"I saw another angel flying in midheaven, and he had everlasting good news to declare as glad tidings to those who dwell on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people." Rev. 14:6
".....There is considerable evidence of angelic support for our work...experiences occur far too often to be dismissed as mere coincidences. As a result of such angelic help, more and more people are learning to do as the "angel flying in midheaven" proclaimed: "Fear God and give him glory."—Revelation 14:7. [2004 Watchtower, Dec. 15, pages 18-20]
A few of the many hundreds of these experiences from all around the world are related here. These help to paint a clear picture of how persons even in the most remote places on earth are hearing the good news! And how Jehovah's people whenever possible, are offering themselves willingly to serve where there is a greater need in their own country and in other places as well, when possible.
Isolated Islands of Micronesia
Papua, New Guinea
Isolated Areas of Greenland
Isolated Alaskan Arctic Regions
Isolated Regions Along the Amazon River in Brazil
Seldom Worked Territory in the USA
Seldom Worked Territory in Madagascar
ISOLATED ISLANDS OF MICRONESIA
Many persons living in isolated areas such as the many islands that make up the more than 2,000 islands with three million square miles in the Western Pacific. Collectively these are known as Micronesia which means "small islands".
Local brothers and sisters have answered the call to serve where the need is greater within these islands and serve shoulder to shoulder with others who have come from other parts of the world to help out.. In the article "Answering the Call of the Micronesian Islands", 1987 Watchtower, Nov. 15, it mentions that some 49 missionaries were serving there in 14 missionary homes scattered throughout these islands. Missionaries and other Kingdom publishers put forth a great effort to reach these persons so difficult to find. The article relates that, "Missionaries in Ponape, Truk, and Belau use their own boats for island witnessing."
Kosrae Ponape (Pohnpei) Truk (chuuk) Truk Lagoon
Since there are no docking facilities at most places, they often have to wade ashore in mud up to their knees. Most residents are friendly and welcome the visitors by spreading out woven floor mats for them and serving them cool coconut water." Reaching such sheeplike ones is not easy nor is life in Micronesia as "on some islands, there are no power, water, or sewage systems, no paved roads, and no automobiles". However, those serving express the joys of this privilege saying, ""Self-sacrificing people are happy people.". (See: "Answering the Call of the Micronesian Islands, 1987 Watchtower, Nov. 15, pages 26-29.)
PAPUA, NEW GUINEA
In other parts of the world many villages cannot be reached by road, often due to being situated high in the mountains.
A Village Mountain town of Papua New Guinea
Nevertheless, the good news is reaching such sheeplike ones! The 2005 Yearbook report on Papua New Guinea Villages tells of a man who walked five days through the bush to reach a highway to travel on a truck to the capital.
Port Moresby, Capital Papua, New Guinea
Four years ago when he was in the capital city a brother placed the Watchtower with him, he carried it back to his village, read it, shared it with the villagers and taught them every Sunday from it for years. In time the people of the village persuaded him to find the publishers of the magazine, and hence his five day walk trek to the capital in search of the brothers. When he learned that there was a congregation "not far from his village", he happily exclaimed, "That’s easy! That’s only a two-day walk from my village!" He returned back to his village with a bag full of literature & arrangements were made for brothers to visit the village to help the people. (Papua New Guinea villages: yb05 63)
ISOLATED AREAS OF GREENLAND
Greenland, the largest island in the world, 1,700 miles long, & a land of ice and snow is situated north of the Arctic Circle. Travel by sea is extremely difficult for many months of the year and in the wintertime the sea around the island freezes isolating the populated areas. However, there are many brothers and sisters who have moved to Greenland to help bring the good news to such persons difficult to reach. Other brothers from within their homeland have also sacrificed their time and resources to reach persons in these isolated areas--using their motorboats the brothers make trips as long as 400 miles away to reach such persons.
The brothers must travel long distances and many hours to reach the isolated villages of Greenland, but nevertheless, under Jehovah's direction of the Faithful and Discreet Slave, the good news is reaching these people
For an idea of what our brothers must do to reach such sheeplike persons, the article, Visiting the Greenlandic Field in the 1989 Watchtower, November 15, pages 26-29 describes their traveling. From reach the people 3 hours were spent going from Qaqortoq (Julianehåb) to Narsaq three hours of travel is required.
Qaqortog (Julianehab) Narsaq Paamiut (Frederiks
Nuuk Maniitsoq (Sukkertoppen)
From there it takes 24-hours to Paamiut (Frederikshåb), From Paamiut to Nuuk is another 14-hour trip. From there it is an eight-hour journey to Maniitsoq (Sukkertoppen). Then ten hours away, is Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg). From this area periodic trips are made to preach to the people ten hours away, at Sisimiut (Holsteinsborg).
The northernmost congregation. Ilulissat, (Jakobshavn) is Greenlandic for "icebergs," . This congregation have what is probably the world’s northernmost witnessing territory, reaching right up to the village of Kullorsuaq (Devil’s Thumb). This entire article is very encouraging and shows the love and the great lengths our brothers are going to in order to carry the good news to persons in isolated areas difficult to reach. [1989 Watchtower, November 15, pages 26-29]
ISOLATED ALASKAN ARCTIC REGIONS
The northern part of Alaska is the region known as the Arctic. This region is the home of the Inupiat Eskimos who live by hunting and fishing. The largest Inupiat community in the region is Barrow, where there are a good many villages spread out over the region. In remote areas of the Alaskan Arctic region, villages are separated by hundreds of miles of wilderness and the only way to reach the people with the good news is by airplane. By means of the Watch Tower Society’s twin-engine airplane, the brothers reached over one third of these isolated villages, bringing the good news of God’s Kingdom to more than 150 communities where more than 60,000 native people are spread over almost 600,000 square miles or 1,600,000 sq km of wilderness, not connected by roads of any kind.
To reach these remote settlements, the plane often has to let down through clouds and fog that may cover the land for days.
Mt. McKinley Alaska Range Aleutian Islands Barrow Alaska
The Society's plane was just the thing to cross the rugged Alaska Range as there are numerous mountains such as Mt. McKinley (Denali) towering some 20,000 feet above sea. Before this, the 1994 Watchtower, April 15, pages 21-26.says that, " faithful brothers in the Fairbanks and North Pole Congregations concentrated their efforts on the larger villages, such as Nome, Barrow, and Kotzebue, which are served by commercial airlines. They used their own funds to travel to these areas, over 450 miles [720 km] to the north and west. Some remained in Nome for several months to conduct Bible studies with interested ones. In Barrow an apartment was rented to provide a haven from the frigid minus 50 degrees Fahrenheit [-45° C.] " .
However, once the Society's plane was received, the brothers wrote, "Since receiving the airplane, we have covered 50,000 miles [80,000 km] of wilderness, bringing the Kingdom good news and Bible literature to over 54 villages." Be sure to read the full inspiring account of the preaching work in all of this isolated territory from the Aleutian islands to the arctic and North Pole & all the isolated places in-between in the article, Lifting the Veil on Alaska’s Last Frontier, in the 1994 Watchtower, April 15, pages 21-26.
ISOLATED REGIONS ALONG THE AMAZON RIVER IN BRAZIL
Under the subheading, Preaching in Seldom-Worked Areas, 1997 Yearbook, page 199 had this to say:
"Jehovah’s Witnesses do not feel that as long as they have some share in the field service, that is all that is needed. They realize that everyone needs an opportunity to hear the good news. There are many towns in Brazil that are not assigned to any congregation and others that are rarely worked. Generally, these are small, isolated towns or ones difficult to reach. An investigation made in 1990 indicated that there were 4,000,000 people living in unassigned territory and 9,000,000 living in other territory that was seldom worked. A special campaign got under way that year to contact some of these people. More than 2,000 publishers participated, working in 177 previously unassigned towns. Later, about 30 families moved to some of these towns in order to provide the nucleus for new congregations."
Brothers in their home country offered themselves willingly to serve in isolated hard to reach areas and with the help of others who have come from other countries, a thorough witness is being given in the Amazon River regions of Brazil. Many pioneers are assigned to this area where they preach using four large boats. These boats go along the Madeira, Purus, Solimões, and Tocantins rivers as well as in the region around Marajó Island. which is in the Amazon River delta in Brazil. It is the world's largest fluvial island (one produced by sediments deposited by a stream or river) and the largest island of the world to be surrounded by both fresh and salt water.
Marajo' Island Purus River Tocantins River joining Amazon
Salimoes River Piraha Natives Natives along river
The island is 183 miles (295 km) long and 124 miles (200 km) wide, with an area of 15,500 square miles These rivers extend for about 6,000 miles and an estimated 370,000 persons live along the river banks. (See 1999 Yearbook, page 48)
In the 1997 Yearbook, Pages 169-71, it tells about how, "Since 1991 some of our special pioneers have been using boats as part of their regular equipment in the ministry. In that year the Society provided two boats for such use. There is Boas Novas (Good News), which travels on the rivers Negro, Purus, Madeira, and Solimões. Proclamador das Boas Novas (Proclaimer of the Good News) circles the island of Marajó—the size of the Netherlands—at the mouth of the Amazon River.
Five special pioneers are assigned to each boat. While two pairs of pioneers are in the service, one pioneer stays on board to prepare the meals and to do the cleaning as well as to guard against possible piracy. The main objective is to reach the inhabitants of the small villages on the riverbanks and others who live in huts built on piles or in floating homes.
Interesting details of this preaching activity is found in the 1997 Yearbook report on Brazil, pages 125-207 and fascinating information about the Amazon Region, in the 2003 Awake! November 8, pages 13-17.
SELDOM WORKED TERRITORY IN THE USA
"Serving where the need for Witnesses is greater does not always require that a person go to another country. Thousands of individual Witnesses and families have moved to other areas within their own country." --Jehovah's Witnesses--Proclaimers of God's Kingdom
UTAH: "A brother from California who went to Utah wrote: "When I was first approached with the idea of taking a group out in seldom-worked territory, I was hesitant. But I decided to accept the assignment. Not only have I never regretted it but it has changed my life. I thank Jehovah every day for the privilege of being a part of this trip." km 7/01 4
TENNESSEE: "A brother from Florida who went to Tennessee said that it was the most memorable experience of his 20 years in the truth! A teenager from Connecticut who went to West Virginia said: "This was the best experience of my life!" Most publishers agree that serving for even a short time where the need is greater has deepened their appreciation for the ministry. Talk to those who have done it. You will find that they were uplifted spiritually and would likely do it again if given the opportunity. " km 7/01 4
WEST VIRGINIA: Three carloads of brothers from two different congregations, went to West Virginia to work seldom worked territory for two weeks and could not stop talking about their experiences for months! Brothers gave special talks and experiences in the congregations from which they were a part!
From a needgreater from Wisconsin, U.S.A.
I was so excited when I saw that there was actually a "Needgreater" page. I am actually from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in 1990 I and a friend moved to Olathe, Kansas to serve where the need is great..
To make a long story short, my partner developed cancer and passed away Sept 3, 1993, and I stayed in Overland Park, Kansas another year then moved back home with my family to kind of get my bearings.
In September 1996, I again ventured out, TO SERVE WHERE THE NEED IS GREAT-- this time only AN HOUR AWAY-- where there is an amazing amount of territory and there was only one pioneer.
YOU ARE SO RIGHT, NOTHING COMPARES TO THE JOYS OF BEING USED IN JEHOVAH'S SERVICE no matter what trials come along the way!! I would love to hear from other needgreaters!
SELDOM WORKED TERRITORY IN MADAGASCAR
One experience tells of local brothers with the missionary spirit, determined to reach all the persons on their island.
Seventeen of the thirty publishers in one congregation made arrangements to work in seldom worked territory some fifty miles away. They left their village past midnight, and walked for two hours through steep pathways and muddy marshes until 2:30 a.m. when they came to the tropical forest. During this time some brothers fell over crags, others stumbled into pools of water in among rocks, and they were bitten by insects, but emerged happily from the forest at 6:30 a.m. They began their field service at 6:45 a.m. The report goes on to say,
"Most of the people received the publishers kindly...At 1:30 p.m., the 17 left the territory for home, making the trip in less than four hours because it was still day. They were tired but safe, and their faces radiated joy. They said: "It was an unforgettable day for the 17 of us from the Isaonjo Congregation."
Certainly, Jehovah’s spirit is moving his dedicated servants to preach the good news of the Kingdom "to the most distant part of the earth," and many are responding to the Witnesses’ fine efforts.—Acts 1:8." (see w89 11/1 31)
According to the 2000 Yearbook, pages 250-1, "In recent years, the Society has been sending temporary special pioneers to unassigned territories in order to give more people the opportunity to benefit from the Kingdom message."
Researching such topics as Seldom Worked Territory, Unassigned Territory, Isolated Territory, using the Watchtower Library CD or Watchtower Indexes one can find a wealth of interesting inspiring information along with helpful suggestions.
The purpose of the Serving Where the Need is Great Web Page is simply to share many of the joys and experiences of needgreaters throughout the world. It has been prepared with the hope of encouraging all of Jehovah’s servants as well as motivating those who have the circumstances to reach out for this wonderful privilege of service. In no way is the information provided here a substitute for following the instructions of the Society which include contacting the Branch Office in the country in which you would like to serve.