helped her neighbours feel less isolated during the Covid-19 pandemic (Photograph supplied)

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Published September 18, 2021 at 8:00 am (Updated September 20, 2021 at 8:05 am)

Neighbourly love

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