Jehovah’s Witnesses, a worldwide Christian religion, hosted a series of regional conventions at the Irving Convention Center. The first of five conventions, each three days long, began on June 30 and the final convention began Aug. 25. Held in English, Korean, Vietnamese and the Swahili language, the theme for this year’s conventions was “Don’t Give Up.”
“All of the information provided is to help us build our faith and to endure the difficult times that we live in today,” said Danny Scott, a Jehovah’s Witness minister.
“Each day will have a different focus. Today is our house-to-house ministry work, where we try to help people learn about the bible and conduct bible studies. Because each day is different, there will be a day that deals with family and family life.”
“This is really an educational conference,” said Chance Mizon, the assistance program overseer for the convention. “In this case, we’re looking to help people endure and not give up. This venue allows everyone to be here, and the city of Irving does a nice job working with us. In the Dallas area, we have conventions in Frisco at the Dr. Pepper arena.
“All of the conventions have the same program,” Mizon said. “It’s just delivered by different folks. We’ve been working on this program for a year, so we hope it’s beneficial to everyone. There is a committee of very experienced Witnesses who are looking to benefit not only Jehovah’s Witnesses and to help them not give up, but we are looking to benefit everybody and anybody who wants to come.
“They picked this theme because times are tough. This is not like any other convention. This is educational, and nobody gets put on the spot. We want them to feel comfortable to come in and just listen. Anybody is welcome and anyone can benefit from the program. It’s based on the bible, but it’s broad-based to fit anybody.”
This is one of 40 conventions in the DFW Metroplex. Throughout the summer there are over 500 conventions, which feature several languages. On the fourth floor of the Convention Center, Jehovah’s Witnesses hosted the same conference in the Korean language at the same time as an English conference.
“We follow the same program as the English convention downstairs and the other languages worldwide,” said Ron Puro, the media spokesman for the Korean convention. “We are supporting the Korean communities here in Dallas as well as other locations throughout the country.
“We as Jehovah’s Witnesses feel everybody needs to hear the good news, and there are several immigrants in the United States now. The Korean community is just one of the communities that we are reaching out to.”
“The public is also invited. We want to help them hear the word of God in their language. Sometimes they say the language you grow up with is “the language of the heart.” You may understand English by living in this country and studying it, but our own language seems to touch the heart more.
“We as Jehovah’s Witnesses invite all people. They may even want to learn Korean. We have several learners that are attending the conference like myself, who are either learning the language or showing a great interest in it.”