Jehovah’s Witnesses spread hope for a better world to come
Despite all of the conveniences of modern times, life is difficult. For some, the last couple of years have been the darkest they’ve known. The Jehovah’s Witnesses’ recent worldwide campaign, “A Better World Is Near,” promises hope and an effort to shed light in the darkness.
“Our message is always about hope,” says Robert Hendricks, national spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “‘A Better World Is Near’ is a statement about how Jehovah’s Witnesses live, how we think every day and what we believe.”
There are about 8.6 million Jehovah’s Witnesses in 240 countries worldwide, with 32 congregations and more than 3,000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Oakland County alone, according to Hendricks. Followers are expected to evangelize and the community is widely known for going door to door, following the first-century Christians practice of spreading the Gospel “from house to house” as described in the book of Acts. They stopped that practice during the pandemic, although Witness publications are available online.
They also meet for worship and study in their Kingdom Halls, where they examine what the Bible says and how it applies to everyday life. Besides English, there are meetings in Spanish, Albanian, Japanese, Russian, Chinese, Polish and Korean.
Jehovah’s Witnesses defines Christianity according to first-century beliefs, following a moral code that requires the faithful to remain separate from the world of Satan’s influence. Jehovah’s Witnesses believe that God — which they call Jehovah — created a perfect Earth, and that any problems lie with the tenants.
Tim and Tammy Suiter of Holly have been part of the East Clarkston Congregation for 12 years. Tim Suiter grew up with parents and grandparents who also share the faith. His wife, Tammy, is newer to the faith. She started studying at age 12.
The Suiters’ hope and faith in God came to a head when their son, Michael, suffered from COVID-19 complications in March 2020. Michael spent a total of 14 weeks in a hospital and 83 days hooked to a ventilator. He lost 65 pounds as he clung to life.
Throughout their trials, the Suiters kept their faith and community close.
“We had a lot of close calls where we thought he was going to die,” Tim says. “Our faith helped us stay calm.
I know that even if our son had died, I’d see him again.”
People from other Jehovah’s Witnesses congregations reached out to Tim and Tammy Suiter with good will, dropping off meals and virtually praying with them. As a family, their hope and faith has always been strong.
“I couldn’t imagine going through what I did without our hope,” Tim says.
As Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Suiters make it their mission to share their hope with others.
“We like to share with others, because there are so many people out there that are stressed about what’s going on in the world,” Tammy says. “We’ve all had a rough couple of years. It’s nice to give people something to think about, that the world will be better.”
They believe the Bible offers the promise of a better world in the future, ruled righteously by Jehovah.
“We live in a world that is devoid of hope and we know what the Bible promises — hope for better things to come, a new world,” Tim Suiter says.
The hope of a better life to come allows the faithful to enjoy this life more by applying principles found in the Bible, Hendricks says. “We don’t have to wait for this world to end to make a better life for ourselves,” he says.