I am a long time servant of Jehovah, babtized in late teens. Being a spiritualy minded young man I applied to Bethel and was accepted. I served faithfully for 20 years in a variety of assignenments and meet many wonderfull people and had, what I thought, was the privilidge of supporting Christs Brothers. I developed a health problem that precluded me from carrying out my work assignments and left me physically weak. My condition persisted and it was timely recomended that I leave Bethel Service. I understood and was grateful for my time there. I was kindly taken by friends and over the course of several years recovered my health.
My situation though was difficult. I was in my late 40's and had no real world experience in the work force, no training to speak of, but I trusted in Jehovah. As my health improved I strongly desired to support myself as I felt I had already been a burden on the couple who had taken me in. I found employment as a janitor with a local brother. The physical work was tirering, given my condition, but satisfying. Over the course of the next ten years I regained much of my strength and continued to devote myself to serving Kingdom Interests. I was ultimatly able to serve as an Elder, a privledge I have enjoyed for almost 30 years. Despite the difficulties of old age and infirmities brought on by a life of physical labor I told myself it was all for Jehovahs Glory! But much has changed....
In the last few years I have begun to question much. In 1935 when I was born it was thought the end was imminent*. My parents believed I would never go to school in this System of Things. I reached out for organizational goals. Both of my parents died in this System, faithful to what they believed was the Jehovah God's Organization. I served twenty years at head quarters under the same ideal. Now I too have grown old, and have begun to doubt how near the end really is. Recent adjustments to our understanding of Jesus prophcey of 'this generation' ** have convinced me that my parents served, not Christ, but men and that I too have been deceived. It stretches the bounds of reason that Jesus was speaking of "overlapping" groups of anointed followers of Christ. Further, from my own experiences and personal interactions with former Presidents of the WTS I know they held no such understanding.
However the final blow, and what has prompted me into action, was the Annual Meeting this year. I was invited to attend, as I frequently have had the privledge to do so. In one of the talks it was put forth, those who have grown old in this system and begun to question the wisdom of Kingdom sService and forgoing secular jobs and opportunties were compared to the Isrealites who murmured in the wilderness.. Tears of bitterness welled up in my eyes at that! A life spent in whole souled service compared to those who were punished by Jehovah God for unfaithfulness! How dare they devalue the sacrifice of so many, including my parents, and so many dear friends who sacrificed the chance to have children or as in my case to even marry, all for the Kingdom..... Even now I struggle to maintain my composure. A life of sacrifice and denial reduced to regret and bitterness...
My nephew tells me that many former brothers and sisters long ago came to understand what I have only learned too late and are working to help others. He indicated that it may be useful to you and other to have copy of the new Kingdom Ministry School textbook. I am glad to provide mine to you. I can only hope the information will help others to avoid wasting their life in Service to unappreciative men rather the loving Jehovah God I still believe exsists and cares!
Thank you for taking the time to listen the incoherent ramblings of an old man. I trust you will do your utmost to make sure it is shared with all.
Your Brother in Christ