JEHOVAH’S Witnesses over the weekend held a historic convention in Gweru, which saw thousands of Witnesses throng Midlands State University for the three-day spiritual occasion.
BY BRENNA MATENDERE
The church has embarked on its annual three-day regional conventions which will run under the theme Love Never Fails.
Sixty-two conventions will be held at various locations across the country this year and will be presented in nine languages — Shona, Ndebele, Tonga, Chewa, Zimbabwe Sign Language, Venda, Swahili, French and English.
When NewsDay arrived at the convention venue on Saturday, it was a hive of activity with people receiving spiritual education as well as conversing in line with the theme of the event — Love. Others were sharing gifts.
Witness Gama, Jehovah’s Witnesses regional spokesperson, said the aim of the Gweru convention had been resoundingly achieved.
“The main purpose of this ( Gweru convention) gathering is for Jehovah’s Witnesses and their friends to come together and worship their creator Jehovah, God. The theme of this year is Love Never Fails. The annual regional conventions provide spiritual refreshment and encouragement along with joyful Christian association,” he said.
Gama revealed that 3 075 people had attended the event.
“The major success story is that we managed to have two conventions in Gweru in two languages — Shona and English.
The two conventions attracted a total attendance of 3 075 from Gokwe, Gweru, Shurugwi, Lower Gweru, Lalapanzi and Mvuma and 42 people were baptised in the two conventions. One of the major highlights is the release of the two-part feature film entitled, The story of Josiah: Love Jehovah; Hate what is Bad. The featured film encourages everybody to emulate Josiah, who grew up surrounded by bad influences, but he became known for his deeds of loyal love,” he said.
“As Jehovah’s Witnesses, we believe that if people attended the conventions in the mother language it goes to the heart and with great impact. The expected attendance across the country is over 120 000 to help spread love and unity according to the Bible. The dates and locations for all conventions around the country can be found on the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ official website, jw.org.”
Other events planned by the church are the Zimbabwe sign language convention in Bulawayo Ampitheatre from August 2-4 , Binga convention which will be conveyed in Zimbabwean Tonga from August 30 to September 1, and the Venda Convention in Beitbridge from September 6-8.
Gama emphasised the need for Zimbabweans to share love.
“The Bible’s message of showing love and hope is the focus of this year’s convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses. We feel that in the world today there is just a great lack of love, but if we focus on love as family members and communities we are not going to be disappointed because love never fails,” he said.
There are over 48 000 Jehovah’s Witnesses in Zimbabwe, part of a world-wide organisation that numbers more than 8,5 million members.