Our Part in the Evangelistic Effort
By Florence G. Kimmel and Erma Jondahl
Wearing our badges with the words " Bible Worker " stamped on them, our first contact with the people attending the meetings came as we handed out copies of Present Truth as they passed out of the theater. Although we had been at work in the city, and were recognized by some of the people attending the meetings, this literature work was the first hint of our direct connection with " The Prophetic Conference " which had been widely advertised.
A little later in the series of meetings, at the time when the evangelist thought best, we began meeting the people as they entered the theater, aiming to establish a friendly acquaintance. As a result, by the time our first Sabbath meeting was held, we knew hundreds of people by name, and kept a list of all who attended the Sabbath meetings. Our visits in the homes of the people developed from this friendly contact, and led into joyful experience in finding honest souls who were truly interested. In these visits we did not arrange for a regular course of Bible studies, but held ourselves ready to answer any question which was asked, and in special cases gave Bible studies on subjects which, through failure in attendance, had been missed in the series of meetings.
Each Sabbath we checked up on the attendance at the service, and made a special effort to visit those who were not present. In view of the very large attendance at the evening meetings during the week, this was no easy task. But we are not looking for easy tasks in the Lord's work. What a joy to be a colaborer with Him!
Quite a large number of those attending the series of meetings decided at once to obey the truth, but others required much personal work. A number of these interested people were interviewed by their former ministers, and we were called upon to explain the statements which these false shepherds had made. We are glad to be able to say that but very few were influenced by their pastors to turn away from truth.
A standing daily appointment for prayer at the noon hour was recognized by our church members, as well as by the workers engaged in the evangelistic effort. The Lord heard our united prayers, and gave us the joy of seeing 140 people baptized. Many others are under conviction, and we are hoping will later take their stand. It has indeed been a great privilege to us Bible workers to be connected with the city evangelistic effort, and to do our part in connection with the work.
St. Paul, Minn.
A Day With the Bible Worker in Washington, D. C.
By Mrs. J.W. Mace
It is raining! yes, a typical District of Columbia downpour! I wonder if the Bible worker will venture out today. I imagine she will conclude that a sort of mental telepathy based on good common sense will guide in making me understand that such weather is sufficient excuse for canceling our appointment to meet at 9: 15 for a day's field service and observation. And yet I am not quite sure. Telephone connection at my end of the line is broken. I believe I will fulfill my part of the program by being at the designated spot on time, and see what the rain does for a conference Bible worker.
(We were strangers, this conference Bible worker and I, never having met; but by special courtesy it had been arranged that on this particular day I might be permitted to accompany her in her work, in order to place the Ministerial Association in closer personal touch with the nearest field of operation in Bible work.)
Here comes a lady looking as if she enjoyed such weather. She certainly does not bear that bedraggled, rumpled, bespattered appearance which is so common this morning. From her snug-fitting black felt hat to her ample-height galoshes she offers a gallant challenge to rough weather. She is wearing an appropriate coat of novelty material, with a detached fur scarf of corresponding shade, ample in length and breadth. Her kid gloves are on the driving-glove order, easy to pull on and off. She carries a short-handled silk umbrella in one hand, and under her arm is a leather purse. This purse is not a " vanity case " by any means. It is an extraordinary piece of luggage, about twelve inches in width and ten inches deep, with a strong strap handle.
Can this be the Bible worker? Yes, it is she, for coming straight toward me with a pleasant smile she extends her hand as only a Christian worker can. Arm in arm we proceed on our way to the nearest bus stop, while I listen to a thrilling account of experiences so deeply hidden from general observation, but daily and steadily going forward in the homes of the Washington people— the wealthy, the would-be-wealthy, the isolated, the shut-ins, the very poor, and even the very dirty, revealing an up-to-date chapter in Christian service indited by the Holy Spirit.
As the bus jolts along, my companion prepares me for the situation to be met in the home at which we are due at ten o'clock. The lady has recently become interested, and the study this morning is to be on the subject of the second coming of Christ. This is a woman of considerable means, and gives evidence of being one, of the Lord's faithful stewards. She has been a member of the United Brethren Church, but not feeling satisfied, and in search of more truth, was found by the Baptists and persuaded to cast in her lot with them. Money was much needed for the upbuilding of the church enterprises, and during recent months she has turned into the treasury some $1,200. While this has brought the usual deference in recognition and friendship, it has not brought the satisfaction which the heart craves. There is something still lacking, and she is most eagerly drinking in the truth of God as presented week by week through the Bible studies.
We knock at the door, and the husband responds. He welcomes the Bible worker as the esteemed friend of his wife, but states that his wife is quite ill this morning, and confined to her bed. " 0 yes, she will see you," he added. " Just go right up." My friend ascended the stairway, while I, knowing that under such circumstances an entire stranger should not intrude, took a seat in the reception room. For fully half an hour I waited, and in the quiet stillness of that strange home I fell to musing on the marvelous way in which the Spirit of God directs in bringing the honest inquirer in touch with the consecrated instructor. Here was a home of wealth to which the Bible worker had found entrance and was tactfully winning confidence and grateful recognition of truth.
Then I heard the upstairs door close, and my colleague returned and entered the reception room. But before taking our departure, she assured the husband that his wife had the telephone number by which she could be reached, and that a call would bring her back to administer such relief as could be found in simple treatments. For this he seemed very grateful. Once outside the house, I was told that the lady was suffering with quinsy, and while under the best medical care, was quite sick and discouraged. While it did not seem best to hold the Bible study, as planned, friendship was strengthened by the reading of a psalm and prayer, and an appointment was made for an earlier date than the weekly schedule.
Entering the bus, we were soon in another section of the city. Here we entered an apartment house, in search of a lady who had manifeSted some interest and indicated that at some time she might be ready for Bible studies. Although our call at such an unusual hour —11: 30 — was a surprise somewhat out of the ordinary, we were most cordially received. It was explained that as we happened to be in that part of the city, with a few minutes to spare, we had taken the liberty of stopping without previous announcement. To me, this seemed a model missionary visit. It was cheery, conversational, social, but free from all lightness, gossip, or worldliness. The lady said that she was becoming more and more interested in the meetings being held by Elder B. G. Wilkinson, and that at one meeting she had casually handed in her name for literature, and as a result one of Elder Wilkinson's helpers, a nurse, had come to see her, and was continuing to do so each week, giving her a Bible study on each occasion. One week the nurse had found her ill, and had given her a wonderful treatment for a sore throat and general influenza condition; and while she appreciated such kindness on the part of the nurse, she felt that it was altogether too much to ask the nurse to continue to come so far. Tactfully, the Bible worker assured her that the nurse did not feel that way, and urged her to continue the studies, and to be faithful in the doing of all that she came to recognize as truth. She repeated that scripture, with due emphasis, " To him that knoweth to do good, and doefh it not, to him it is sin," and I observed a solemn and serious look steal over the countenance of the woman addressed. This is a case which the Bible worker will retain on her Follow-up List for casual attention, backing up the efforts of the nurse Bible worker in every way; and if at any time the connection between nurse and inquirer becomes broken, will endeavor to pick up the thread and restore interest, leading not alone to full acknowledgment but full acceptance of the message of truth.
The noon hour had arrived. The next appointment on the list was at one o'clock. Hastily walking a short distance, we were at the " home " of the Bible worker, where opportunity was afforded for a wash-up and personal readjustment. Then on to a near-by vegetarian cafeteria, where we relaxed into more friendly conversation while being served with a most dainty and appetizing luncheon. But I had been particularly interested in my observations at this Bible worker's " home," and wondered how it compared with the " homes " of the five hundred and more Bible workers scattered singly and in groups all over the United States. But concerning this, due reference will be made in the continuation of this report to appear in The Ministry next month