I walked around the main campus in the morning intending to meet another christian group and get to know what they were about. I quickly stumbled upon an elderly couple with two brochure holders in front of the cafe area with the words “Learn the bible” written all over it. They asked me about my studies and I explained to them that I was a missionary seeking out students on campus to share the Good News. They were telling me about their bible studies and shared with me that they had recently traveled to Europe for a conference. They turned out to be a Jehovah Witness group and they both had converted some many years ago. 

I did not have a long conversation with them before a younger gentleman came and dismissed them for their break period. He was holding an ipad and was dressed up as a person who was in charge of their outing. I smiled and asked him if he was in charge and he told me that it was all just a duty they had to do but not not necessarily a hierarchy. I introduced myself and got to know him a bit more over the next hour. His name was Tim and he was recently married. Him and his wife both grew up as Jehovah witnesses and he did not go to college, but he enjoyed bible studies and liked sharing about his religion with people. He told me that if it was okay he would share  with me about some of their beliefs, so I listened for a bit and began asking many questions. We talked about the “chosen 144,000” people and I asked him how anyone could be sure that they were chosen apart from the others. He mentioned that they were the ones who interpreted the scriptures because it was a mystery to him and that they had a very special relationship to God as their Father. I was very shocked in all honesty when he said that, so I began asking him what the meaning of baptism meant to him. I said “if we are immersed into the life and death of Christ through baptism, then we inherit the adoption as sons and daughters in which we cry out Abba! Father!” He was silent for a bit and I began sharing more about how God longed to deepen that relationship with us through adoption that happened in the sacrament of Baptism which was not exclusive for any groups of people. I shared with him the passage of Luke in which the Holy Spirit descends upon Jesus in baptism so that he could understand that the Holy Spirit is given to us at baptism so that we are called the children of light, not for a few chosen people but for all of God’s people to share in eternal life. 

In the end we agreed that we had different beliefs and as heart-breaking as it was to hear him say that he did not have a special relationship with the Father like the ‘chosen people.’ Please pray for Tim and his wife that they may continue to encounter joyful Catholics who share the truth with them!