For many years we have believed that "the final movements will be rapid ones." While we have been inclined to apply this to the movements among the nations of earth, there seems to. be no reason for not applying it to the work of God also. As the rapid events of earth's last tragic hour are coming into focus, the Lord may be expected to cause His work to move in rapid strides to counteract the work of Satan and to carry His message to the ends of the earth. To a careful observer it is very evident that the method of the correspondence Bible schools is one of the most effective methods so far devised to reach the masses in a short time.
Since we were not permitted to use the radio in the Union of South Africa, we decided to publish short articles in the newspapers. These articles vary in length from seven to ten inches in one column and introduce a number of questions which appeal to the public, but no attempt is made to answer them in the paper. The last part of the article explains the purpose of the Bible school and offers a series of free lessons, wherein questions will be carefully and fully answered. In this way names are secured.
The response to these articles has been tremendous and has come from all classes of people, but mainly from the better-educated classes. Our church members also have given us much help in securing readers, and our students themselves have sent us long lists of friends. We keep a series of advertisements. about the lessons going out all the time, both to our students and to our churches.
During 1945 we are putting on the greatest drive so far attempted. With the Lourenco Marques radio station in Portuguese East Africa, through the newspapers; and with the help of our church members we hope to secure tens of , thousands of new readers for our studies.
We are now carrying on five courses of studies, each in two languages—English and Afrikaans, which are the two official languages of South Africa. The two languages are about equal in enrollment. We work on the theory that we shall not secure much in the way of definite results by simply sending out a few pieces of literature to a person. We have learned that results can be secured only by keeping the people studying and going through the entire series of lessons. We therefore send our lessons to people until they say Stop. When they have finished the first course of twenty-four lessons, we send a series of advanced lessons on Daniel and Revelation to those who request them., These two courses keep the people studying for about a year. To all those who have continued through the advanced course we furnish another series of fifty-two lessons for Sabbath study.
It can be readily seen that when one voluntarily takes these last two series of lessons, after knowing definitely what we teach through the first course, he may be considered well indoctrinated with this message and in sympathy with the work we are doing. From this class we believe we shall reap a large harvest of souls.
We have introduced a youth's series of lessons, and these will follow the same methods as are followed in the senior course. We have also introduced some lessons for the blind. Our Fellowship-of-Prayer Circle has gone a long way in making our work appealing to the general public. It is well understood that our prayer circle meets every morning and holds a longer meeting on Friday nights. We have it on Friday nights to get the people accustomed to meeting with us at the beginning of the Sabbath.
We expect our present enrollment of forty thousand to be doubled in another few months, and in this large enrollment we have a complete cross section of what may be expected in winning souls, as one reaches out to touch the entire country. We have proved quite definitely that at least ten per cent of the people will study these lessons if rightly approached.
Who can measure the results from having ten per cent of a population definitely studying the Bible in this way? We believe the percentage would be just as large in any country where the literacy of the people is sufficient to warrant it. Truly the harvest of earth is ripe, and the amount of grain to be gathered in for the Master's garner will be greater than we have realized.