We have never felt this happy before. Not even when we realized we had survived Armageddon unharmed. Seeing this multitude of people is heartwarming. Hundreds of brothers and sisters flock from all directions to the coordinates given by the brothers. Most arrive by foot, while others come in buses, which I can only assume are electric since they produce little noise and no smoke. We meet and greet each other with a warm hug, even those we had never met before. We can’t hold back the tears of joy seeing families being reunited. Meeting our good old friends from our circuit is an incredibly emotional moment for us too. Friends we haven’t seen for ‘ages.’
“Marcel. Is that…?” June asks once she spots a friendly face from a distance.
“Yes,” I answer. “I think that is Mel.” June takes off right away to meet her best friend.
Like in the conventions we used to have, I see many brothers serving as attendants, offering help, and giving directions. They instruct us to keep moving toward the baseball stadium of this small city we have just arrived in. The stadium doesn’t look very big from where we stand. It might hold a few thousand people. And looking at the size of the crowd here, we will need every single seat available.
Inside the stadium, we are overwhelmed with joy by having this type of experience again. The crowd’s chatting and the noise of people milling around sound like music. Meeting old friends and making new ones makes you feel warm inside and takes you right back to those international convention days. We are so absorbed by this beautiful familiar feeling, surrounded by so many of our people after so long, that we completely lose track of time. Until a kind voice comes out of the stadiums’ speakers, saying: “Dear brothers, sisters, and friends. Please, take your seats. We are about to start.”
“Start what?” I ask.
“I don’t know,” June replies. “Exciting, isn’t it?”
“Very,” I reply. “Let’s go, girls. Let us find our seats.”
We finally find some seats all the way up in the grandstand, where we have a great view of the field. In the middle of it, there is a small round blue podium and a microphone stand. I can also see a few brothers sitting on the team benches in the dugout—the only ones wearing suits so far. One of them leaves the dugout and walks towards the podium.
“Brothers and sisters. Welcome,” he says. The sound of his voice amplified by the speakers fills the stadium making everyone in it go silent. All eyes fixed on him.
“Is that…?” I ask.
“Yes. We know him,” June replies. He is far away, but we recognize the Speaker. We got familiar with him when we used to have our monthly broadcasting.
“How are you feeling today?” He asks. The crowd cries a shout of joy in response.
“Yes. I feel the same way,” he replies with a big grin. “We waited so long for this moment, didn’t we?” We all nod and reply, “YES.”
“For all this time, we couldn’t meet freely,” he continues with warmth in his voice. “We had to always meet in secret. Many times we had to hide. Some of us had just now been freed from imprisonment. Think for a moment of all the things we had to endure,” he requests, overcome by feelings. “Persecution. Oppression. Hardship. We all met with various trials. But even when put in isolation, we were never alone. We were always together in faith and spirit,” he pauses and then says emphatically: “Jehovah has never forsaken us.” The mass reacts accordingly.
“Yes,” he continues. “Gog of Magog tried to stop us. It wanted to break us, to eliminate us. And what did we do in response?” He pauses. “I can tell you what we didn’t do,” he continues, raising his voice after every sentence. “We didn’t give up. We didn’t give in. And the more they pressed on, the more we pressed forward. The more they tried to eradicate us, the more we flourished. The more they tried, the more they failed. If anything, their attack had only strengthened our faith and made our conviction unshakable, don’t you agree?” He asks loudly. The whole stadium answers with and loud and clear, “YES.”
“Where is Gog now?” The Speaker continues with a soft, low voice. “Where are their soldiers with their weapons? Where are their arrogant talk and evil threats now? Look around,” he requests humbly, and all in the audience comply. “What do you see?” He asks. Do you see any of your persecutors anywhere? Do you see any sign of Gog of Magog?” He pauses before saying firmly: “No!” It’s the response to his rhetorical question. “I will tell you what I see,” he pauses again before shouting: “I…see…VICTORY!”
The crowd roars with him loudly. We all cry shouts of triumph, making the structure of the building shake beneath our feet.
“We are God’s people,” he continues in high volume, cutting through the noise, almost screaming to overcome the crowd’s roar. “No weapon forged against us will ever succeed. Satan’s system was destroyed. And today, God’s Kingdom is established on earth, as it is in heaven.
Look up, you people,” he demands. “And behold—God’s Kingdom and his king!” At that, the skies open. And just like when Jehovah made Elisha’s servant see it then, He makes us see it now.