The homeless sister and the $60,000 RV

by HappyGuy 39 Replies latest jw friends

  • HappyGuy

    I was in a congregation once which had a large number of desperately poor people in it. I was one of those. There was an elderly sister, she lived near me, a sweet woman, who became homeless because her ramshackled old house caught fire. Around that same time one of the overseers (imagine that using a slavery term), I forget if it was District or Circuit overseer, came to town wanting a new RV/truck combo. I asked "what is wrong with the one you have, it is only two years old". Anyway, the city overseer decided to have each congregation raise money to buy the new RV and the new truck and "donate" them to the circuit/district overseer. I had been bugging the elders and the city overseer to take up a donation drive for the elderly homeless sister but they responded angrily with their mantra "the society is not a social welfare organization" to which I pointed out that we were giving someone who did not need it over $100,000 worth of RV and truck, so was that not a "social welfare" act. I suggested that instead of giving these priveleged people something they did not need and most of the brothers could not afford to give that instead we build the homeless sister a small home on her lot and foundation. Of course they wanted nothing to do with this. During the meeting where they were announcing their plans to take up the donation from our hall, we had a quota of $30,000 to meet (if I remember right), I raised my hand and stood up and said that I thought it was a waste of money to give priveleged people a new RV and truck when their current one was two years old and instead we should give the money to the homeless sister and build her a house. (I was on the quick build committee at the time and wanted to arrange a quick build for the sister).

    Needless to say the "brothers" did not like my interfering with their scheme to take money from poor people and give it to priveleged people who do not need it so that they would look good in the overseer's eyes. First they cut off my microphone, so I just talked louder, then they told me I had to leave the Hall, and I said "perhaps you would like to assist me with leaving?" and I wasn't going anywhere until they explained to the entire congregation why they thought it was loving to take money from poor people and give it to rich people and ignore the needy sister in their midst.

    Well, they didn't budge of course, I voted no on the motion to give the donation to the overseer. Then I worked with the sister's WORLDLY relatives to build her a small house from materials we salvaged and got from construction sites and demolition sites and what little money we could scrape together. Of course the quick build committee would not call a quick build on behalf of the sister, so I put one together with the sister's worldly relatives. So much for quickl builds being possible only because of the Holy Spirit.

    I told the "brothers" at one point, "you people are operating under the mistaken belief that you have control over me, you do not".

    Ah, the love.

  • wobble

    Well done Happyguy !!!!!

    And welcome to the board.

    I think what you did was in the spirit of what James calls the true religion "to care for widows and orphans"

    More of your life stories please !



  • jonathan dough
    jonathan dough

    I tip my hat.

  • moshe

    I can just see the mad look in their eyes when you challenged them to throw you out. I often wondered why the JW's didn't do a few quick build homes for the poor- like habitat for humanity. Think of the great PR the WT would have garnered. I saw first hand when my home burned down in 1982 what the JW mentality was- Churches donated clothes and toys, new dishes, etc. They just left it on the porch at a worldly relatives house we were staying at. What did we get from the brothers?- basically nothing. However, when the found out I had full replacemnt cost insurance, they brothers were more than willing for me to hire them to rebuild the house! I contracted a sister's husband who was NOT a JW to help me rebuild.

  • Jim_TX

    Well done!

    When did you get relieved of your 'responsibilities' - I'm sure they made sure you got 'fired'.


    Jim TX

  • villabolo



  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    Not a Social Welfare Organization .....Ha ...that is the same term the BOE used on me when I tried to get some help for a homeless teenager that had been attending meetings .

    No one wanted to offer any help until I finally told an Elders wife "Well I guess I'll just have to turn to the Churches in town to help then ! Cause I know they care about people and know how to be "good samaritians ". The Elders wife must have lit into them because that evening her husband begrudgedly offered some old furniture and household items after I found her a place to stay .

  • troubled mind
    troubled mind

    You did a good thing Happyguy ...I am sure that woman appreciated your kind spirit .

  • SirNose586

    Great story, HappyGuy. At least the poor sister got what she needed from "worldly" people. Her own brothers couldn't be tasked with caring for one of the lowly amha'arets!

  • MidwichCuckoo

    If you're a widow or orphan you stand no chance in the WT Cult...not viable. I see it NOW - elderly (JW) widows relying on 'Worldly' people while the Congregation turns a blind eye. Good for you HappyGuy.

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