On July 10, 1941, we began our fifth year of radio ministry. Every passing day proves the,effectiveness of this modern means of giving the third angel's message. The apostle John saw this message flying through heaven to every corner of the earth. In the perfecting of every modern device, God has had one thought uppermost in mind—that this ,work shall quickly be finished. Of all the inventions of man; none is so effective in reaching the masses in a short time, as the radio. Seventh-day Adventists ought to be foremost in utilizing this means to the full. We should look upon every radio station in the world as a God-given means to carry this advent message.
Since, radio work is so far reaching, it is one that requires time to bring its fruitage to perfection. Where there is :a regular use of the radio, every branch of the work in that area is helped:. The seed of truth is sown, and prejudice is broken down. The success of the evangelist, Bible worker, and : colporteur is greatly augmented. We have conducted our radio program over six stations daily for the last .eighteen months, and our evangelists and colporteurs in the. territory, covered think it the greatest possible asset to their work.
We have tried in all our broadcasts to conclude---a service in keeping with the name which we have chosen for the program—"The Quiet Hour," We never take the attitude of preaching at people, but we try to give them the idea that we have just come in to visit with :them. After a bit of poetry, and an old familiar song or two, we sort of draw our chairs a little; closer, as it were, for a heart-to-heart talk on some topic in which they are deeply interested.
In this way, we have covered the entire message several times. When we come to a subject like the beast and his mark, we go just as far as we can without mentioning definite names, and then very confidentially we tell them that owing to certain radio ethics we cannot say all we would like,to, but we have prepared the subject' in printed form, and will be glad to scnd them a copy.
We now have about nine thousand names on our mailing list. However, they are not all on the active mailing list. We try to keep that list at five thousand or less. Each month we get out a little four-page paper or circular called "The Quiet Hour Echoes." Every issue carries a Bible study, a few choice poems, news items, short stories, our personal message, something on financial needs, etc. This little paper is deeply appreciated by all. We send it out free, but we find that it is paying financially, as well as carrying a constructive message.
On a Self-Supporting Basis
After four years of daily broadcasting, we are glad to report that the local conference has not had to pay out one cent to help the radio work, The Oregon Conference leaders fully believe in this phase of evangelism, and are co-operating to the fullest extent. They believe it has a God-appointed place, along with the old established branches of the organized work.
Reading Room Highly Effective
Our newest venture in connection with our radio work was the opening of a reading room in downtown Portland. For a long time I had felt that we should have such a place of contact with the general public. I reasoned like this : "By the radio we go daily into thousands of homes. Why not give the people a chance to come to us in some place besides the evening evangelistic meetings—some place where we can visit with them individually?" So last December , we rented space in a large office building. We are on the street level, and our room has a large window in which we have a beautiful display of Bibles and some of our good books. Hundreds of people stop daily to gaze and admire. A card in the window invites them to come in and read and rest awhile.
The main room is cozily arranged. A large rug nearly covers the floor. The davenport and chairs look inviting. ,Free reading material, such as books, tracts, and current numbers of our weekly and monthly papers, is found on the reading table. Almost everyone who comes in is given a piece of literature, either the Signs of the Times, a tract, or one of our radio sermons. Many thousands of pieces of literature have thus been given away. In addition to the free literature, we carry a good assortment of Bibles, most of our church publications, arid some religious plaques and cards for sale.
Every passing day proves the wisdom of such a venture, not so much in the actual sales as in the contacts made, the impression given, and the appointments for Bible readings. We have a neat room in the rear of the main room in which we can study and pray with people without being disturbed. Our message must go to the multitudes, but too often we have our Book and Bible House: hidden away in some residential district, and the public knows nothing of it and is in no wise affected by it.
Nearly every day in my broadcast, I call attention to one certain book that is of special value, which can be secured at the reading room. At the close of each broadcast, the announcer again sounds our invitation to visit "The Quiet Hour Reading Room" when in downtown Portland.
One member of "The Quiet Hour" staff has charge of the reading room. During the summer months, we kept it open five days a week from 10 A. M. to 5:30 P. M. During the winter, we plan to open each day except Sabbath. The sales are improving each month, and no doubt in time will largely cover the expense of the venture. However, the real success is not counted in dollars, but in the personal contacts, the publicity given, the Bible studies arranged for, and the souls won to the kingdom.