Jehovah’s Witnesses’ year without knocking on doors
It’s been one year since Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide adjusted their hallmark methods of sharing comfort and hope from the scriptures due to the pandemic.
For many, going from ringing doorbells and knocking on doors to making phone calls and writing letters expanded and invigorated their ministry.
Change has not dampened the zeal of many Witnesses who are now advanced in years, including one such resident of Cape Coral. Now in her 70s, Esther Rodriguez has been one of Jehovah’s Witnesses since 1975 and involved in the full-time volunteer work of educating others about the Bible since 1990.
Even though the pandemic has made visiting people at their homes impossible, Rodriguez has found a silver lining.
“This is an advantage,” she said. “I never got my driver’s license and I always had to call someone to provide me with transportation to go out and knock-on people’s doors.”
She continued, “Now I speak with many people by means of letters and telephone from my own home.”
When asked how many letters she can write and how many phone calls she is able to make, Rodriguez humbly replied, “One letter and one or two calls a day.” That would mean approximately more than 300 letters and phone calls.
Although Rodriguez said she misses talking with people face to face, she has adapted to this new normal and always counts her blessings, “Jehovah’s people are so organized with this,” she said, referring to the Bible teaching work. “Without technology, I couldn’t go out!”
Yes, with the help of smartphones, videoconferencing and good old-fashioned letter writing, Rodriguez is fully accomplishing her ministry by reaching out to others with “good news of something better.”
In March 2020, some 1.3 million Witnesses in the United States suspended their door-to-door and face-to-face forms of public ministry and moved congregation meetings to videoconferencing.
“It has been a very deliberate decision based on two principles: our respect for life and love of neighbor,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “But we are still witnesses, and as such, we must testify about our faith. So, it was inevitable that we would find a way to continue our work.
“Our love for our neighbors is stronger than ever,” said Hendriks. “In fact, I think we have needed each other more than ever. We are finding that people are perplexed, stressed, and feeling isolated. Our work has helped many regain a sense of footing – even normalcy – at a very unsettled time.”
For more information on the activities of Jehovah’s Witnesses, visit their website jw.org, with content available in over 1,000 languages.
The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Cape Coral is located in 424 Nicholas Parkway.