2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, 3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” 4 And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. 5 But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. 6 And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, 7 and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” (Acts 17:2-7 ESV)
As our website’s name suggests, we are Witnesses for Jesus. Like the apostle Paul, we proclaim that Jesus is the Christ. And because of it, some call us apostates and attack our ministry of reaching out to Jehovah’s Witnesses and Mormons. Those types of letters are to be expected, but I can’t remember a time when we were accused of “turning the world upside down” due to our testimony. Until last month.
“From what I have seen and read so far remarkably I have to admit that this appeals strongly to my heart. As you know very well we are used to witnessing to others, not to receive such a remarkable and heartwarming witness. They certainly get under my skin. If you just sit and listen to it, you can’t just walk away like nothing happened. These testimonies turn your world upside down.”
The writer was referring to all the testimonies of former Jehovah’s Witnesses on our website. From the letter, it’s obvious he’s read quite a lot of content on our site. And this is not an ExJW either. He introduced himself as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. As he read our testimonies, it turned his world upside down! Hallelujah.
So in the interest of encouraging the former JWs who were willing to share their testimonies here, know that it is making a difference. And to those of you who prayerfully and financially support this ministry, your commitment is not in vain. Lives are being affected! And to those just beginning the journey, welcome. I pray you find as much encouragement in reading this letter as the writer did in reading our website.
I have omitted the name and location of this writer to protect his privacy. I also corrected some spelling errors, but other than that, this is the original letter we received in June.
May 30, 2019
Dear Julie McAllen
Before telling you something about who I am and why you receive a letter from someone from (location withheld) I would like to start with inviting you to have a comfortable seat.
My name is (name withheld). I am 53 years of age and I am a Jehovah’s Witness. You will understand that writing to you being an ex-JW is not something that I take for granted. Nevertheless, after reading some of the testimonies that you and other ex-JW have been given I can no longer stay in silence and deny that you have started a process within me.
It is truly amazing what an effect your witnessing has on me. I thought ex-JW were mostly bitter people, you clearly showed me how far that can be from the truth.
It’s exciting for me to read each personal experience.
Take our lovely sister Margery – Discovering Biblical truths that contradicted the Watchtower, she left for the real Truth.
“There is much more I could add to this testimony, but this is a brief account of my experiences. May the Lord bless this to each and every one of you who read this, and remember it is Christ and Christ alone Who you belong to, cling only to that hope, and I’ll see you up there! In Christian Love, Margery”
And then there is sister Carlene, my o my!
“Serving the Watchtower organization for over 20 years before Christ opened her eyes, she now has a heart to help others on their way out. Sharing the gospel with all has now become my mission. I sincerely want to help others who are trying to leave the Jehovah Witness organization and know that I can only do this by relying on the Holy Spirit. Leaving the Jehovah’s Witnesses was truly like chains falling off.”
Or what about the heartbreaking experience from this extraordinary strong sister Nancy:
“In the past year, I have gone from being an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness who walked away from the religion to an Ex-Jehovah’s Witness who speaks out loudly against their tyranny and control. They prey upon the vulnerable and slowly gain control of their powers of critical thinking until they are all like little sheep being led astray. CRITICAL THINKING is important to all persons everywhere, to make thoughtful choices, to question, to understand. My hope is that I’m able to help even ONE person from being manipulated and taken over by this outrageous but stealthy group.”
Life obviously came hard on her and yet her hope is to help even one person from being manipulated. This truly touched my heart.
The testimony of Christine shows how far you are prepared to help us in finding the truth. Can you imagine how this surprises me?
In 2006 right out of the blue, the Lord spoke to me and told me that we had to move abroad, which is something I have never had the desire to do. However, in obedience to the Lord’s call, we sold our house in England and moved to Cyprus in 2007. We believe the Lord has directed us to this place in order to serve Him more fully.
Many Jehovah’s Witnesses live in Cyprus and we believe that when the Lord decides to shake this religion even more, a lot more of them will get free out of captivity and seek to know the Lord Jesus Christ as their only true God and Father. Jesus said His sheep will hear His voice and they will know Him. Many hirelings claim to be speaking with the voice of Jesus, but if we are Jesus’ sheep, we will know Him and follow Him alone. I know from personal experience how frightening it was to leave a religion that I was taught from childhood was the only “truth,” but when the Lord spoke to me directly, I knew that it was only Him that could set me free from my captivity to a false religious concept. If you are in this situation yourself, I urge you to ask the Lord Jesus into your life and ask Him to fill you with His Grace.
Actually what touches me deeply Julie
is to taste the love that motivates you people to witness to us.
Take for example Amber. She wrote:
“Please if you have read this letter, entirely know that it comes from a place of love. If you are looking for resources to get answers to these questions, please pray for Jehovah to guide you to get answers and to give you the courage. When I finally started looking for answers, it was one of the scariest things I have ever done. I am so glad I did. I feel like it is my ministry to witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses. My twin sister and I have been on this journey together. May God Bless you! Amber”
What a beautiful approach; consider it as a ministry and to express that with Christian love.
That she described her process as a journey that she gladly took, although it was very exciting and even scary sometimes, woke up my interest too. It reminded me of what it says in 2 Cor. 1:3-4 that Jehovah comforts us so that we may be able to comfort others in any sort of trial with the comfort that we receive from God. That is precisely what she is doing, no? Another notable experience was that from sister Renee who said that she now afterwards considers it as a blessing that her family didn’t talk to her anymore, because that gave her the opportunity to find the truth. I am impressed by this beautiful way of looking at it! I never even considered that this could be possible.
Freely translated you all say to me something like:
What is happening with you now might be very exciting, even scary too, but hold on, don’t give up, many of us went through this process. Trust on it that you will be glad afterwards too. We speak out of experience.
From what I have seen and read so far remarkably I have to admit that this appeals strongly to my heart. As you know very well we are used to witnessing to others, not to receive such a remarkable and heartwarming witness. They certainly get under my skin. If you just sit and listen to it, you can’t just walk away like nothing happened.
These testimonies turn your world upside down.
On the other hand, the arguments used to motivate us to listen to what ex-JW has to say are very convincing too.
Your website said: Truth does not fear examination. If an organization cannot stand up under examination, it is not the truth but rather a counterfeit!
Another example I loved is the illustration of the car salesman.
What I like about the teachings of Jehovah’s Witnesses is that they use nice illustrations. That helps me to grasp the idea better. What I didn’t realize was that ex-JWs can do exactly the same making good use of illustrations to make their point. And a point they have! In this case making clear how important it can be for a JW to open up and listen to what ex-JWs might have to say!
Just in case you don’t know which illustration I talked about, here it is;
“Would you purchase a used car from a salesman who says to you: ‘Don’t listen to what the other dealer across the road tells you about our vehicles. He left our dealership and started his own business because he doesn’t like our policies. All he does now is steal our customers by lying about the quality of our vehicles and services’? If a car salesman told you this, wouldn’t this put a red flag in your mind that something isn’t right about this dealership? Wouldn’t you want to talk to the other dealership across the road to hear his side of what happened between him and this dealer before you make the commitment to purchase a vehicle from him?”. “Just as you would evaluate a car salesman by considering the claims of his competitors and former employees, don’t you think it would be a good idea to listen to what Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses have to say about the Jehovah’s Witness religion before getting too involved with it?”
“What would you do if Jehovah’s Witnesses told you: ‘Don’t listen to what Ex-Jehovah’s Witnesses have to say about our religion because they are bitter about their experiences and all they do is “lie” about us? Wouldn’t you wonder what they are hiding from you and why they would not want you to hear the experiences of former Jehovah’s Witnesses? After all, if these people are lying’ about the Jehovah’s Witness religion, wouldn’t that be obvious to see? How is this situation any different from the car dealership who would try to get you not to listen to his former employee by claiming that he ‘lies’ about his vehicles?”
Wow! This is really something, no? I mean how can I respond here properly?
I love the way how you lovingly prepare people for dealing and talking with JW. I had no idea that this actually is going on. The love it reflects is abundant. And there is not much to say against the logics in the way you reason. You offer a help-tool specifically to open the mind of JW. And it is effective I can say.
Well Julie, my mind indeed is open for your witnessing, wide open I might say after reading some of the impressive testimonies. I like how you said:
“Am I a threat to the Watchtower Society? Of course I am, I’m a Christian! 1 Pet.4:14-16 Receiving the authority to become one of God’s children all fear has been removed that gave me freeness of speech!”
Not often you come across someone in the field service that has such a strong conviction. I think you strongly agree with Amber’s words: “I feel like it is my ministry to witness to Jehovah’s Witnesses.”
This is all very exciting for me Julie.
Approaching former Witnesses with the question:
Can you please tell me more?
You invite people for a 101 study of Galatians.*
With what I know so far
I would love to know more about that.
However, there is a slight problem and that is that I can’t communicate with you through the World Wide Web because of the circumstances I am in. That is precisely why I am writing you a letter. If you are interested in helping me, the question now is: are you willing to react through this form of communication by correspondence? I would really appreciate that.
If you might have any questions or remarks for me please feel free to let me know.
With a smile on my face I quote Ambers words once again:
“When I finally started looking for answers,
it was one of the scariest things I have ever done.”
Now I wouldn’t say one of the scariest things but it definitely excites me a lot to ask you: Can you please tell me more?
Although there is so much more to say and ask I will keep it simple for now. Receive my dearest regards and utmost respect for what you are doing. Hopefully to hear from you. (end of letter)
This man ended his letter with
“Isn’t every day an inexplicable delight?”
Knowing that his days in prison are now delightful simply because of the HOPE held out from our witness of Jesus Christ, how can I not respond?
Let it remind us all to SHARE OUR TESTIMONIES, for we never know who’s reading and waking up to an inexplicably delightful new day!
Keep yourself in God’s love,
*To read the Galatians 101 study for yourself, go to https://www.4witness.org/testimonies/ex-jehovahs-witnesses/julie-mcallen/julies-galatians-101/)