Having doubts about his faith, the oldest son stayed home.
It's a blow to the parents but the enthusiasm of their younger children compensates for the one son's lack of faith. family has traveled to Germany's Ruhr region for what many Jehovah's Witnesses consider the high point of the year.
They spend 40 hours per week doing missionary work, preferably side-by-side. They listen quietly to the speaker on the lawn below.
They sit close together, still and pious in the seats usually occupied by cheering, swearing fans of the Borussia Dortmund football club.
The Public Hardly Notices In Berlin, the Witnesses meet in the Velodrom arena, in Munich, they gather at the Olympic Stadium, and in Frankfurt am Main, they plan to congregate in the Commerzbank Arena.
Though they occupy enormous venues, the public hardly notices their presence.
"This is our big family reunion," says Michael Krenzer, a spokesman for the Jehovah's Witnesses in Dortmund.
And since the family must expand, "many Witnesses naturally meet their future spouses here," says Uwe Langhals, another spokesman, who has been a Jehovah's Witness since he was 15.
I enjoy what I do especially when it is a chance to combine work and traveling,...
I am a photographer, happy mother of a wonderful girl and I am a woman who loves life!
At age 18, he moved out and hasn't been back since.