by Janet Zinskie
I realize that most of the testimonies that are sent to New Light Ministries are from ex-Jehovah's Witnesses. Well, I have never been a Jehovah's Witness and I knew absolutely nothing about their doctrine. Our involvement did not begin with a knock on our door. In fact, religion was not even an issue at first. The bait used to reel my son Mikey into this religion was based on friendship.
The year was 1992 and Mikey was fifteen years old. He had never given his father and me any problems. Mikey was kind, had great moral standards, and he was also very talented. He earned a black belt in karate at the age of fourteen, excelled in this art and earned the respect of martial artists throughout Southeast Georgia. It was during this time Mikey became friends with three boys, all who were Jehovah's Witnesses.
A sister of one of the boys (also a Witness) owned and operated a local dance school. Since Mikey could do backflips and other gymnastic moves, they thought he would be an asset to their dance school. These boys, ranging from the ages of 14 to 17, choreographed hip-hop dances that won competitions throughout Southeast Georgia and Florida.
Mikey had everything going for him, or so we thought. The one thing missing was a strong spiritual background. Because of this, he was vulnerable to the false teachings from a cult who portrayed love and goodness along with a strong background in religious doctrine. As the friendships grew stronger, our time with Mikey became more distant. At the time, I didn't realize my son was slowly being pulled into the Watchtower Organization. Unfortunately, my husband and I knew very little about God's Word. This left us defenseless against the teachings of the Watchtower. The spiritual battle that my family was about to embark would prove to be the cause of my own salvation.
It was now June of 1993. For Mikey's sixteenth birthday, a few of his friends came over for a birthday party. Of course, none of his JW friends came (JWs don't celebrate birthdays). Little did I know this would be the last birthday we would celebrate with our son. Over a short period of time his language began to change. He spoke frequently of "Jehovah" and "finding the truth." When we tried to talk to him about it, he became more withdrawn. I knew my son was slipping away from us and I didn't know how to stop it. Tears and anger seemed to take over my life and I became physically ill. Mikey started going to JW meetings behind our back. Later on, I found out that one of the boy's father was having bible studies with Mikey without our permission. Total mind control was evident at this point.
I realized we needed help and I remembered watching a television show about various cults. The next time the program was on I wrote down the phone number and called for information on the Watchtower Society. The lady I spoke with gave me the phone number for New Light Ministries. I knew God had placed them in my life for a very special reason, but had no idea where all this would lead.
All I wanted was for Mikey to be rescued out of this cult, but God had other plans that were far greater than what I could imagine. A spokesperson for New Light started working with me and educating me on Watchtower doctrine. She prayed with me and began to tell me about God's Word. She has since become a wonderful friend and I thank God for placing her in my life.
I tried to share with Mikey what I had learned, but they convinced him that it was all lies (or apostate material as they call it). I called another friend of ours who belonged to a local church.
The pastor agreed to talk with us and try and help us in any way that he could. Mikey agreed to go, but only because he knew how upset we were.
The pastor asked Mikey "do you trust your parents with your life?" I'll never forget my son's answer: "I trust them with my life" he said "just not my spiritual life." My husband and I felt our hearts break. The hardest part was knowing that we never gave him any reason to trust us with his spiritual life.
My husband and I joined a Baptist church and gave our hearts to the Lord. Our church is planning a cult seminar and cult awareness program in the near future. Recently, I wrote a flyer that was posted on Christian bulletin boards throughout the country. I have spoken to a youth group about the Watchtower Society, and now, God has given me the privilege of sharing my story with you here.
As for Mikey, he was baptized as a Jehovah's Witness at seventeen, one week after his high school graduation. Our relationship with our son is based on a love that will never change. It was a slow process to get our personal relationship back on track, but with God's help He can mend broken hearts.
We are trusting God to rescue Mikey out of this cult, but I know that God will do it in His own time. As the bible says, everything works to the glory of God. I realize now that God's plan is more than getting Mikey out of this cult. God wanted me and my husband to trust Jesus and follow Him. I'm so thankful we're in a church where the pastor preaches Jesus, Jesus, Jesus! God is also supplying the need of a community education on the dangers of these cults who seem to be growing rapidly.
The last thing I would like to share with you is to never give up. Put your life and those you love in God's hands and trust Him with all your heart. He said He would never leave you, and even though you are not exempt from trials in your life, you can be sure that He will go through them with you. Let God work through you and the blessings that you will receive will amaze you!
And oh yes...please pray for Mikey. May God bless you all!
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