By Staff writer
After a three-year pandemic pause, one of the largest convention organizations in the world has once again chosen Juba, Yambio and Wau to host its global three-day event, the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Convention.
Prior to 2019, summers in Juba were marked by Jehovah’s Witnesses filling hotels and restaurants as they attended their annual conventions at the Millennium Hotel and the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses opposite Freedom Hall in Custom.
In 2020, the pandemic interrupted that tradition in the country when the Witnesses canceled their in-person events throughout the world and held their convention programs as virtual events in more than 500 languages.
The Witnesses will resume their tradition in Juba and Yambio from December 1 to December 10, 2023, in English, Arabic and Zande.
“As much as we loved the convenience and quality of our virtual conventions, nothing can replace being together in a large group setting,” said Alfred Lokule, spokesman for Jehovah’s Witnesses in South Sudan.
“While our online conventions reached millions around the world and kept our communities safe, we long to get back to our joyful fellowship at these large gatherings.”
Some 6,000 conventions will be held worldwide as part of the 2023 “Exercise Patience”! Convention series. In South Sudan alone, more than 3 conventions will be held in Juba, Yambio, and Wau host cities.
There would be six convention sessions that will explore the quality of patience, highlighting its modern-day relevance through Scriptural examples.
A live baptism will be performed, and a prerecorded drama will be featured in two parts during the sessions.
“Patience is a beautiful quality that all Christians desire to display in their daily lives,” said Lokule. “Despite our good intentions, however, maintaining patience in the face of life’s many challenges can be a daily struggle. Spending three days exploring aspects of this quality will be very timely for all of us.”
Jehovah’s Witnesses have been holding public conventions in stadiums, arenas, convention centers, and theaters around the world for more than 100 years.
After resuming smaller in-person meetings and their public ministry during 2022, the summer of 2023 marks the first time they will gather at much larger regional events around the world since the lifting of pandemic restrictions.
The convention is open to the public and no collection is taken.