July.19.14

It’s Saturday morning, breakfast is a banana and a protein bar.  I stand at the hotel room balcony…14 floors up…pondering and staring at the Georgia Dome in the distance.  What encouragement will we receive today?  Any new releases? How many will get baptized?  Will the MARTA ride be less or more crowded?  Well, time to go!  We make our way among the hustle and bustle of other Witnesses, arriving at a different station today because of a slight drizzle of rain.  Once inside, we head to Club Level.  Softest seats in the building.

I get a call from a brother that my Dad studied with in the late 60’s while in NY.  We had already come to know each other and become good friends.  The brother is at the International and I just have to go find him and converse a bit.  The walkways are full of brothers and sisters laughing and talking.  Today, I had a pleasure of meeting those visiting from Yorkshire (located in Northern England), London, Finland and Japan.

Interviews were related by missionaries from Africa that mustered up boldness during times of ban and physical persecution.  Some talked of walking and hiking up rough terrain in the ministry 5 miles or more to reach villages. One sister, that served with her husband for 30 years, survived cerebral malaria, being stranded in the bush, a poisonous snake bite and times that the militia would attack vehicles.  This helped us and the baptismal candidates to see that endurance is possible with the help Jehovah provides.  Two hundred fifty four were baptized at our International in Atlanta; and combined with the regionals that tied-in, the amount totaled 752!

Split-screen viewing of baptismal pools

Split-screen viewing of baptismal pools

baptismal pools

baptismal pools

The attendance was 31,892.  An additional tie-in on Saturday, bringing the total to 107,723.  A wonderful afternoon session, as we got to listen to Bro. Lett and Bro. Morris hold our attention for a sound drama and experiences relevant to the past 100 years of Jehovah’s organization.

I treated my mom to dinner at Mary Mac’s. Some fine “southern food”.  “Atlanta’s Dining Room” was a great spot to take in some physical food as we talked about the day’s spiritual food that we were still digesting.  Mmmmm!

Interpreter assisting w/ experience of a Bethelite from Japan

Interpreter assisting w/ experience of a Bethelite from Japan

Sister from London

Sister from London

IMG_3810

Brothers from Finland

Brothers from Finland

About Jason Ward

Instagram: @wardvitae
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