SELTERS, Germany—Mathilde Hartl, one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, was presented the Order of Merit on February 22, 2013, by the Prime Minister of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer. The Order of Merit is the highest tribute the Federal Republic of Germany awards to individuals for services to the nation.
Ms. Hartl, who lives in Bavaria, was honored for the long-term personal care she has provided for her disabled son Martin, now 26 years old. As a child, he was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a disorder characterized by progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. As a result, Ms. Hartl gets up throughout the night to attend to his needs, which includes regularly monitoring his breathing and clearing his airway of bronchial secretions to avoid infection or pneumonia. Her other son, Max, also had DMD along with a mental disability. Ms. Hartl lovingly cared for both Martin and Max for many years. Sadly, Max died in 2008, at 19 years of age.
Asked where she gets the strength to provide such comprehensive care, Ms. Hartl answered: “From my religious beliefs. As one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, I highly respect life. As long as I can, I want to contribute to my son’s joy in life despite his disability.”
Prime Minister Seehofer praised Ms. Hartl and her fellow honorees when he stated: “Every single one of you has made the world a little bit better.”
International: J. R. Brown, Office of Public Information, tel. +1 718 560 5000
Germany: Wolfram Slupina, tel. +49 6483 41 3110
|2011 Oct 01 - Annual Meeting Notes|
The new year text is John 17:17 “Your Word Is Truth”
World headquarters will move to Warwick NY.
The land at Tuxedo will be used for temporary housing and construction staging
At District Conventions they will no longer have meetings for applicants for Gilead. They will only have ‘Meetings for Christian Couples’. In the future, all applicants for Gilead will be from those in special service [Ex - Special Pioneers, Traveling Work or Bethelites]
After Sept 2012, ‘School for Christian Couples’ will also be held at other branches thru out world
Milestone reached in July 2011 - NWT available in whole or part in 100 languages. Since July have added 7 more languages = 107 Now.
Special Pioneers and MTS’s will be sent to remote areas on a temporary assignment for 1 year - if lots of progress may extend another year up to 3 years = then may be permanent assignment
Had reports from Japan and Mexico (with merging of several branches into Mexico branch)
Reports on legal victories in Japan and Armenia
Under "get acquainted" part of program, Mark Sanderson and Zone Overseer interviewed 5 sisters who had been married to members of Governing Body that had died - Suiter, Barry, Sydlik, Jaracz and Barber. Then sang Song #86 ‘Faithful Women’ - very touching
Had a video presentation of expansions at Wallkill, Patterson and proposed Warwick facilities
Lots of good talks
- Respect For God's Word
- Stay In Your Place in the Organization
- Beware of Roaring Lion
Total attendance in USA and Canada = 18,592
Bro Loesch, the chairman, said that there are good reasons to circulate transcripts or our personal notes, the sharing of points is absolutely permitted! Of course, we'll get the reports of this meeting via WT articles and study articles soon in the future.
Two highlights: big expansion of Wallkill to last through 2013, including the construction of a 3-story office complex, and World Headquarters (not the US branch) will be moving out of Brooklyn to Warwick, NY, pending approval of construction there. Our prayers for Jehovah's direction were encouraged.
Second is that the emphasis will be given to more experienced workers in the field (goal of Bible School for Single Brothers / Christian Couples), and to have seasoned and experienced brothers & couples serve as a stabilizing influence in the more densely populated areas (Gilead School). Gilead School thus has a new role: only those in special full-time service (Bethel, missionaries, special pios, TOs) will be invited, based on branch recommendations. These will in turn be assigned to areas where the maximum no. of brothers and sisters will benefit from their experience and special training.
Of course, these are from my notes. We await the future announcements in print.
Just a clarification regarding the "change of focus" of Gilead: Bro. Morris mentioned that the Bible School for Christian Couples will begin to be held in other branch territories in Sept 2012. Thus, while it seems that Gilead will be "invitation only", there will be many, many more opportunities for couples to receive theocratic training.
On a technological note (this is t-tools, after all), there were some wonderful video presentations too, one of them being a summary of legal victories enjoyed during the past year. Personally, I'm resolved to watch the video presentations on jw-media.org more closely. The AV department will be receiving expanded facilities at Patterson, so I'm sure we'll be receiving lots more of instructive, high-quality "goodies" via jw.org and via our congregations.