There are advantages and disadvantages to being a member of a church/congregation. One of the advantages became apparent when a 43 year old Jehovah’s Witness suddenly left his home in Hæssleholm and disappeared on Thursday morning. After police had searched with dogs and a helicopter, the association Missing People took over the search with somewhat more volunteers than expected because there were participants from several neighbouring congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses. One of the organizers remarked:
He must have been really nice since he has so many friends!
The characteristic that causes people to help persons they are not particularly close to, is called agapæ (αγάπη) in the Greek scriptures. There is no equivalent in germanic languages and it is usually translated into ”love” in English bibles. This property was displayed, not only by the Christians but also by the volunteers of Missing People. Everybody who realize that agapæ is part of their personality may benefit from a study of the experiences made by the Christians of the 1st-4th centuries.
We searched through the forest piece for piece walking along parallel paths with some 10m distance. It is surprisingly hard to follow a straight path through a forest full of brushwood, marsch, snakes, fallen trees, ticks and thorns. Normally it is a very bad idea to try to balance across a 3-meter-wide watercourse on dead trees. We were lucky.
Unfortunately, we did not find him today either. As darkness fell, we said goodbye to the organizers of Missing People and chatted some with an elder from the local congregation. ”Now you better go and search for your wives”, he said, and we promised to do so.