We attribute the degree of success in soul winning which we as workers at the Porter Sanitarium have attained to our united efforts in earnestly striving to carry out the following timely instruction:
"Ministers and physicians are to work harmoniously with earnestness to save souls that are becoming entangled in Satan's snares. They are to point men and women to Jesus, their Righteousness, their Strength, and the Health of their countenances. Continually they are to watch for souls. . . If you see a soul in need of help, engage in conversation with him even though you do not know him. Pray with him. Point him to Jesus." "On the sickbed Christ is often accepted and confessed; and this will be done oftener in the future than it has been in the past; for a quick work will the Lord do in our world."
"Our sanitarium workers are engaged in a holy warfare. To the sick and afflicted they are to present the truth as it is in Jesus; they are to present it in all its solemnity, yet with such simplicity and tenderness that souls will be drawn to the Saviour. Ever, in word and deed, they are to keep Him uplifted as the hope of eternal life."—Counsels on Health, pp. 336, 335, 250.
Just as the physician makes his daily round to minister to the physical suffering and needs of the patients, so also the chaplain calls on the guests and very tactfully endeavors to minister to their spiritual necessities. I meet many people who come here hungering and thirsting for righteousness, and with a strong desire in their hearts to learn the true way of life. As their physical sufferings are relieved, their hearts are touched and tendered, and we find opportunity to speak to them of the wonderful love of Jesus and His power to make them whole.
Not long ago a doctor brought a patient here against her wishes. She had never been here before and did not know much about our institution. I went into her room and introduced myself as the chaplain of the sanitarium, gave her the Signs of the Times, had a short visit with her, and after reading a few verses from the Bible, had prayer. Before leaving the room I discovered that she was interested in Bible study.
I continued going to her room each day for Bible study, and before she was ready to leave, asked her if she would like to have me come to her home and continue the studies. In reply she said, "I shall be very happy to have you come, but I don't want you to try to change my daughter's opinion. She has her own ideas." I continued the studies in her home. The other night she remarked, "I am so happy for these studies ; I now believe that I had to be forced to go to the Porter Sanitarium in order to learn the truth." Now both she and her daughter are beginning to keep the Sabbath.
While working in the field a man fell from a load of hay and broke his leg. He was brought immediately to the sanitarium. The kindness shown him by the doctors and nurses made a profound impression on his mind, and he became interested in the Signs and the books we placed in the room. I saw that he was hungry for spiritual food; therefore I went to his room each day and studied the Bible with him, discussing religious subjects. After his return home we continued to study with him. He accepted the truth in its fullness, was baptized, and joined the church, and is now one of our faithful sanitarium workers.
A few months ago a woman brought her son to the sanitarium for medical aid. After meeting her I saw that she was very religiously inclined and was seeking to know the truth. I made arrangements to visit her home and have Bible studies with her. She is now keeping the Sabbath, is a member of our Sabbath school, and is looking forward to becoming a member of our church. Recently she paid $210 tithe and is giving her whole heart and soul to this message. Her husband is also becoming interested.
I went into a patient's room the other morning and, after introducing myself and giving him the Signs, I called his attention to some good books we had placed on the dresser. I read a few verses and had prayer, after which he said, "The last time I was sick I went to another hospital, but they didn't pray with me. I appreciate that prayer." Before leaving, he became much interested in the message and read a number of our books. I am sending him the Signs and Health. If he remains faithful, I believe I will meet him in the coming kingdom.
A non-Adventist nurse was called on special duty. She soon became impressed with the kind Christian influence around her and began reading the Signs and the books that were in her patient's room. It was my privilege to have some Bible studies with her. However, she was not willing to continue the studies for long. After some months passed, this nurse became ill and was brought to the sanitarium. Immediately upon her arrival she called for me. It is very cheering indeed to see the interest she is now manifesting in the message. When she returns home my wife and I shall continue studies with her, and we feel that within a few more weeks she will fully surrender her heart to God.
Patients who come here are profoundly impressed with the institution and the care they receive. Many times I have heard them say, "I came here because of the kind Christian influence." Sometimes they say, "This doesn't seem like a hospital to me; it seems more like a lovely hotel with the best of medical service and the most courteous attention."
There are a Bible, a Ministry of Healing, and a number of our small books in each room. Fifty-five Signs are given out each week, and twenty-five Health magazines are given out monthly. We are also sending about one hundred and fifty Signs and Health subscriptions to interested patients this year, and are seeing favorable results. We are also enrolling a large number of those who are especially interested in the Bible study correspondence school.
We feel that the Porter Sanitarium is a real mission field. Since connecting with this institution, Mrs. Carter and I have had more than we could do to follow up all the interest. We have enlisted the help of our sanitarium church members to assist in this soul-winning endeavor, and the results have been most gratifying. We have rejoiced to see many precious souls surrender their hearts to God, including some backslidden members of our various churches.