Hello from Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil!
I am a coordinator at an English language course here in Fortaleza. I have been both living in Brazil and working at this course for (4) years. I have never been to a Kingdom Hall here.
From time to time, an older JW and an English (UK) JW (usually guys in their 20s or 30s) come to the school seeking English-speaking foreigners (that would be me) with whom to start a study or witness to.
As much as I am against all things JW, I have always remained respectful toward any JWs I have met. Still, I am always clear and say proudly that I used to be a JW when they come by to talk to me (I am the only foreigner at the school).
Two visits ago, a Brit and the older Brazilian JW came by to chat. I hadn't met the English bloke before. He was kind enough. He started into his JW spiel and I cut him off. ("I know about all this already"..."I have done Field Service before"..."I have given talks"). He kindly asked me, "If you don't mind telling me, what made you stop attending meetings?". Folks, this question can be used as a GOTCHA!, meaning they have you on record as being an apostate. Maybe this was his intention. Then he could inform the local elders about my existence. I don't know. Whatever. I m not scared or intimidated by any action they may take against me or any label they may put upon me. However, I had to consider that his question may have been based on his having doubts of his own. Why?
Because when I cut off his JW delivery, his face brimmed with curiosity, like he was thinking, "Wow! I need to know more! What could cause someone to walk away from Jehovah?". Maybe. Maybe not. I decided to take the middle ground. I said, "Listen. Why I left is not important. It wasn't for me anymore. If you're happy being a JW, then be happy. I, too, am happy". The British JW was like, "Uh...oh...yeah. It's okay. I'm really sorry for asking". He was very apologetic and we just talked about normal things like the weather and Brazil. Nothing more about JWisms. After a few more minutes they went on their merry way. That was about a year ago.
Today, a receptionist gave me a business card and said that two guys came by to talk with me. The photos are within this post.
Four years here. A handful of visits from the older Brazilian JW and his random British companions. And today was the first time I was left a JW business card.