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Nice article about a Witness family: Jehovah's Witnesses - A family conversion

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Jehovah's Witnesses: A family conversion


CHAPEL HILL -- David Sawin was outside working in his yard in 2005 when a former co-worker wearing a suit approached. The Sawin family had returned to Chapel Hill after living in Arizona for three years, and David Sawin was surprised to see a familiar face and asked him how he knew the Sawins had moved back. His friend hadn't known -- he was a Jehovah's Witness doing field work, going door to door. They started talking.

David Sawin grew up Episcopalian and his wife, Joanna, grew up Lutheran. They have four children -- Benjamin, 15, Daniel, 13, Julia, 11, and baby Noah. When they lived in Arizona, they looked around at different churches but never found the right place. Meanwhile, Jehovah's Witnesses had come by the house when the Sawins weren't home, and left "Watchtower" magazines. David Sawin read them.

"I've been reading the Bible my whole life, but was seeing things for the first time," he said.

Back in Chapel Hill, Sawin arranged for his friend to come over Saturday mornings for Bible study. Joanna Sawin joined in, at first just to be polite.

"I was very full of questions … I went from sitting and being polite to saying, 'Oh, that's what that meant,'" she said.

For a few years, they went to both a local Episcopal church as well as Bible study and then meetings at the Jehovah's Witness Kingdom Hall in Chapel Hill. Eventually they chose just the Kingdom Hall. The children go, too, and Benjamin and Daniel have been baptized. There were some family changes to make, like not celebrating Christmas.

"We did it slowly," Joanna Sawin said. "But then I realized the whole time I was lying to my children. Santa is a big lie. The children said, 'Jesus' birthday wasn't in December.' "

Benjamin said they can give gifts anytime. If someone asks, they'll explain why they don't celebrate Christmas.

The Sawins told their extended families they were converting to become Jehovah's Witnesses. David Sawin said his family are intellectuals who are always talking and debating philosophy and religion, so it was another topic of discussion.

Joanna Sawin said that everyone has a bit of a reaction when someone says "Jehovah's Witnesses."

"But when you talk about Scripture and put the pieces together, it makes sense. We don't think we're any different than anyone else," she said. "We found different answers now, different places to find strength and hope."

She said it's been great to see her children's spiritual growth at Sunday and Wednesday meetings at the Kingdom Hall. The Sawins have a family Bible study time as well as individual Bible studies and daily readings. They check versions of Scripture in different Bible translations, including Greek.

"It's not just Sunday morning. We think about God a lot more than we used to," David Sawin said.

Fellow Witness Bob Weiss has been one for 60 years, and seeing the result of door to door field work in the Sawins is terrific, he said.

"It's such a pleasure to see people make changes and get involved," Weiss said. He said they know that some people think Witnesses are bugging them, going door to door.

"The whole purpose is to do the work Jesus did -- go village to village and talk about God's kingdom," he said. The theme of the district convention this year -- held this weekend and Aug. 5-7 at the RBC Center in Raleigh -- is "Let God's Kingdom Come."

The Sawins' son Daniel speaks at some Kingdom Hall meetings now. He said at their previous church, children went elsewhere during the service, but at the hall they stay.

"They listen to the meaty stuff, the real spiritual food," Daniel said. Becoming a Witness changed his schedule. "It was school and games/free time. Now it's religious things, school and free time. Now I study, prepare for meetings, and go out in field service," he said.

Joanna Sawin said Jehovah's Witnesses at their Kingdom Hall have become a spiritual family -- there for them when needed. Anywhere the family travels, they go into the local Kingdom Hall and feel welcome.

David Sawin said he also became a Witness because he liked that everything at the hall is all volunteer, and the focus on mission and going out to make disciples of others.

"The Bible really has the answers to help you with your day to day life. There's not a shade of gray in a lot of things," Joanna Sawin said. "We found our life being a lot more simple, with a lot less anxiety."

Read more: The Herald-Sun

Article Source: The Herald Sun

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Thanks for sharing this encouraging article. I hope everyone who read it clicked on the "Liked" button at the top of the article. Newspapers need the positive feedback and it is also an encouragement to the family in the article.

We cannot incite if we are not in sight.___Heb.10:24,25

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