HARARE – As Zimbabwe plays host once more to thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses visiting for annual conventions, the tell-tale knock at the door may be an invitation to join them.
Thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses are expected to attend a series of three-day annual conventions with the theme “Don’t Give Up” starting this week.
The first of 19 three-day events to be held in Harare will begin on June 30, at 9:20am.
An estimated 2 500 people will come to the Harare Assembly Hall each weekend for the Bible-based programmes. Worldwide, there are over 8 million Witnesses in more than 115 000 congregations.
In the three weeks leading up to each convention, local congregations take to the streets brandishing invitations, to present in person or leave at doors.
Not that this is anything out of the ordinary, said John Hunguka, spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses at their branch in Harare.
Door-to-door outreach, or field service, is part of a typical week for many Jehovah’s Witnesses.
Hunguka said starting this week, and continuing for the next 13 weeks, Jehovah’s Witnesses will be participating in a global campaign to personally invite the general public to attend.
The programme will be held at 29 venues around the country.
Hunguka said there will be 57 conventions in 7 languages. The programme is divided into 52 parts and will be presented in a variety of formats, including brief discourses, interviews, and short videos.
Additionally, one segment of a three-part feature film entitled Remember the Wife of Lot will be shown each afternoon.
“Challenges in life can rob us of peace and even cause some to think about giving up,” Hunguka said. “Our convention this year will benefit both Witnesses and non-Witnesses because it promises to empower individuals not only to keep enduring but also to cope with challenges productively.”
Admission to each event will be free and no collections are taken.
“Nearly 13 million persons attended our conventions last year worldwide,” Hunguka said.
“We hope to have an even larger audience this year.”