Witnessing a unified effort
New Kingdom Hall a volunteer mission
With the exception of the contractors who transported the basic modules into Labrador City, the project is a volunteer effort and for more than a week almost 100 per cent of the local membership have been working steadily and spiritedly on finishing the new Kingdom Hall.
Leon Whitter—who moved to Labrador West from Montreal more than two years ago—says he is quite proud of the dedicated effort being put into the project.
“As volunteers we are willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill what Jesus commissioned us to do,” he explained the motivation.
The new building will replace the Kingdom Hall located on Bartlett Drive. Whitter explains the membership identified a need for wheelchair accessibility among others things including more space.
“This new building is about 60’ x 50’ when it’s all put together and will have seating for 70,” said Whitter adding that the membership is hoping for growth in their congregation.
He says the sacrifices of the local volunteers along with volunteers who travel at their own expense to come from other areas to assist says a lot for the dedication involved.
The commitment to finishing the building has prompted members to take vacation time to offer a hand.
“It’s amazing but it’s not unusual,” Whitter said of the membership. “For us it’s not a big deal. It’s business as usual. This is done worldwide so, it’s not a big deal. Many of the individuals here have actually worked on other projects as volunteers and enjoyed the experiences and loved the camaraderie and friendships. In fact, they are heartbroken if they can’t come, and because we are out here in the boon docks it’s a difficult thing to drive over that road. There is pride here, yes. I think, in general Jehovah’s Witnesses appreciate their place of worship very, very much. It’s so very important, it’s their centre of education in the community— bible education, and so we are very dedicated to our own bible education but also sharing it with others.”
Whitter explains work on a major project such as the new Kingdom Hall gets completed because of the unity in the membership and the willingness to continue what’s important to them.
“What we are trying to do and what we are really interested in doing, is continuing our work in teaching the bible to people,” he explained. “Much of what the Jehovah’s Witnesses do is educate. All members are ministers, so there isn’t one person per say in charge. All members contribute to the main work of teaching.”
By Tuesday assistance from JW volunteers should all be arrived from Goose Bay and the Island to complement the local volunteers in finishing up on schedule this coming weekend.
Whitter is pleased with the parcel of land that was purchased in a private deal to accommodate the new building.The land was cleared of trees last September by volunteers.
“When we looked at the land it was a pretty daunting prospect because of the dense juniper and black spruce,” he explained. “But when it was cleared, it was a very good location we think. Even the size [of the lot] because we were not really anticipating that because the forest really hid it well.”
Whitter says he and his wife moved to the area specifically to assist in the work of the congregation in Labrador West explaining that both are full-time volunteers.
And, even though there are only 30 in the local congregation, one has to consider the remoteness of the area.
“You know people [of this area] may consider the Jehovah Witnesses to be a small group of people but worldwide there is six and a half million Jehovah Witnesses so we are part of a far-larger contingent of people… I love Labrador. I love the outdoors and I think I am really going to love the view from our new location.”