Thousands of these carts are rolling down the streets in Tampa Bay communities and across the world as Jehovah’s Witnesses recommence their global public preaching work.
TAMPA BAY — If you happened to be in the Tampa Bay area for the last few weeks, you may have noticed that a pre-pandemic fixture is back on the sidewalks: smiling faces standing next to colorful carts featuring a positive message and free Bible-based literature.
Thousands of these carts are rolling down the streets in Tampa Bay communities and across the world as Jehovah’s Witnesses recommence their global public preaching work some 24 months after putting it on pause due to the pandemic.
“We are so excited to be able to do our public ministry again,” said Ivan Fernandez, Florida spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “During the pandemic, we continued to reach out to people through letters and phone calls, but because we love people, we are eager to be able to talk to people in person and share the Bible’s bright hope for the future.”
While the organization is not yet back to knocking on doors, local congregations have also resumed free in-person Bible studies along with personal visits to those who have invited them back to their homes.
“While we understand that the pandemic is not over, we are entering into a phase of learning to live with COVID,” said Robert Hendriks, U.S. spokesperson for Jehovah’s Witnesses. “We are sensitive to the risks that still face our communities and our volunteers, which is why we will not resume door-to-door ministry at this time.”
Mobile displays of Bible-based literature have been part of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ public ministry in the U.S. since 2011. While “cart witnessing” began in large metropolitan areas worldwide, the practice quickly spread to the tens of thousands of smaller communities, becoming a fixture in rail and bus stations, airports, harbors, and main streets.
To learn more about Jehovah’s Witnesses, their history, beliefs, and activities, visit their official website jw.org, featuring content in more than 1,000 languages.