I received this request for help through my contact page at www.Ex-JW.com.
Greetings from Isiro, DR Congo, My name is John VanderMeer. My wife and I work with Wycliffe Bible Translators in providing technical support to the work in this vast African nation.
As I write this email, I am listening to the loud PA system at a local Jehovah Witness meeting. I am wondering if you could help me locate some material in French (Lingala and Swahili is good too) either printed or video, that could help the local Christians discern the difference in the gospel message being offered at the meeting.
After church this morning, I asked our pastor if he understood what the JW believed and what they were teaching. He confessed that he did not. I believe that this is typical of many living here. Many are led to believe that JW is just another Christian church. I do not believe this to be true.
If you can help with some material that I could leave with the pastors to look at, that they can alert the congregations the differences between the gospel message in the Bible and what is being proposed here, that would really help. For printed material, I could try downloading it with this slow internet connection. If there was a video in the French language (or in Lingala/Swahili), I could provide an US mailing address of someone leaving early August for the DRC.
Thank you for whatever you can do to help inform the Christians in the DRC. Blessings in your ministry. John
I have checked this out online and it seems to be a legitimate request for help.
The organization that Mr. Vandermeer works with, besides the Wycliffe Bible Translators, is SIL International. Their website can be accessed here. On their website, they describe one of the goals of their organization this way:
"SIL works in partnership with local speakers to develop new written and oral materials in their mother tongue. The kind of materials is determined by the community, and might include print, audio or video items. Content covers a variety of subjects such as primers, folk stories, textbooks, health and hygiene guidelines, games, history, etc. In addition to new materials, local workers are trained to adapt or translate literature from other languages on subjects such as nutrition, farming, health (including HIV/AIDS) and Scripture texts. SIL also works with communities to foster the effective use of these materials." Link to this page: http://www.sil.org/sil/
I do not have access to any of the kinds of materials that he is looking for. I will send him links to some of the great websites that have PDF versions of some of the old WT publications, but maybe if someone has a French language version of CoC or In Search of Christian Freedom, that might give him enough background to get him started.
I don't know if there are any French language ex-jw websites based in Canada or Europe that he can refer to, but if you do, please let me know.
Mr. Vandermeer can be reached by email. Rather than publish it here, please reply to this posting or PM me - and I will be happy to provide it to you.
It looks like this fellow is really trying to help out the locals. It is no secret that the WT has made huge inroads into the African continent and that thousands of native Africans seem to be drawn to the JW message. This might be an excellent opportunity to slow that progress a bit.