Medical Work in Penang

The good work here in Penang was started in 1921 by Dr. J. E. Gardner, and it is still going strong.

By H. G. HEBARD, M. D., Medical Director, Penang Sanitarium

The good work here in Penang was started in 1921 by Dr. J. E. Gardner. During his eleven years of service in this part of the field the work developed from a small beginning as a clinic in rented quarters to a large, well-attended 'clinic and sanitarium.

Our work has become known from one end of the peninsula to the other, and about one third of our patients are drawn from outside Penang. We have made very good progress materially. The long-dreamed-of clinic build­ing of our own has now become an actuality. We moved into our own building the first of this year, thus more than doubling our capacity.

The work at the sanitarium has prospered also. On many occasions we have been com­pletely full, and have had a waiting list. To meet this need it was voted to extend the sanitarium building. A campaign was put on, and the public have responded well. Owing to the increased expense of material, we have been forced to revise our plans, but we are glad to report that work is actually beginning, although we have been delayed in getting building materials. When the work is com­pleted, we will have eight new private rooms with bath, thus giving us much-needed extra space. Our total capacity at the sanitarium will then be twenty-four patients, with no more than two beds in any one room.

We have long felt the need of starting a training school. It is beginning to be increas­ingly difficult to get nurses from China. Hence we determined to make a start even though everyone was already carrying a full load of work. We started with a small class, and are also giving senior work to some who have been forced to discontinue their courses in China.

Our results have not been of a material na­ture only. Our evangelist, Daniel Lim, has been doing, very good work. Other members of the staff have also done their bit. Every patient who comes to our clinic is given a piece of literature in his own language. Those who show an interest are invited to take Bible studies. Our inpatients are also given litera­ture. Tracts have been sent in to each patient on his tray. As a result, a number have become interested. We hear such remarks as these: "I want to know more of what your church teaches. It is so different from what we usually hear." "Where can we subscribe for the Signs of the Times?" Some are con­tinuing their study, others have been put on the Signs mailing list.

A few examples may be of interest. A well-to-do Chinese towkey (businessman) came into the sanitarium suffering from a light stroke and high blood pressure. Mr. Lim visited with him and gave him some studies. He stayed about a month and then left for a time. Several months later he came again, but in a few days became discouraged, and some of his friends advised him to start smok­ing opium and end his troubles. I had a long talk with him, and finally persuaded him to leave opium alone. He took further studies and became convinced of the truth, but still hesitated to make the break from Buddhism.

One day on a business trip he had another light stroke, which seemed- to bring him to his senses. He promised the Lord that if He would spare his life and let him get back to Penang, he would become a Christian. He recovered and came back. Just as soon as he returned he called for Brother Lim, told him his experience, and asked for baptism. He joined the baptismal class and was faithful in church attendance until his death a number of months later.

Others have become interested and are now studying. I might mention one more case which opened up considerable work among the Indians. A schoolteacher among the rubber-estate coolies came into our clinic. He became interested, and on leaving asked that one of our Indian workers come over and hold studies with him. We made arrangements for Mr. Lucas, one of our laboratory men, to go over 


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By H. G. HEBARD, M. D., Medical Director, Penang Sanitarium

January 1942

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