Bible Worker Interchange

Methods, Experiences, and Problems

By various authors. 

Studies Under Language Handicap

By Myrna C. Lee, R. N., Bible Worker, White Memorial Hospital

Not long ago I read an article entitled "Communion," which was the account of a man traveling on a train in France, just before this last war. As he sat reading his New Testament, he dozed off, and the book fell to the floor. Before he could pick it up, a Russian peasant woman had done so, and in­stead of handing it back, she started to turn the pages, obviously trying to discover what it might be.

Suddenly she stood up. Out of her hamper, carefully wedged on the rack above her seat, she took a thick leather hook, worn with use It was a Bible. Opening her Bible, she searched for a passage, and taking the man's Testament, compared the proper names and the numbers, finding the French text corre­sponding to her Russian text. Then, Without letting go of the little book, and holding it out to him, she pointed to a word, questioning with her eyes. The word was "disciples," used at the beginning of the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman. He nodded, and her face became bright.

Again she took the New Testament, and as before, first in the Russian Bible, then in the French text, sought another word. The word was "Saviour," and anxiously her eyes asked if Jesus was his Saviour. Again he nodded, and her face became illumined. Then he took the two books in his hands, and in the same way looked up the salutation of an epistle: "Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, andi from the Lord Jesus Christ." When at length she comprehended these words, her features be­came more radiant than before.

This experience reminded me of one of my own with a young Japanese woman who was here at the White Memorial hospital for some time. It was quite evident that she had come from a cultured family. Her husband was a Buddhist, but she had accepted Christ through the influence of a Catholic friend. Although she spoke but little English, she made me under­stand her wish to know something concerning our beliefs; so I gave her a package of tracts in the Japanese language, which she carefully read, asking many questions.

In endeavoring to study with her, I experi­mented by using the same method used by the Russian peasant woman, and found it was not difficult for her to locate the texts in her Bible which I pointed out in mine. Thus we spent many interesting hours together.

One day a priest passing through the ward on his way to visit another patient saw us with our Bibles, and, knowing that she was a Cath­olic, left word at the office that she was not to be talked to along religious lines. When this was repeated to her, she said, "I must know other beliefs." That afternoon I saw her look­ing through the drawers where literature was ,kept, taking some back to her bed with a deter­mined look upon her face.

She wrote poetry, some of which was printed in a Japanese paper. One day a Japanese Sev­enth-day Adventist was reading a poem of hers, and finding out that she was a patient at the White Memorial Hospital, he sent her a book concerning our truths which he had written. This man also called upon her. Thus we see that God had various ways of bringing the truth to this young woman with whom the priest did not wish us to study.

Suddenly her husband decided to send her back to Japan, and took her to a Buddhist temple where he had rooms. We called upon her there, and tried to bring her some word of comfort, because the future seemed dark and uncertain. She had often expressed a wish to become a nurse; so we gave her the address of our headquarters in Japan, hoping that she might get in contact with our people when she arrived in Japan. Although we have never heard from her, I feel sure that whatever her fate, the truths which she drank in so eagerly, remain alive in her heart.

Surely, "the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him." 2 Chron. 16 :9.

Men as Bible Workers*

By H. C. Olmstead, District Pastor, Northern California Conference

There has come to us as a people much instruction regarding the importance and value of giving Bible studies in the homes of the people. Throughout the years this has been an effective means of proclaiming the truth, and of leading many to accept the claims of God's last message. We are told in the "Testi­monies," that many can be reached in no other way. (See Volume VI, pp. 78, 79.)

Thus far we have largely employed women as conference Bible workers, and they have clone effective work. In Volume IX we are in­structed to employ men also to do this type of work. (Page 128.) In this field of service there is urgent need for both women and men to teach the truth by personal contacts in the homes of the people, many of whom will never attend public services.

It seems evident if men, properly trained and efficient, could be employed to conduct cot­tage meetings, to give Bible readings, and to labor in various proved lines of service, a larger proportion of men could be won to the truth than results when only women are employed as Bible workers. Some men have a prejudice against receiving instruction from women, and some women will not try to give studies to men. Here is a way to bring more men into our churches. The preponderance of men in our churches in many of the mission fields may be partially due to the exclusive employment of men as workers.

This need is universal, and it is hoped that hundreds of young men will eagerly respond to such an opportunity for service.

Men as Bible Workers*

By G. H. BOEHRIG, Bible Worker, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

There are several advantages in using men as Bible workers in evangelistic efforts. From the very beginning of the effort, the Bible worker is before the eyes of those in attendance at the meetings. He is often seen on the plat­form with the evangelist, offering prayer, giving announcements, or assisting in other ways.

Thus, the people think of him as an associate minister. They feel that they know him, for he has been at the door to bid them farewell, and to invite them back again, and they gradually grow to have confidence in him. Consequently, when the worker calls upon interested ones, he receives a hearty welcome. Both homes and hearts are opened to his visits and Bible studies.

The interested man especially enjoys having one of his own sex call upon him to help him with his problems. He feels that this worker can understand his position, having, in many cases, struggled in the same way. This is especially true in regard to Sabbath observance and tobacco. A man is naturally reluctant to confide his troubles to a woman Bible worker. And the man's wife, looking upon the worker as a minister, feels free to talk to him also.

Even in this enlightened age, there are many people who are a little skeptical when it comes to having a woman study the Bible with them. They believe that spiritual things should be divulged by a minister.

There are untold opportunities for the Bible worker to improve his own work while associ­ated with an older minister. He can observe the effect of all the work that is carried on, and can see what reaction comes to each attack made upon the prospect's former position. Thus by careful observation and notation, he will be able to carry on a much more aggressive campaign of his own because of this experience.

I believe men Bible workers occupy a very important place in this denomination. Deci­sions for the message are made because the truth has been forcefully brought intd the very life of the prospect. I believe a young man can most effectively build into the minds of his prospects the foundation of Bible doctrines that must be the bulwark to hold them in the message after the effort has closed.

 


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By various authors. 

October 1941

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