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Witnessing on the Airplane

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I did not take my first commercial flight until I was in my 50's. It was very exciting. Successive flights increasingly became a pain, mostly for things having nothing to do with the plane but for the hassles in boarding. In the old days, you could pull up with 15 minutes to spare, and nobody at all wanted to strip-search you. 

Sometimes, witnessing helps pass the time. I don't always do it  but sometimes I do. Like one flight where I laid the contact card down on the armrest midflight and said to the man traveling next to me: "Everyone has a cause, and this is mine. We don't have to talk about it. We don’t have to talk about anything. On the other hand, there is time to kill, we will never meet again, and if you want to, okay."

It was a while before he said anything, and I began to figure that he would not. However, he presently opened up on the purpose of his trip and on his background. He was a microbiologist at some university in Iowa. He said he liked the power of faith, but of course, he was a scientist. We exchanged some boiler-plate remarks, and somewhere along the line, just so that he would know that he wasn’t talking to some donkey, I mentioned telemeres. He took up the topic but pronounced the word differently. "You mean I've been making a donkey of myself all these years, saying it wrong?" was my response.

It was just idle conversation that ensued, not particularly going anywhere. Then, out of the blue he brings up that his trip has another purpose. He is traveling to get his daughter out of her latest jam. He doesn't know what happened to her. He did his best to bring her up right, but she takes up with one lowlife scoundrel after another and has made a hopeless hash of her life. 

I didn't say: "Too bad she is not a Jehovah's Witness. Then all of her troubles would be over." I mostly just listened and asked a few questions to draw him out. Who doesn't like to be reminded what can happen to kids in the absence of Bible principles and sometimes even with Bible principles? But he didn’t know me from a bag of beans, and yet he turns to me as though I was Father Confessor. It was likely because he had NO spiritual component to his life, and when he at last came across one, the dam burst.

The time flew with the plane and we landed in no time at all. I'll never see him again, most likely. But you never know. Perhaps he will be like the man who accepted a few magazines, but eventually told me he would do so no more because his wife was allergic to newsprint. 'Look, just tell me if you don't like them,' I said to myself. 'What a stupid excuse!' Years later I met them at a convention, both baptized.


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I have also witnessed on a plane trip .. between England and Australia in 2015.  The man only lives about 45 minutes from me but, of course, not in my territory so I will probably never see him again either.  He told me that he had never listened to the Witnesses when they came to the door but he seemed quite happy to talk with me about faith and beliefs in a relaxed? setting 40,00 feet above terra firma.


The man on the other side of the aisle was obviously not impressed with our conversation because he told us to shut up .. how rude!!!


I can't remember the exact conversation but he was having family/partner issues and we talked for some time. I left it with 'maybe next time the Witnesses come to your door you will talk to them' or words to that effect.

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  • 3 weeks later...

My fleshly brother once flew from Dubai to Iran and started talking to an Iranian elderly man on the plane.

It turned out the man was very interested in religion and had read many books on the topic.


At the end of it, my brother helped him find JW.Org and showed him to change language to Persian.

Also to read the Bible online there in his language.


Don't know much about the details, but we wonder about the effects every so often.

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Quite a number of years back a friend of mine was on a plane to South America - his family has worked in different areas of South America since he attended Gilead and was unable to accept an assignment.


Anyway, he was sitting there minding his own business when a man approached him and asked if he would trade seats with the woman the other man was traveling with. He agreed and they swapped seats. Turns out, the woman was one of the political leaders of the countries in Central or South America (I can't remember exactly which country he said) and, when the plane landed she came personally to him and thanked him for trading seats. He told her it was not a problem - then he asked if she could do something for him ... he explained that her country (yes, he had recognized her) was having a vote coming up that could have a detrimental impact on JW's and our preaching work. He asked her to vote in favor of the JW's. She smiled and said she would see what she could do.


He can't say it was due to him, but, when the vote came up, she voted in our favor and the JW's were not impacted in a negative way.


You just never know ...







BTW - I have never been on a plane. I do not fly. Can't take heights :nope:  In fact, I took the train to NY when I worked at Warwick :yes:


Edited by Qapla
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