Sunday, May 14, 2006

Why Doesn't the Watchtower Society Build Kingdom Halls in Poor Countries?

If you have visited certain internet sites supposedly for Jehovah's Witnesses you may have read comments to the affect that the WTS does not build Kingdom Halls for poorer congregations because the poorer congregations cannot pay them back. They would much rather spend their millions of dollars on lavishly decorating the Bethel homes in New York so that the governing body can live in shameless luxury. For example, here are some recent comments at a certain supposed e-JW site on the internet that we shall call for now, Village no. 10. You will see why later in this discussion.

The Watchtower seems to be saying that they would rather not have donations earmarked for disasters so they can use that money for other things other than disaster reflief.

Like building lavish 'retirement' complexes out in Patterson, Walkill, that reportedly cost upwards of $50 million. (and don't even have one printing facility!)

Compare this with the August 15, 1992 Watchtower which said about JW's in Maputo City, Mozambique:

"Today, there are more than 50 congregations in and around Maputo City. However, there is not a single Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses to be found. Why is that so? Because of poor economic conditions, the congregations have not been able to build even though some have owned land for a number of years....If a man is fortunate enough to find a job here, the average wage is from $20 to $30 per month".

That is one thing that really upset me when I started reading more about the WT. They have a "worldwide work" fund that can't even build Kingdom Halls for people in poor countries? Is that loving? What would Jesus say about that??? They won't build for them because those folks can't afford to REPAY them. The AUDACITY!!!! There are several scriptures floating through my head now.

I'm sure some will object to my using this Scripture, but to me it fits Bethel,
Revelation 18:7,8

7 To the extent that she glorified herself and lived in shameless luxury, to that extent give her torment and mourning. For in her heart she keeps saying, ‘I sit a queen, and I am no widow, and I shall never see mourning.’ 8 That is why in one day her plagues will come, death and mourning and famine, and she will be completely burned with fire, because Jehovah God, who judged her, is strong.

End of the quotes.

What astute and wise people reside in this Village no. 10. They are expounding what they have come to call 'the truth about the truth'. And so they insightfully point out how the WT publication have inadvertantly demonstrated their greediness in failing to provide the poor brothers of Mozambique with places to worship.

But now, here is what you are not told. Here is the truth about the truth about the truth.

What they fail to point out is what the same Aug 15, 1992 WT tells us:
In 1991, Jehovah’s Witnesses were given legal recognition in Mozambique. Since then the preaching of the good news of God’s Kingdom has been making spectacular progress in this tropical country on the southeastern coast of Africa

Ah, now perhaps you understand why no KHs had been built in Mozambique at the time of the printing of that 1992 WT. The government of Mozambique would not allow KHs to be built in the country. When the restrictions upon JWs in Mozambique were lifted how did the WTS respond?

From the 1996 Yearbook of JWs:
Finally, in Maputo, as of September 1, 1992, in a large house acquired and refurbished by the Society, in an area with many embassies, the Mozambique branch began its work of overseeing this vast field. Starting with a small family of seven members, the recently appointed Branch Committee had a challenging job ahead of them. They would have to organize the work in the field, care for the spiritual—and even material—needs of the brothers, assist with the building of Kingdom Halls, and build the new branch facilities. A big job indeed.

The restrictions ended only in 1991. The WTS wasted no time and by Sept 1992 had branch facilities in place to oversee the work of, among other things.....building KHs.

The Aug 1996 Kingdom Ministry further reports:
Obviously, the increase of true worshipers in Jehovah’s organization calls for the construction of hundreds of new Kingdom Halls. It has also been necessary to plan for Assembly Halls and new or expanded branch facilities. Financing these projects as well as keeping the Kingdom work moving forward not only in Africa but also in other parts of the world has drawn heavily on the contributions to the Society’s worldwide work.

How are these KHs paid for. Does the WTS expect the poor Mozambique brothers to pay back every dime? No, it is paid for by monies from the worldwide work fund.

The December 15, 1996 WT:
“So Where Is Your Church?”

JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES in Mozambique are often asked this question. Frankly, until recently it has been a difficult question to answer. This is because Jehovah’s Witnesses did not enjoy legal recognition in this country until 1991. Hence, it was not possible to have clearly identifiable and established places of worship.

However, that situation changed on February 19, 1994. On that hot, sunny day, the first two Kingdom Halls ever built in Mozambique were dedicated. A total of 602 came to the dedication of these fine meeting places in the port city of Beira, about halfway up the coast of Mozambique. They will serve the needs of the three congregations in that city.

The entire project, from laying the foundation to completing the buildings, took a year and two months of hard work.

A great deal of planning and organizing went into the work. Unlike many other projects in this part of the world, where materials and resources are scarce, work on the Kingdom Halls never came to a standstill for lack of supplies. On one occasion, 800 sacks of cement were needed, and the only place that could supply it did not have the necessary sacks for holding the cement. The brothers contacted the Watch Tower Society’s branch office in the capital, Maputo; sacks were sent by air, taken to the cement factory, and filled. The work went on uninterrupted.

The new Kingdom Halls have truly proved to be a great blessing for the local Witnesses. Most had previously met in primitive places with a grass roof or a few tin sheets overhead, in a backyard, or in a small room of a private home. They often got wet when it rained; still they attended the meetings faithfully. For decades these were the only “Kingdom Halls” that Witnesses in Mozambique knew. Brother Caetano Gabriel, an elder in the Massamba Congregation, declared: “We are grateful to our brothers around the world who contributed toward the realization of this project.” One young Witness recalled: “When we were in Carico (“reeducation camps” where Jehovah’s Witnesses were interned for approximately 12 years), we used to say, ‘We will persevere faithfully, and Jehovah will reward us.’ The new Kingdom Hall is a reward from Jehovah.” Their words express their profound gratitude and their determination to praise Jehovah.

2002 Yearbook:
Community leaders in Mozambique are also favorably impressed by the Kingdom Hall construction program. A traditional chief was asked for property on which to build a Kingdom Hall. In granting permission, he replied: “I heard about the construction of Kingdom Halls in other areas and became concerned, since there are none in my area. Thank you, Jehovah’s Witnesses, for planning to build our Kingdom Hall!”

How could the leaders of Mozambique be favorably impressed if no KHs were being built in Mozambique? And how is it that one chief in a certain area was concerned that there were KHs in many other areas but not his area? Yes many KHs have been built in Mozambique despite the fact that the brothers there could not possibly afford to pay for them.

1997 Yearbook
Although the new Assembly Hall in Maputo, Mozambique, was not yet completed, it was used for a district convention during July, attended by 1,938, and for another convention in August, attended by 10,040.

It seems that it is not just KHs that the brothers are building in Mozambique. The WTS has also been concerned with providing them a place for their larger assemblies and conventions.

In fact did you know that almost 12,000 kingdom halls have been built in Mozambique and similar countries around the world in the last 6 years. That's about 6 kingdom halls per day. In Africa alone, 1,074 new Kingdom Halls were built in the year of 2001! With 13,000 more planned worldwide. Why aren't these other 13,000 already built? Is it because the funds are not available because the governing body wasted the monies on lavishly decorating the properties where they reside?

No! It takes time. Land has to be found and purchased, permission and permits have to be obtained from the government, and so on. Sometimes it takes over two years just to get the needed permits in some of these countries. And once obtained the KH is usually built in about 2 or 3 months, sometimes less. Getting the permits takes much longer than building the KHs.

Does the WTS require that these poor congregations pay them back. Again the answer is no. They pay what they can. And whatever they pay of course goes into the governing body's pockets so they can decorate there 2 room apartment lavishly right? Ridiculous. It goes right back into the fund to build more KHs. The only requirement to have a KH built is to have 30 publishers and 1 elder. Just 30 publishers! That is amazing. And of course if there is not an elder in the congregation many times the WTS will send an elder into that congregation in order that it can qualify.

There are more than 30 congregations being formed every day by JWs. It is almost impossible to keep up with all the KHs that are needed. But the WTS is trying very hard to accomodate our brothers in the poorer lands. Our organization is like no other. You would have to be a blind apostate not to see it.
Any honest hearted ones should be moved to shame for writing and believing that the WTS would not build KHs for our brothers in Mozambique because they were too poor to repay the WTS. Interesting is this account that took place in one village in Mozambique.

Yearbook of JWs 1996
Apostasy and Village No. 10

A movement that stirred up much trouble was started by an apostate group that called themselves “the anointed.” Originating mainly from the Malawian villages, this group claimed that the “time of the elders” had ended in 1975 and that they, as “the anointed,” should be the ones taking the lead. The material in the Society’s book Life Everlasting—In Freedom of the Sons of God was a great aid in helping some who had doubts to understand what was involved in the genuine anointing. But the influence of the apostates spread, and many who listened to them were led astray. As part of their doctrine, they said that it was not necessary to send in reports to the Society. They would simply throw these into the air after saying a prayer.

It is estimated that about 500 were disfellowshipped as a result of this apostate influence. They decided of their own accord, and with the permission of the authorities, to build their own village. This became Village No. 10. Later on, the leader of the movement was attended to by a train of young women, many of whom bore him children.

Village No. 10 and its group continued in existence throughout the remaining period of life in the camps. They caused many difficulties for the faithful brothers. Some who were initially influenced to join the group later repented and returned to Jehovah’s organization. The apostate community was finally disbanded when life in the camps came to a close.

Does this remind you of a certain internet village, an internet village claiming to be for Jehovah's witnesses, with a chief watchman presiding over them, full of all sorts of complaining and lying against God's organization and deviation from the Bible teachings that you have learned only thru Jehovah's Witnesses? If you find yourself a part of this complaining and faultfinding internet village full of many disfellowshipped ones claiming to be enlightened and anointed since becoming part of the village you would be wise to separate yourself from them. Or if you happen to stumble upon this e-village no. 10 in looking for other JWs to talk to on the internet it would be to your benefit to flee that village as quickly as possible. They are subtle and their purpose is to mislead you away from Jehovah's true organization. When this e-village no. 10 is someday disbanded you will be glad that you deserted it.