The Boulder-Porter School of Nursing has launched out upon a program which we believe will prepare nurses for aggressive medical missionary work in our conferences and churches. Arranging for the conduct of classes in first aid and home nursing, they go to the surrounding churches and present studies in healthful living and community health.
In presenting these programs we have a three-fold objective in mind. First, to impress upon the minds of our people that the Lord has given us abundant instruction relative to the medical missionary work He wants us to do prior to His return. Second, to acquaint our church members with these instructions, and to organize them into preparatory classes. Third, to direct the student nurses to prepare and give medical talks, to learn how to organize health education classes, and to inspire in medical missionary endeavor. We believe that this is in harmony with the admonition given in the Spirit of prophecy to prepare our people to proclaim the message when "there will be no work done in ministerial lines."—Counsels on Health, p. 533.
It is interesting, and also encouraging, to note with what enthusiasm the churches receive the suggestion to do medical missionary work in behalf of their friends and neighbors, and thus make use of the "entering wedge." To be able to relieve suffering, appeals to both old and young, especially when they realize that it is because of God's great love that He informs us how we may escape hardships and perhaps persecution through a knowledge of simple medical care. Would not a father who knows the future tell his children how to prepare for such trying times ? We expect as much from an earthly father, so why should we not expect it even more from our heavenly Father?
There is instruction which the Lord has given us that seems to become more gripping as troublesome times press in upon the world about us. Statements like the following cause stanch Seventh-day Adventists, who believe the Testimonies, to be stirred -to action when they are emphasized in their hearing:
"Every person should have a knowledge of nature's remedial agencies, and how to apply them."—Ministry of Healing, p. 127.
"All should become intelligent in the use of simple home treatments."--/bid., p. 237.
"Water treatments are not appreciated as they should be, and to apply them skillfully requires work that many are unwilling to perform, but none should feel excused for ignorance or -indifference on this subject."—/bid.
When such outstanding statements are presented, to those of our people who have consecrated their lives to God, they are ready to learn how to clb their part in the closing stages of this movement. In each church where the medical missionary program has been presented, there have been from ten to seventy-five members who handed in their names to join the home nursing classes. In some churches practically every adult member is ready to devote time to prepare for this missionary endeavor.
Faith and confidence in the Spirit of prophecy are increased by actual experiences. A fourteenyear-old lad was brought to the sanitarium with a frozen hand. A physician had told the parents that the member must be amputated, but a few weeks of water treatments restored the hand. What a blessing a knowledge of hydrotherapy proved to be to that boy, and how this experience substantiates the instructions in the Spirit of prophecy.
When we read statements which apply to our churches, statements which our brethren and sisters believe are messages from the Lord, they cannot understand why these instructions have not been presented before. The thoughts found in Counsels on Health, pages 514 and 425, that "the medical missionary work should be a part of the work of every church in our land," and that "we have come to a time when every member of the church should take hold of medical missionary work," grip the hearts of our church members, and they want to do what they can to help finish the work.
In addition to, the threefold objective already mentioned, we have in mind, first, placing before our churches the necessity of preparing for medical missionary work; second, inviting neighbors to study with these organized groups, and acquainting them with our work and message; third, developing Adventist homes into medical retreats where neighbors may go for simple medical aid, thus providing an entering wedge into their hearts.
Our incentive is the thought that,when ministerial work ceases, medical missionary work will still continue, and only those who have prepared for it will be allowed to carry it on. (See Counsels on Health, page 533.) The medical phase of our work will be one of the last forms of endeavor, if not the last, in which we will be permitted to engage.
When we study the Spirit of prophecy and note the emphasis placed upon medical missionary work, and when we read in the Scriptures that the Lord will base His decision, when He separates the sheep from the goats, on what "ye have done," and then find that these acts of mercy are mostly in medical missionary work, we are impressed with the benefits that will result from having in each conference a medical department corresponding to the other departments of the conference.
Our plan in connection with the Boulder-Porter School of Nursing is to prepare graduate nurses to lead out in the churches and conferences in this worthy endeavor. Our senior students who are participating in these programs, are enthusiastic over the prospects, and the graduate nurses in the churches are glad for the opportunity to teach the home nursing classes. As this plan continues to develop we find that we have excellent co-operation in our efforts to prepare our people for medical missionary work.