leaving the witness


I began learning Mandarin Chinese in 2003 through a night class offered at my congregation in Vancouver. I had been a devout Jehovah’s Witness from the time I was a child, and I became a full-time missionary the day I graduated from high school. It was a pretty typical path for a young Witness. Pursuing any kind of career was frowned upon as materialistic and a distraction from what really mattered: preaching. Four days a week, I would put on my modest skirt and practical shoes, fill my briefcase with magazines and other Watchtower publications, and walk to the Kingdom Hall near my home in Kitsilano. I’d meet up with a car group of other Witnesses. We’d then head out to our assigned territory—the affluent neighborhoods of Vancouver’s west side. We would knock on doors—street by street, house by house. Some people would be polite, but most were just annoyed. Once in a while someone would slam the door in my face, or yell. But mostly people didn’t answer. Missionary work wasn’t the easiest in Vancouver.

more from Amber Scorah at The Believer here.