Saturday, September 5, 2009
Yearbook Experience - Lina Babić
(experience of Lina Babić on pgs 161 & 162 of the 2009 Yearbook -Lands of the Former Yugoslavia...She was born in 1925, baptized in 1946, and has served at Bethel since 1953, when the work was legalized. She helped with the printing and shipping of magazines and literature. Today she is faithfully serving at the Bethel in Zagreb)
Working by Day, Printing by Night
After the brothers were released from prison, preperations were quickly made to produce the magazines. But there were few brothers, and there was a lot of work to be done. When I became aware of the situation, I decided to make myself available, though I had a secular job. Still, I wanted to help. So I worked all day at my secular job, and then I worked late into the night printing literature. At that time, the branch did not yet have its own property in the city. So an older couple, Petar and Jelena Jelić, made their one-room apartment available for mimeographing literature. The room was only about 15 feet by 15 feet. A wooden frame with linen stretched over it was put on the bed and was used for stacking the printed pages. Next to the bed was a table that held the hand-operated mimeograph. We produced about 800 pages an hour. That is not much compared with modern-day printing presses, but we were satisfied that with patience and a lot of hard work we could produce all the literature needed.
It was very touching to see how patiently the Jelićs waited until we stopped working and moved the stacked printed pages so they could go to bed. They never complained. On the contrary, they were happy, and their eyes shone with joy because they could support the Kingdom work in that way. Jelena along with other elderly sisters helped when she could to collect, stitch, and fold the printed pages. Such help was invaluable. In 1958 we acquired an electric mimeograph, so printing became easier. What started out as only 20 magazines in 1931 turned into 2,400 copies in three languages - Croatian, Serbian (Cyrillic), and Slovenian - by the early 1960's. Though we couldn't produce books, we printed many booklets. In 1966 we had our largest printing ever. The book Things in Which It Is Impossible for God to Lie was produced by a local printer in the form of 12 booklets. Each set of 12 booklets made one complete book. For the three languages, it meant printing 600,000 booklets to produce the equivalent of 50,000 books.
Today I serve in Zagreb Bethel. I am happy to look back on my years of service and see how Jehovah has blessed the work in all the countries of the former Yugoslavia.