Norwegian branch up for sale

by InquiryMan 66 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • InquiryMan

    The Norwegian branch, as well as the Swedish one, are now up for sale and the Scandinavian headquarters will be located at the present Danish Bethel.

    This news even made it to the national radio news yesterday.

  • blondie

    I'm wondering if the ones closed are the ones that don't print publications. The remaining ones that don't print either are made a little larger in personnel to administer the congregations through the COs and DOs, maybe. I do believe the WTS is cashing out their properties to expand the few ones in the US they are building. The problem is I don't see this cash flow as continuous year after year, eventually they will run out of property. The rank and file must not be donating enough. Many "disgruntled" jws I knew voted with their pocketbook and probably still are.

  • bats in the belfry
    bats in the belfry

    Just wow ... Here it is, Google-translated, in English language.

    All the recent closures, foreclosures, fire sales, -- not to forget the hours of free labor that went into it -- etc. just to sustain a comfortable way of life for the boys at the compound in Warwick.

    They're consolidating (bleeding) fast.

  • jookbeard

    JW growth in Scandinavia must be snail paced, surely must be seeing the worst growth rates globally? Surely a "super branch" at Seltzers would be suffice for the whole of Europe?

  • breakfast of champions
    breakfast of champions

    Last I checked, Norway's numbers were pretty decent in comparison with the rest of Europe which is pretty strange for such a secular nation.

  • cedars


  • finallysomepride

    taking the money and running! maybe it's started

  • bats in the belfry
    bats in the belfry

    blondie >> Yes, they have printeries.

    Yes, Jehovah’s Witnesses are willingly giving of their time, energy and money in building projects all over the world. Printing equipment will be installed, or has been installed, in new buildings in Canada, Australia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Sweden, the Federal Republic of Germany, England, Ghana, Zambia, South Africa, Nigeria, Brazil and Japan. And the list constantly grows longer.
    w81 10/1 p. 18

    "My husband and I are Jehovah’s Witnesses, and he decided to volunteer his services to help in building the new branch office and printing factory for Jehovah’s Witnesses in Sweden."
    g88 10/22 p. 23

    Here is what they wrote upon dedication of the branch in 1983:

    Willing Builders in Norway Blessed by Jehovah

    “YOUR people will offer themselves willingly.” These words of the psalmist David very appropriately can be used in connection with the construction of the buildings located at Ytre Enebakk, near Oslo in Norway. The buildings make up the new branch headquarters of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Norway. On May 19, 1984, this fine new complex was dedicated to Jehovah God.—Psalm 110:3.

    The new facilities were built entirely by Jehovah’s Witnesses on a voluntary basis. The willingness and enthusiasm of the builders was followed with keen interest by their brothers throughout the land, as well as by many outside the ranks of Jehovah’s Witnesses. The headlines of some local newspapers were: “Greatest voluntary work in the history of Norway!” “Gigantic voluntary work in Ytre Enebakk.” “Impressive voluntary work.”

    Certainly, it was impressive! Within three years the workers constructed beautiful and spacious buildings of nearly 51,700 square feet (4,800 sq m). The buildings contain offices for administration and translation work, a printery, shipping department, Kingdom Hall and living quarters able to accommodate 54 people. All who have seen the buildings are sure that they are going to be a very fine instrument for advancing the work of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Norway.

    Why So Necessary?

    When the good news of God’s Kingdom came to Norway shortly before the turn of the century, it soon reached the hearts of some interested people, who immediately started to preach to others. The great distances involved, huge mountain regions, extensive forests and fjords going deep into the country made travel at that time difficult. Still, the good news soon was preached and accepted even beyond the Arctic Circle. By 1904 the first office to coordinate the preaching was established in a private home in Oslo. By 1925 the work had increased to such a degree that more office and shipping space was needed. Willingly Jehovah’s people made it possible to purchase a three-story building near the center of Oslo. For the next 58 years this building served as the Norwegian branch office and Bethel home. But after all these years it had become too small. Why?

    The number of Kingdom proclaimers had grown from 165 in 1925 to about 7,000, and the congregations had increased from 20 to nearly 200. Furthermore, a larger number of Bible aids were being translated, necessitating more workers at Bethel. Though additional space for offices and living quarters was clearly needed, there was no more room in the building for extensions. The decision was thus made to do as Jehovah’s Witnesses were doing in many other parts of the world—find a piece of land and build new facilities.

    This might sound easy, since Norway has an average of only 13 persons for each square kilometer (about 34 persons a square mile). But nearly 97 percent of the country consists of mountains and forests, making these areas almost uninhabitable. So the search had to go on mainly in the southern part of the country, where most of the people live, and where transportation and communications facilities are better. As you can imagine, there is very limited land available in this part of the country. After one and a half years of intense searching, a very nice piece of land was located, only 30 kilometers (19 mi) from the center of Oslo.

    What a Response!

    When the Witnesses in Norway heard of the Society’s plans, they responded wonderfully. They ‘offered themselves willingly,’ really proving that they belong to Jehovah’s blessed people. Within three weeks the large sum needed to purchase the land was received. Since then the flow of contributions and interest-free loans has not stopped. Thus there has never been any worry about how to pay the construction costs. Even children shared in giving. Three young girls sent a gift to the Society, with the letter you see below.

    This fine, willing spirit was shown during the entire construction period. After the contract for the land was signed, a series of preparatory steps for the building project had to be taken. It was faith strengthening to see how Jehovah’s spirit operated on his willing servants. A brother who owned a forest offered to let us cut down as many trees as needed for our lumber. Brothers experienced in logging traveled long distances on many weekends to cut down the 4,000 trees required. Others repaired an old sawmill, which was installed on the newly purchased land. Within a month after the contract was signed, the first lumber was produced—at a very great saving.

    Other Witnesses offered equipment and materials, helping considerably to keep down expenses. For example, a brother who installs elevators came in contact with the owner of a commercial building. In it was an elevator that the owner wanted dismantled and sold because the space was needed for other purposes. The brother explained about the building project and asked how much was wanted for the elevator. The answer was: “If you dismantle and take it away this week, you can have it for a layer cake.” That elevator is now installed in the new branch. Other brothers brought carloads of foodstuffs—potatoes, vegetables, fish, meat and bread. Yes, Jehovah’s spirit was operating on his willing servants to make it financially possible to build.

    Workers From Where?

    There was such great interest in this building project that more than 2,000 people made themselves available for the construction, for varying periods. They used their vacation or gave up well-paid jobs and lived in cramped construction quarters even in the very cold winter periods when the temperature was far below zero. Why? The workers’ answer to these questions is: “Our love for Jehovah and our interest in the proclamation of the good news.” In fact, all of them displayed the attitude that has always moved Jehovah’s people in Norway, as elsewhere, to offer themselves willingly. You will enjoy knowing some of the background details.

    A letter had been sent out about the need for workers. The response was enthusiastic. Brothers and sisters of all professions offered their skills, time and energy. Some retired people made their experience in the building trade available. Brothers from Denmark and Sweden wanted to share in the work, too, and they contributed much to the fine result. It was heartwarming to see how the brothers worked diligently in all kinds of weather.

    Young people, often on their own initiative, went back out to the project after the ordinary workday was finished, in order to get some important work done in time. Thus the roofs were put on the buildings nearly two months ahead of schedule, and before the long Norwegian winter arrived. The interior work then could be done in heated structures without hindrances. The fine progress in the construction work also made it possible for the Bethel family to move into their new home half a year before expected. That was especially helpful because a buyer offered a good price for the old premises if he could get them on a certain date.

    In this way it came about that the Bethel family moved to their new home and workplace October 21, 1983, exactly three years after the land had been located.

    Dedicated Buildings

    It was announced that the dedication of the new branch complex would take place on May 19, 1984. The building workers and the Bethel family worked hard in order to get everything ready in time. The last big effort was performed the week before the dedication. Some brothers cleaned the rocky ground and prepared the soil while others paved the roads with paving stones and cleaned up a fountain. On the day before the dedication, many trees and bushes were planted. Before the day had ended, all of this had made the surroundings look like a nice park, a place well suited to receive the guests who were invited for the dedication. Truly a beautiful demonstration of Jehovah’s people ‘offering themselves willingly.’

    The guests invited included those who had worked more than seven months at the construction site, some old-timers who had shared in the preaching work as far back as the 1920’s, all circuit and district overseers, and the local congregation, which had been formed as a result of the building project.

    Those invited included also representatives from the branch offices in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. All of them could tell of building projects that had been completed or were under way in their respective countries, showing that the Norwegian building project fits well into the pattern of expansion going on in Jehovah’s worldwide organization.

    One guest from a distant land was Milton G. Henschel of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Brooklyn, New York. He and his wife had arrived earlier in the week and had noted the diligent work of the brothers. In his dedication address Brother Henschel mentioned the willing spirit shown by the Norwegian brothers. He said: “It is marvelous to see how you have provided all the things needed and how you have worked together in order to have these buildings made.” He reminded those using the buildings of the responsibility now placed upon them, saying: “When these buildings are used according to Jehovah’s will, his blessing will be upon the work in this country, and that is why the brothers in Norway have given their support to this building project.”

    Yes, Jehovah blesses those who willingly submit themselves to do his will. Jehovah’s Witnesses in Norway are determined to do their assigned work in the new buildings as well as out in the field, preaching the good news of God’s Kingdom. They say: “In willingness I will sacrifice to you. I shall laud your name, O Jehovah, for it is good.”—Psalm 54:6; Matthew 24:14.

    w84 10/15 pp. 27-31 7 / Willing Builders in Norway Blessed by Jehovah

  • Black Sheep
    Black Sheep

    Milton G. Henschel, “When these buildings are used according to Jehovah’s will, his blessing will be upon the work in this country,..."

    And when they're not????

  • designs

    $$$ Cashing in big time.

    We were Suckers

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