Medical Missionary

Special features from our Medical Missionary column.

By ROGER W. PAUL, M.D., on Furlough From China

By MERLE L. MILLS, Senior Theological Student, W.M.C.

Medical Missionary in Action

By ROGER W. PAUL, M.D., on Furlough From China

Some may be led to ask whether it pays to carry on medical missionary work in heathen lands. This query is best an­swered by referring to specific instances in which the "right arm of the message" has been a source of real help in pushing our en­tire mission program on toward success.

We find the Chinese most appreciative of the efforts put forth by those who take an active interest in them and in their ills. Even though the final outcome may be unfavor­able and the patient may die, the relatives who remain are favorably impressed by the sincere efforts put forth by the physician and nurses who have sought to render all possible assistance.

Instances occur in which we may feel like calling in medical counsel on difficult cases. But the relatives will frequently reply that they are perfectly satisfied, and that they feel that nothing better could possibly be done for the afflicted one. We regard such confidence as this as a good omen and as capable of producing very favorable results in our con­tacts with others.

 The medical missionary from abroad is frequently placed at a marked disadvantage, on account of the fact that he is often called in when the patient is beyond all hope of recovery. The old type of Chinese medical man is commonly given the first chance, and the patient is kept under treatment by him until he is beyond all hope of recovery. But even circumstances of this kind may be turned to good advantage. The simple announce­ment that there is now nothing that can be done except to pray to God that His will may be done, and the statement that you sincerely wish you might have seen the patient earlier, are often sufficient to lead the relatives to de­termine to avail themselves of a more rational method of treatment in the future.

Medical institutions, and what may be ac­complished in them, are but a small part of what may be attained through our medical missionary efforts in mission lands. If care­ful, conscientious work is done in these cen­ters, it will be possible to make their influ­ence extend far and wide. But how to make all this work educational in character is somewhat of a problem. This represents the greatest part of our task, and we should exert ourselves to the utmost in order to bring it about.

We find great distress and suffering among the Chinese, as well as among other Oriental peoples, and more than ever before, they need to be brought into touch with the medical missionary. Our medical missionary program has led many to give liberally for the upbuild­ing of medical institutions in China.

An illustration of the influence of the medi­cal work is well shown in the experience our evangelists had not very long ago in Shanghai, as recorded in a recent number of the Review and Herald. In brief, our workers had searched prayerfully and diligently for a chapel in which to hold evangelistic services. A place was found which would be suitable, but it normally rented for $500 a month. However, with the influence of the Shanghai' Sanitarium, this chapel was secured for $50 a month.

This is but one of a long series of incidents that might be mentioned which show how this branch of the work is acting as an entering wedge and as the strong right arm of the message. Our medical work in China began with the humble efforts of Abram La Rue, our pioneer missionary to that land, who, among his other activities, sold a few imported health foods. He also visited the sick and prayed with many of them. Now we have many godly medical workers scattered all over China.

Our carefulness in following the blueprint that has been given through the agency of the Spirit of prophecy, determines the suc­cess or failure of this branch of the work in China, toward which so many have had their attention focused. The ideals therein ex­pressed are so high and so far-reaching, that it is only by the help of the Lord and His pres­ence ever with us that we may hope to attain the success promised those who are faithful.

Maintain Effective Balance

By MERLE L. MILLS, Senior Theological Student, W.M.C.

Rich is the higher profession—that of the doctor or that of the preacher? To discuss this subject pro or con would be futile, for by the pen of inspiration the con­tention is settled in this manner—"To the physician equally with the gospel minister is committed the highest trust ever committed to man." Therefore, the problem is not to deter­mine the rank of each profession, but to find by what means the two can be blended to ob­tain the most successful results.

In studying the method of Christ's ministry, one finds it quite evident that the work of the gospel cannot be complete without the medical phase; neither can physical restora­tion be complete without the spiritual phase. The Saviour ministered both to the soul and to the body. He did not exclude the medical phase from His earthly ministry, for His message was one of spiritual life and physical restoration. He linked the healing of disease with deliverance from sin. He recognized the physical needs as well as the spiritual.

Why should we not use the same method, —the combination of the medical with the gospel ministry? This combination is brought about in a unique manner in the student ef­forts conducted by Washington Missionary College, under the supervision of the theo­logical department. Let us take a bird's-eye glimpse of one of the efforts, and see how it is being carried on.

Combination in Operation

The song service begins at seven-thirty each evening of the effort, and for fifteen minutes or more the people sing familiar gospel hymns. At the appointed time, a doctor or nurse who is connected with the effort comes on the platform and begins to speak. What is the tone of the message? The doctor is telling the audience how to overcome colds, how to prevent pneumonia, what to do in case a person faints or has a stroke. Perhaps the following evening the nurse gives a demon­stration on how to give a foot bath or how to bandage a wound. She may call a child from the audience and demonstrate how to give hot fomentations.

Whatever is done must be well planned and timed, for only twenty minutes is allowed for this part of the service. As the doctor or nurse finishes his part of the program, the speaker of the evening immediately takes his place on the platform, begins the service, and presents the gospel story.

The medical work does not stop at this juncture, for there are many calls to be made in private homes for the purpose of treating the sick. In one instance, a woman was found to be seriously ill, and earnest effort was put forth to save her life. The nurse gave her treatments, and at the same time spoke to her of the love of Jesus. The disease proved fatal, but before the patient passed away in a peaceful sleep, the nurse, the doctor, and the student evangelist had the satisfaction of seeing her make a complete surrender to Christ.

Another way in which the medical work is merged into that of the gospel work, is through the cooking school which is held in connection with the effort. Under the direc­tion of a dietitian or an experienced cook, the diet question is studied. The members of the school are taught how to cook properly and how to change from a meat to a vege­tarian diet. Thus they learn how to build strong bodies with which to glorify God.

"It is of the highest importance that men and women be instructed in the science of human life, and in the best means of preserving and acquiring physical health. . . In order to be fitted for trans­lation, the people of God must know themselves. They must understand in regard to their own physi­cal frames, that they may be able with the psalmist to exclaim, 'I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.' "—"Healthful Living." pp. 15, 16.

How can this work be finished without the help of the medical ministry? It is an im­possibility. Only as the medical ministry is coordinated with the gospel ministry in full harmony with God's plan, can there be suc­cessful fruitage in bringing souls to a knowl­edge of this glorious truth.


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By ROGER W. PAUL, M.D., on Furlough From China

By MERLE L. MILLS, Senior Theological Student, W.M.C.

July 1938

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