Gathering Jewels for the Kingdom

A bible worker interchange.

By GRACE STEWART, Bible Worker, South Dakota Conference

It is both a privilege and a responsibility to be permitted to pioneer the work in new territory. Here are a few lessons learned in that experience in a gold-mining city of the Black Hills. One looks out across the city to see homes on the steep mountain­sides, nestled among the pines, on and up to the very peaks, every house a jewel box con­taining precious gems to be reclaimed for the King's crown. Daily personal preparation for this delicate, important work is of first im­portance. Full, complete consecration of the life, entire dependence upon God, prayerful study of the Word, is the secret of success.

When pioneering in a new territory, where there is no church or minister, it is necessary for the Bible worker to rent a small hall in a good location. Then begins the work of visiting these jewel boxes to find those whose hearts "are perfect toward Him." Armed with the sword of the Spirit, and carrying the shield of faith, the Bible worker goes forth. There must be no fear of man, "for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God." Col. 3:3.

A rap, a smile, a courteous greeting. "I am Mrs. S., your neighbor in the next block. I came to make a brief call." Inside the home the Bible worker makes quick note of the sur­roundings. Is this a Catholic home ? Is there a Bible on the table? Do children live here? Quietly she brings from her treasure things new or old. She explains the plan for sys­tematic study of the Holy Scriptures in the homes of the people. By study of the Holy Book we may clearly understand the meaning of world events, and find a ray of hope.

The Bible worker makes it clear that she does not come to impose her own opinions upon people, but only to call attention to the true teachings of the Scriptures. The people them­selves must read, compare, consider, and decide.

As promised, the visit is brief. If possible, an appointment for a study is secured. A tract is left, and with a pleasant remark that she hopes to meet the family again, the worker goes on her way. Only literature which may be folded and carried in the handbag is taken on these visits. Our Little Friend and foreign tracts are included.

Outside the home, she concentrates for a moment upon that visit—she calls to mind the family name, the house number, the interest manifested, and the literature supplied. A fore­noon spent in this way yields rich returns. Every visit, with items of interest, is recorded in an indexed card system. All subsequent visits and studies are likewise recorded on these cards. These records are invaluable. The house-to-house work should be carried on until every available house and apartment has been visited. How else can all the jewels be found ?

Studies in homes begin as soon as appoint­ments are made. Here the worker must claim the promise that "the God of our Lord, . . the Father of glory, may give unto you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation for the acknowledgment of Him." Eph. I :17, margin. Bible students are encouraged to invite their friends to the studies. Thus group meetings develop, and the Bible lessons are used to good advantage. Each student pays for his own set, and receives the printed lesson for the day at the close of the study. At each meeting a brief review of previous lessons is given. This encourages personal study.

As the interest develops, the Bible students are invited to Sunday evening meet­ings at the hall. Here the program is varied by sermons, studies with charts, and film studies. Early in the meetings the children are invited to the Saturday morning "Children's Hour." This is in reality the Sabbath school, and there are classes for adults also, followed by a preaching service.

The daily paper carries an announcement of meetings week by week. A bulletin board, for use outside the hall, may be made by securing from an oil company a standard with metal frame and insert, such as is used by filling-station operators to advertise their oil. The insert—the sheet of metal upon which the ad­vertisement appears—is removed, and a piece of wallboard the same size and shape is sub­stituted. A good material to use for this is thin masonite tempered hard board. This board is prepared by giving it two coats of blackboard slating. The slating may be pur­chased at any paint store. When dry, the board is ruled across with black waterproof India ink. These deep black lines make lettering easier. The lettering is done with an artist's paintbrush, using signwriter's white paint, which may be washed off with water.

Foreign-speaking people appreciate litera­ture in their own language. Group meetings are arranged for them in which the projector is used. They understand and like the pictures, and there is sure to be someone present who can interpret and explain the main points. This is a fruitful field.

What of the country folk? They will wish to have studies given in their homes or films shown in the schoolhouse. They are not to be neglected, for this work brings God's bound­less blessings upon both worker and people. (See the Ministry, article, "Pictures With­out Electricity," May, 1941, for instruction on using gasoline or kerosene mantle lantern with projector.) Soon branch Sabbath schools are organized in the country, and God moves upon honest hearts to be obedient to His holy com­mandments.

In a few months the little Sabbath school in the rented hall in town has some new adult members, and they in turn help in soul-winning work. The conference sends a minister to baptize the new believers. There are just a few at first, but it is now time for an evan­gelist to come.

"Surely there is a vein for the silver,

And a place for gold where they fine it." 

'The stones of it are the place of sapphires:

And it hath dust of gold." Job. 28 :1, 6.

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By GRACE STEWART, Bible Worker, South Dakota Conference

March 1942

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