A Chance Encounter With JW's at the Door
About 15 years ago about 1988 or 1989, my doorbell rang and it was Jehovah's Witnesses. As I opened my door, there stood two young ladies who appeared to be in their early 20's. One girl had short, wavy blonde hair and the other was a Hispanic looking girl with long dark hair.
Randy Watters had written a very good brochure called "Opening the Closed Mind". It is a strategy to use when speaking to JW's using a "questioning" approach rather than inundating them with information. The approach is to make JW's think, rather than giving them information they will reject and experience "cognitive dissonance" with.
Since I very rarely get JW's at the door, I thought this would be a good time to try out these questions to these gals at the door. In fact, I had memorized these questions and was eager to see their response. The blonde girl spoke first and introduced herself along with her field service partner. "Hi, my name is____ and this is _____ and we are here today to show you the Watchtower and Awake Magazines".
I looked at these girls and said: "I know that you are Jehovah's Witnesses and I've read your magazines before. But do you mind if I ask you a few questions?". The blonde girl agreed to answer my questions.
I asked her the first question. "Do you believe the Bible was written for all people?" She gave her response to which I knew was a lie. She said "yes", but we all know that JW's believe the Bible is an organizational book and applies only to their organization. I asked her the second question, "Do you believe that Christians have always existed in the last 2000 years?" To which she answered yes.
I probably got through about 5 or 6 questions from Opening the Closed Mind. The other girl with the dark hair finally piped up and said, "How many more questions do you have?" I told her I was just asking questions out of curiosity because I wanted to understand what they believed. She then related to me that they weren't interested in answering any questions and that they were interested in finding converts to their religion. She also said that if I wasn't interested in studying to become a JW, then they would leave. So I told her that no, I wasn't interested in becoming a JW, (little did they know that I was an Ex JW), but I just wanted to understand them. The dark haired girl said that then, they would be "on their way". I thanked them for stopping by and told them that they would be in my prayers.
After they left, I began to pray for these girls. I knew their names at the time and I prayed for them to leave the Watchtower Organization for several weeks and I also prayed that they would come back or that I would see them again. I just kept asking God to cause something in their lives to happen that would make them lose faith in the Watchtower Organization.
They never returned. As I said, it was probably 1988 or 1989. All these years have gone by and I eventually forgot about them. But even though I forgot all about them, I believe that God never forgot them.
I received an email from a lady named Lana. She told me that she was a former JW and pioneer and also that used to live in the same city that I have lived in since 1982. She had been looking for people that she had known while she lived in my area. I told her that I was never a JW since coming to this area. I had spent all my JW years in another part of the country and when I moved here, I didn't know any other JW's except for some chance encounters at the door. She no longer lived in that area , but had recently moved to another county in the same state. She had a bad experience as a JW and found some of the "brothers" to be perverts who only had one thing on their mind when it came to her. Meanwhile she tried to live a "clean life" and tried to be a good pioneer, but was removed after a false accusation. After that she kept trying to go back to pioneering and trying to be this "good little sister" in the organization. It never quite worked out the way she thought it should have.
We exchanged a few emails and a few phone calls. We had planned to meet at some point during her semester break from school, but it didn't work out. I let her know that I run a support group for ex JW's and she was more than welcome to come. She agreed to come and we finally met on Sunday, January 25, 2004.
Lana came to the meeting and seemed to enjoy it. We have a very friendly group. I always provide refreshments and the atmosphere is very casual. Like most of the people who show up for my meetings, she was very nice and sweet. As far as I was concerned I had never met her. Someone else at the meeting had talked to Lana and said she looked familiar. Lana had responded and said that she gets that all the time, she gets "mistaken" for someone else.
Well Lana didn't look familiar to me, I thought. I was sure I had never met her. She has short, dark hair and glasses and looks quite young for being 37 years old. As Lana was leaving, I gave her a hug, thanked her for coming and I told her I would be getting in touch with her later.
After the meeting was over, I was standing around talking to a few people, and I suddenly had a "flashback" of that chance encounter with the two girls at my door. I had long since forgotten about it, but for some strange reason, it suddenly came to my mind. Why?
The reason it came to my mind is because I realized Lana was the girl with the long dark hair at my door! I couldn't prove it at the time, but I had a VERY STRONG FEELING that she was the girl with the long dark hair who didn't want to stand there and answer questions. Could it really be?
Sometimes a coincidence is not really a coincidence. It's really a "God incidence". This was just too bizarre to have worked out this way and I had to call Lana and find out if she was the one at my door all those years ago.
I called and at first she wasn't home. I called her again later on and she was finally home. I told her of my experience with the two girls at the door and asked her if she ever went out in field service with another blonde girl with glasses. At first she didnít remember. But then she said that she suddenly had the "flashback". She REMEMBERED being at someone's door and speaking with a lady who was asking all kinds of questions. It was her partner's turn to speak and finally she spoke up with her little speech about how they were really looking for converts.
This was more than just "de ja vous". We were both flabbergasted that she turned out to be the dark haired girl at my door.
Lana even remembered the street where I lived and described how they were standing at my door. She even remembered that my street is in a cul de sac and that my house is located on the east side of the street.
But what really struck me was this: She said after they left my door, she had said to her partner, "I'll never cut my hair and I'll never quit pioneering". She said that right after that, she was removed as a pioneer and her life in the organization went downhill. She had spent the last 15 years trying to pick herself back up, trying to be a good JW, but never being quite accepted.
I'm in total awe right now at how this chance encounter turned out, even 15 years later.
Very rarely do I ever see the results of my praying for the JW's I donít know personally. But in this instance, I thank God that he put this lady back in my way. I truly believe that my "flashback" was a supernatural experience, since I really didn't even recognize Lana; I would never have been able to remember her all by myself.
I really believe in the power of prayer and that we really need to pray for all these JW's that we meet at our door. We never know how things will turn out. We never know what God has in mind. All we can do is try to "plant seeds" and pray and trust that God is working on the rest. Neither of us knows what happened to the blonde girl, as she moved away later on and Lana never heard from her. However, we just don't know and we can pray that she is out or will come out of the WT as well.
1Cor 3:6: I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. (NASB)