The reason we came on this trip was to tour the world headquarters and the United States Bethel facilities in Brooklyn, Patterson and Wallkill, New York. Thousands come each year to visit. Not only is it a fun place to visit but it is faith strengthening to observe the immense organization.
The Wallkill facility is only about 10 minutes from our hotel. We were able to see how Bible literature is printed, bound and shipped to congregations in the US, the Caribbean and other parts of the world. The people who work here are volunteers. They live on site and volunteer their time and energy to the work of Jehovah God. It is so incredibly wonderful to see these people work together. My kids all said they would love to apply to Bethel when they are old enough!
The grounds are beautiful! Wonderfully landscaped and well taken care of by the bethel volunteers.
We stopped for lunch at Burger King on the way to the Patterson branch. This Burger King had the most awesome Coke dispenser. It had a touch screen and about 97 flavors of pop! You could touch COKE - and it would let you chose Raspberry Coke, Cherry Vanilla Coke, Orange Coke, Lime Coke, Lemon Coke and a bunch more. Similar flavors for Sprite, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper and a bunch of punches, lemonades and more! It was pretty sad how many different soda's we tried! We're such tourists!!
We arrived at the Patterson branch. This is known as the Education Center. They have different schools for different groups of people. They also also are responsible for much of the art and audio/video services, legal, service and translating services. There are many important things being done but it was agreed by many that one of the most important and urgent jobs is to increase the work with the translating of the bible and bible literature into different languages. Jehovah's Witness try to bring the same message all around the world and have the bible translated into hundreds of languages as well as the publications translated into hundreds of languages.
We visited the immense dining rooms at each of these places. We did not have the privilege of eating here but I have heard they have the best food! They are serving about 1500 people but still make everything fresh and delicious! We listened to some of the cooking staff talk about what they did and it is amazing to hear how organized they are and how much time and planning they take in preparing the food. To top it all off, they LOVE their jobs. Remember, these are volunteers. How many of us find so much purpose and meaning in our jobs that we would volunteer?
These are the headquarters in the United States but on other continents, similar branches are printing and distributing the same literature. All the branches work together in unity and all have the same goal. To get the message of God to everyone. What other organization in world do you know that has such global unity?