Augmenting the Work of Our Physicians

The evangelistic training our men received at the College of Medical Evangelists is now valuable to the cause, for many of them are serving as self-supporting elders and, essen­tially speaking, really pastors of the flock over which God has made them "overseers.

By G. A. ROBERTS, Associate Secretary, General Conference Medical Department, Medical Extension

The members of the graduating class of the College of Medical Evangelists are intern­ing in various types of hospitals, such as Navy, State, county, and city hospitals, and in hospitals operated by religious denominations, including our own sanitariums. Our alumni are found in the Navy, the Army, and the public health service; they are connected with hospitals and sanitariums, and in private practice.

The evangelistic training our men received at the College of Medical Evangelists is now valuable to the cause, for many of them are serving as self-supporting elders and, essen­tially speaking, really pastors of the flock over which God has made them "overseers." Some are personally leading out from time to time in aggressive public evangelism, while others are assisting in evangelism and church work as cir­cumstances permit. Some of our men find them­selves so situated with respect to their duties in hospitals and other public labor that they cannot regularly attend our church services. These men miss the privilege of regular church attendance and appreciate it greatly when our conference presidents and pastors visit them.

The future, of our doctors is very uncertain just now. Probably a large majority of those eligible physically have entered the service of their country. We should pray for these doc­tors just as we pray for our boys who are in other lines of the war service.

The people of local communities are very ap­prehensive for fear they will be left without medical aid should their doctors leave for Gov­ernment service. In this, as in many other things, communities and individuals must be ready to make adjustments, for our doctors are going where Government need seems greatest. With a probable shortage, in the near future, of medical doctors and trained nurses to care for the civilian population, our ministers and church officers surely should encourage the im­mediate instruction of all untrained church members in first aid, healthful living, and simple treatments. All members already trained should be encouraged to render medical mis­sionary ministry to any in their neighborhood who need medical care but are unable to secure it. It is for such a time as this that our people have come to the kingdom, as it were, with hands and hearts dedicated to the relief of human woe. We must not fail the people in this their time of need. The ministry, the members of our churches, and the students in our schools are called to this work. In this connection let us note some important statements from the Spirit of prophecy writings.

"Let our ministers, who have gained an experience in preaching the Word, learn how to give simple treat­ments, and then labor intelligently as medical mis­sionary evangelists."—Counsels on Health, p. 397.

"The Lord wants every one of His ministers to come into line. Take hold of the medical missionary work. and it will give you access to the people. Their hearts will be touched as you minister to their necessities. As you relieve their sufferings, you will find oppor­tunity to speak to them of the love of Jesus."—Id., p. 533.

"A gospel minister will be twice as successful in his work if he understands how to treat disease."—Medi­cal Ministry, p. 245.

"All gospel workers should know how to give the simple treatments that do so much to relieve pain and remove disease."—Ministry of Healing, p. 146.

"Cannot our conference presidents open the way for the students in our schools to engage in this line ' of labor ?"—Counsels on Health, p. 541.

"We have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work." —Testimonies, Vol. VII, p. 62.

"Christ stands before us as the pattern Man, the great Medical Missionary,—an example for all who should come after."—Medical Ministry, p. 20.

"On the green hillslopes of Galilee, in the thorough­fares of travel, by the seashore, in the synagogues, and in every other place where the sick could be brought to Him, was to be found His hospital."—Ministry of Healing, pp. 11, /8.

"In every city where we have a church, there is need of a place where treatment can be given. . . . A place should be provided where treatment may be given for common ailments. The building might be inelegant and even rude, but it should be furnished with facilities for giving simple treatments."—Coun­sels on Health, p. 468.

"Christ came to this world as the great Medical Missionary. When His example is followed, medical missionary work will be carried forward on a much higher plane than it is at the present time."—Lomo Linda Messages, p. 87. (From Ms. 78, 1903).

The medical missionary work should be a part of the work of every church in our land--Testimonies, Vol. VI, p. 289.

These statements are significant and vital. Their potentiality, however, is measured by the response of those to whom they are addressed. May our responses be acceptable to Him who gave us this instruction.

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By G. A. ROBERTS, Associate Secretary, General Conference Medical Department, Medical Extension

February 1944

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