Bible studies

Local woman reflects on how pandemic has changed her ministry – The Hartselle Enquirer

Special to the Inquirer

It has been a year since Jehovah’s Witnesses around the world adjusted their methods of sharing scripture comfort and hope due to the pandemic.

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 video conferencing.

“This is a very deliberate decision based on two principles: our respect for life and love of neighbor,” said Robert Hendriks, US spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “We always bear witness, and as such, we are to bear witness to our faith. So it was inevitable that we would find a way to continue our work.

For many, the switch from ringing and knocking to make phone calls and write letters has broadened and invigorated their ministry.

Wilda Pridmore became one of Jehovah’s Witnesses almost 52 years ago. Since that day in 1969, she has said that she enjoys doing the Lord’s work, door-to-door preaching, and conducting home Bible studies.

In 2015, however, after suffering a seizure, the Hartselle woman was diagnosed with a formaldehyde allergy. The 73-year-old has become housebound due to the prevalence of the chemical in many everyday items. “I started to feel isolated and alone,” said Pridmore.

During the pandemic, she regularly participated in virtual ministerial groups, making dozens of phone calls and writing hundreds of letters. “I feel like I am talking to 10 times more people than before,” she said. “I find it difficult not to join the ministry every day.”

Pridmore said she won’t stop calling people and writing letters when the door-to-door ministry resumes. “We reach so many people,” she said. “I try to be a real comfort to the people I talk to. I love.”

Nearly 51,000 people in the United States last year asked a Witness to contact them, either through a local congregation or through jw.org, the organization’s official website, according to Hendriks. Since the outbreak, Witnesses have responded to these requests through letters and phone calls instead of in-person visits.

Witnesses also made a concerted effort to check on distant friends and family – sometimes text links to Bible articles on jw.org that cover hot topics, such as isolation, depression and how to beat fatigue. pandemic.

“Our love for our neighbors is stronger than ever,” said Hendriks. “In fact, I think we need each other more than ever. We find that people are perplexed, stressed and feel isolated. Our work has helped many people regain balance – even normalcy – in very volatile times. “