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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Chilufya Tayali – Jehovah’s Witnesses Abandoned My Grandmother!

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My grandmother used to tell us stories of how she abandoned school in preference of going to spread the Word of God as a Jehovah’s Witness. She narrated that, in those days, some people were going to school so that they become Govt teachers, but they never knew God.

When I was young together with my other cousins, aunties and uncles, it was a must for all of us to go to the Kingdom Hall. Grandpa died when I was about 7 years old.

However, I hated the periodical zonal gathers (Ukulongana kwachitungu), because we used to walk a long distance on foot and we would spend the whole day there.

The worst about these meetings was lunchtime because we were so poor that we could not carry nice and enough packed lunch.

So, we would finish our little food then start watching others enjoying nice and plenty of food. I used to get upset, wondering why they could not share with us. My grandma always kept watchful eye on us, so that we don’t go begging.

But I always looked forward to role-plays (ifisela) which used to happen in the afternoons. Thereafter it was time to walk a long way back home.

In her old age, whenever she traveled to Lusaka, she never failed to ask for the Kingdom Hall and attend gathering, even if she was not understanding the language, like when she visited mum in Mwembeshi where they use Lenje and Tonga.

This time around, when she was by my place, I made frantic efforts to get some Jehovah’s witnesses visit her, but no one came because they are scared of COVID-19. I was told that, they usually meet on Zoom.

Some lady reported the matter to some Jehovah’s Witnesses in our area but they never called. After a few attempts on her, she gave me a number of someone who I called but was rather a cold conservation, though he asked for our house location. I just gave up, till she died.

I don’t know about your faith, but somehow, I believe, Grandma deserves whatever rewards God gives to those who lived well on this life, irrespective of who prayed for (or with) them in their sickness or at the graveyard.

I do understand the challenges that many Churches face this time around due to COVID-19 and I would be unfair to blame anyone for fearing to come visit Grandma when she was sick or come to the funeral especially that she died of COVID-19.

But I think we have to find a way of living with COVID-19 yet show love in the best way we can. As much as I understand the circumstances we are living in, I still wish she had met just one Jehovah’s witness before she died.

Nonetheless, I still appreciate the Jehovah’s Witnesses because Grandma showed me God through the faith she had as a witness. She was a true witness and I am grateful, though I am now a Catholic.

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