By Aileen G. Fleming
Through direct answer to prayer, I am now in America for the purpose of spending ten months in postgraduate training along the lines of Bible work and home nursing, being sent in the capacity of medical secretary for the South African Union Conference.
When but twelve years of age, I had a great longing in my heart to be able to teach the Bible and relieve physical suffering. My parents were not Seventh-day Adventists, and I had no comprehension of what was involved in " medical missionary work," as I now understand the term; but as I look back over my experience, I know that God was leading me at that time, and that He has led me every step of the way to the present moment.
After receiving my training and degree as a nurse in one of the city hospitals in South Africa, I connected with our sanitarium as supervisor of nurses, and remained in this position about one year. But I was never satisfied, feeling all the time that there was something lacking in the service which I was rendering. Failing health caused, me to be confronted by a serious operation, with little hope of complete recovery of health. I then placed myself entirely in the Lord's hands, asking Him that if my burden of heart for combining with my nursing work the teaching of the Bible, could be realized to His glory, my health should be restored, and that the Lord would hold my hand as I went through the crisis in the surgical ward. In response to my prayer, two texts of Scripture were brought to my attention,— texts with which I had never before been familiar and which, as I saw their connection, had direct reference to Christ; and yet I knew that the Holy Spirit had brought through them a special message to me. The words of the texts were these: " I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand." " I the Lord . . . will hold thine hand, and will keep thee." Isa. 41:13; 42:6. My recovery from the operation was rapid and complete, so much so that the physicians were amazed at the result. I then accepted the position of head nurse of our sanitarium, as this seemed to be the indication of divine leading for that particular time, all the while praying that the Lord would show me how I was to accomplish that which my heart longed most to do. At the end of a year's service as head nurse, the way opened for me to enter the Bible work, and for six years I engaged in this Bible-teaching endeavor with increasing joy and satisfaction.
During my six years' experience as a Bible worker I did not, however, discard my training and experience as a nurse, but endeavored to combine both lines of service as best I could. But I felt the need of special instruction as to the most effective way to blend the Bible work with the nursing and instruction along health lines, and a strong impression came to me that in America I could find the help I ought to have. To all outward appearances, there was no way by which a trip to America could be made possible. But the conviction was so strong that, claiming the promise of 1 John 5:14, 15, I Made it a matter of earnest prayer, asking for definite indication in the following manner: First, if it was the Lord's will that I visit the United States for the purpose of securing training in successful methods along medical lines, the mind of one of our doctors — a person whom I knew was deeply interested in the development of this particular line of work — would be impressed to broach the subject at the forthcoming conference session; and second, that in connection with the suggestion of the plan, the necessary expense for such a trip would be arranged for.
It was in February, 1928, when I felt impressed to present this matter definitely before the Lord. The conference was to convene the latter part of April. So confident was I that the Lord was leading, that I found myself making out a schedule of just what I most needed in the line of training for the strengthening of my work in Africa. I felt the need of arranging for special lines of instruction adapted to different groups of individuals. For instance, Group 1, to be composed of unmarried ladies, from the age of seventeen upward, called for instruction that would give a preparation for home making and missionary work, such as home nursing, cooking, hygiene, physiology, and Bible readings; Group 2, composed of girls between the ages of thirteen and seventeen; Group 3, of children from the age of eight to thirteen; the instruction for members of these groups to be along the same lines as for Group 1, but simplified and adapted.
When the conference convened, I closely guarded my secret as to the evidence which should be given, but I had no doubt concerning my prayer's being answered. The last day of the conference arrived, and we were in the last session of the conference. A brief medical talk was given by the physician who had charge of the meeting (the one I had specified in my prayer to be impressed to lead out in the matter of my going to America), at the conclusion of which he suggested that a nurse be sent to the United States to receive special training along the line of home nursing, at the same time pledging a personal donation of $500 for the purpose. The suggestion met with favor at once, and the vote was unanimous. Elder Branson, the president of the African Division, was present, and he gave assurance that the additional funds necessary for such a proposition would be met from local conference medical funds. My soul was thrilled as I witnessed this definite answer to my prayer,— the specified doctor had taken the lead in the matter, and the money had been provided.
The choosing of the nurse to receive this training was not at this time arranged for, but this part of the plan was deferred until the time of the division committee meeting in May. The middle of July, I received notice of my appointment as the nurse to receive this special training, but the notice was accompanied by the suggestion that the matter rest until November. I felt, however, that time was too short to admit of any unnecessary delay, and after further prayer for guidance, was advised by the conference president to write to our medical leaders in America as to just when it would be most advisable for me to come. I did so, and in the meantime went ahead in faith, making all arrangements for passport and sailing, so that within eight days after receiving final word concerning the trip, I had everything in readiness to depart. Many apparent obstacles which threatened to cause delay, vanished as if removed by an unseen hand, and in it all I have recognized the direct leading of my heavenly Father.
Upon arrival in Takoma Park, I found myself in time to enter upon the very same lines of study that I had planned for, in classes conducted by Miss Kathryn Jensen, of the General Conference Medical Department, and her assistants, although at the time I made out the schedule of my recognized needs I did not know that there were such courses of instruction provided in connection with any of our institutions. Opportunity is also afforded me for observation and participation in field work with nurses and Bible workers in connection with camp meetings in a number of conferences during the summer, and in the fall I plan to return to Africa enriched by the invaluable experience into which the Lord has led me, and for the effective use of which He will continue to guide and lead me in the very needy field of South Africa.
Takoma Park, D. C.
My Eight Years' Preparation
By Abbie Dunn
I now that the Lord has called me to the Bible work. During eight of the fourteen years since I recognized this call, I engaged in teaching school, and I often wondered why the Lord kept me waiting so long. I cannot say that those eight- years were wasted, by any means, for I have had the blessed privilege of seeing a number of the dear boys and girls, who were my pupils, buried with their Lord in baptism, go on with their education, and enter the Lord's work. And since entering the Bible work I have come to realize fully that my years of teaching were preparing me for the very work I am now doing.
An experience at our recent camp meeting made me very happy. I found there a young lady whom I had not seen for a number of years. She had been a pupil of mine in the third and fourth grades. We were sitting in the choir at this Camp meeting, and she leaned over and whispered in my ear, "I shall never forget the lessons you taught me in the fourth grade Bible.
I love this truth and all that goes with it." At this same meeting a young man was baptized who, as a lad, had been a problem, and for whom I had earnestly prayed that I might be given wisdom to win him to the Saviour.
I am happy in my work, for I believe with all my heart that this is my calling. I know the Lord has a greater work for me to do. I am not satisfied with winning a few souls each year, when I know there are thousands just waiting for some one to invite them to enter the fold. I have no desire to make a big show, but it is my supreme desire to become an efficient winner of souls.
Bible Study Outlines
Jennie L. Ireland
Study No. 5
Christ Jesus, Our High Priest
1. By the death of Jesus, what facts were fully demonstrated and settled?
Ans. (1) That the Creator loved the creatures of His hand; (2) That the requirements of the Creator were just and righteous; (3) That God could not change in the least degree those requirements, and that the penalty of transgression must be met; (4) That God could be just, and yet pardon the transgressors of His law.
2. Would the sacrifice of Christ avail anything for us if He had not been raised from the dead? 1 Cor. 15: 14-18. (No resurrection, no pardoned sins; no resurrection, no deliverance from death for us.)
3. Had Christ not risen, what would have triumphed? (Death.)
4. After being raised, to what position and work was He appointed? Heb. 5: 5, 6.
5. What is the work of the priest? Heb. 5: 1. (Ordained, set apart by God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sin.)
6. What two phases are there to the priest's work? (Represents sinners to God; represents God to sinners.)
7. Why do not sinners offer gifts and sacrifices for themselves?
Ans.-- A condemned person has no rights, possesses nothing. An imperfect character could not perfectly represent himself in the presence of Perfection.
8. What qualifications are necessary in the high priest who represents sinners? Heb. 5: 2.
9. When the priest knows just how the sinner feels and what he needs, what service can he best render?
Ans.-He is able to present the sacrifice needed, and to receive the gifts to supply those needs.
10. How was " the man Christ Jesus " prepared to serve as our priest? Heb. 4: 15.
11. When He was tempted, how did He obtain the victory? Heb. 5: 7, 8.
12. Because He knows the feeling of our infirmities and the delivering power of God in these infirmities, what is He enabled to do? Heb. 2: 17, 18. (He knows how to plead for us.)
13. How was He prepared to represent God to us? Col. 2: 9.
14. When the sinner requires a sacrifice for sin, what has the High Priest to present? Rom. 3: 25; 1 John 2: 2; 4: 10.
15. What gifts are provided for sinners through Christ that they may cease sinning? Eph. 5: 2; Titus 2: 14.
16. Could any other but " the man Christ Jesus " act as our high priest? 1 Tim. 2: 5; Acts 4: 12.
17. By this exchange of sin for righteousness, to what state will Christ bring the church? Heb. 13:20, 21.
(References to show that God raised Christ from the dead: Acts 2: 24, 30; 3: 26; Rom. 6: 4; 1 Cor. 6: 14; 2 Cor. 4:14; Gal. 1: 1; Eph. 1: 20; Col. 1: 18; 1 Thess. 1: 10; 2 Tim. 2: 8; Heb. 13: 20; 1 Peter 1: 21.)
Study No. 6
Our High Priest in the Heavenly Sanctuary
1. When Christ died in the sinner's place, what did God do? Acts 2: 32.
2. Where did the Saviour go after the forty days of His sojourn on earth following His resurrection? Luke 24: 51.
3. What work did He enter upon in heaven? Heb. 5: 5, 6.
4. Where does He minister as high priest? Heb. 8: 1, 2.
5. Was the heavenly tabernacle in operation while the earthly tabernacle carried out its appointed services? Heb. 9: 8, 9.
6. What event marked the finish of the service in the earthly tabernacle? Matt. 27: 49, 50.
7. What qualified Christ to serve as our high priest? Heb. 5: 7-10; 2: 17, 19.
8. Could He serve until such time as He had something to present as a sacrifice? Heb. 8: 3.
9. By what means did He enter the heavenly sanctuary? Heb. 9: 11, 12.
10. How can we know what is being done in the heavenly sanctuary? Heb. 8: 4, 5.
11. What marked the opening of the earthly tabernacle? Ex. 40: 34, 35; 2 Chron. 7: 1-3.
12. What incident on earth marked the opening service of the heavenly sanctuary? Acts 2: 2, 3, 33.
13. How is this opening scene described in Revelation 4: 1-5? (Note the apartment in which are seven lamps, brought to view in Hebrews 9: 2.)
14. What is the meaning of the twenty-four seats about the throne? 1 Chron. 24: 4-18. (The twenty-four courses of the priesthood, each headed by a leader.)
15. What else is seen about the throne? Rev. 4: 6-8. (" Living creatures " is more correct than " beasts.")
16. Who are the creatures composing these living masses? Rev. 5: 9, 10; Eph. 4: 8.
17. When all is in readiness, what proclamation is made? Rev. 5: 1, 2.
18. Was there a man able to stand in God's presence on the throne and take the book? Rev. 5: 3.
19. How did the prophet feel when he saw no man was able? Verse 4.
20. How was he comforted? Verses 5, 6.
21. What did the " Lamb that had been slain " do? Verse 7.
22. When Jesus broke the seal, what happened on earth? Rev. 6: 1, 2.