My First Year as an Intern

Many things awaited me, of which I was unaware that day in the union president's office when I accepted a Bible worker's intern­ship.

By ANNA M. BECKNER, Spring Valley, N.Y.

Many things awaited me, of which I was unaware that day in the union president's office when I accepted a Bible worker's intern­ship. Service was my one aim. I had taken a full four-year college course, with all its varied subjects and extracurricular activities, each of which I have found to be of use, from trigo­nometry to practical nursing. However, I have met some things outside the curriculum which were altogether unexpected. But even then, college training had somewhat prepared me, in that it had taught me how to meet calmly the unexpected.

The preparation of a regular Bible study and its presentation was, of course, taught me, and some practice was given me at school. Such matters as the visiting of believers and unbelievers was new. In company with the min­ister it was necessary for me to go to certain unfortunate homes and investigate their worthi­ness or unworthiness to receive church assistance. One winter day, when calling to give a woman a Bible study, I found her in bed with a severe cold on her chest. I was glad indeed, then, that I knew how to give fomentations. The most difficult of all visits is perhaps the one with an Adventist who has drifted away from the truth, become cold and indifferent, and in some cases embittered.

Writing up the sermons and meetings for the newspapers is another duty that often falls to the lot of the Bible worker. Then there is always a crowd of annoying boys who hang around the tent. Here is an opportunity to tell those boys stories which will influence and mold their lives for good. There are times, too, when the Bible worker is called upon to serve as pianist. I was glad for the responsibility of leadership in the church and Sabbath school—teaching, reviewing the lesson, acting as super­intendent, leading in the prayer meeting, and even in the church service occasionally. Harvest Ingathering, our great missions program of the year, was a real pleasure to me. In that first year, two readers were discovered by this means, and they are at present ready for baptism.

Leaving home for the first time brings with it problems of orientation, especially when liv­ing among non-Adventists. Such matters as true health reform in diet, work, and rest, become much harder. A radical change was also necessary in my social life. Leaving a large family and college all at once, living in a small apartment away from all Adventist young people, I found many moments of loneli­ness, but was able, with God's help, to go on with courage and cheer, happy that I was able to do my little bit for the cause I love so well.

In regard to working among the various cults, sects, and beliefs, I found that some knowledge of each is a great assistance in ap­proaching and working with their members. I learned that Quakers practice the ordinance of humility; a Nazarene's holiness doctrine does not allow him to attend movies; Bible students or Jehovah's Witnesses are less ob­jectionable names than Russellites, when speaking to people of that belief. These and many like matters I have learned. The Jew, the atheist, and the Fundamentalist each present problems of approach which must be under­stood and met if the Bible worker is to reach them successfully.

I have enjoyed my first year in the great school of life experience, and pray that God will keep me humble, usable, ever advancing in His love, and grant me the privilege of serving till He comes.

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By ANNA M. BECKNER, Spring Valley, N.Y.

April 1937

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