Inducting Chinese Converts Into Church

Evangelism has been the keynote of the mission program throughout the China Division during the past year and a half. Seeing the tremendous need of multi-tildes of peoples in thousands of cities and towns, to say nothing of the rural villages, we feel that every capable worker should be put­ting forth special effort each year in an en­deavor to win souls for the kingdom of heaven.

By WILLIAM A. MILLIARD, Director, Southwest China Mission

Evangelism has been the keynote of the mission program throughout the China Division during the past year and a half. Seeing the tremendous need of multi-tildes of peoples in thousands of cities and towns, to say nothing of the rural villages, we feel that every capable worker should be put­ting forth special effort each year in an en­deavor to win souls for the kingdom of heaven.

Milton Lee, division evangelist, and his two co-workers, Charles Cooper and Geng Yung-ling, began an evangelistic campaign in the city of Kunming on March 6. In connection with the meeting Pastor Lee is conducting an evangelistic methods class for the workers of the Southwest China Mission who are assist­ing in the work. Many, especially our tribal workers, have very meager education, and this ;training will give them a foundation which they have not had opportunity to get. before.

The evangelistic meetings are being con­ducted in the auditorium of the government party—Kuo Min-tang. It is centrally located, and in a place where all classes are free to at­tend. The seating capacity, including gallery, is about eight hundred. The building was packed the opening night, and attendance has been good throughout. There are many influential and well-educated people attending, as well as the middle and lower classes.

After the subjects on the law of God and the Sabbath the attendance has slackened some, but we seem to have lost mostly the curious group and noisier element. From night to night a very serious, interested group returns. Dur­ing recent weeks opposition has been very strong from other mission church bodies in the city, but we pray that truth may triumph, and that the power of God will move the hearts of the listeners to accept this last-day warning message.

FIRST SABBATH SERVICE.—Many times OUT ministers find the first Sabbath service a diffi­cult hurdle during an evangelistic campaign. It is the first step in Sabbathkeeping for those who hear and heed the gospel messages. In a sense it marks them. It may mean the begin­ning of opposition and ridicule from friends and society. However, once the individual has attended and the barrier is broken, it is not so difficult to return. Thus the first Sabbath serv­ice is of utmost importance.

In planning for this service in conjunction with our Kunming evangelistic effort, Pastors Milton Lee and Charles Cooper and their as­sistants gave much consideration to this ques­tion. Announcement of Sabbath school and church preaching service would, they felt, have no special appeal to those already attending Sunday school and preaching service. Why not a special revival service ? But it was felt that this, too, would have no special appeal, for nearly all the churches are having revival serv­ices at the present time. It was decided to an­nounce a special Pei Ling Da Huei. Pei means "to nourish, to strengthen" ; Ling is the word for spirit or spiritual force ; and the Da Huei is a large meeting, or gathering.

This Pei Ling Da Huei was announced through the week from the platform, A large, colorful sign was painted and tacked to the screen just inside the entrance, where it would catch the eyes of all who entered the audi­torium during the week. Then a special invita­tion was sent out to all names in the evangelis­tic file. This invitation very briefly referred to the music and special attractions for the after­noon service.

Our regular Sabbath attendance here in Kunming had been around sixty. Attendance at the evangelistic meetings on week-day eve­nings had been averaging around three hun­dred after the messages on the law and true Sabbathkeeping had been presented.

Plans were made for about two hundred guests on this first Sabbath. Sabbath afternoon at two o'clock, when the meeting began, four hundred people were seated in the large audi­torium and children's Sabbath school room. Each was handed a printed bookmark with the program for the day on one side and the fourth commandment on the other. The platform was decorated with a large cross and a world map, with suitable texts.

Geng Yung-ling, music director of the evan­gelistic company, was Sabbath school superin­tendent. Between special musical numbers and other parts on the program he presented items of interest about the scope and work of Sev­enth-day Adventists around the world, telling the number of countries entered, the number of schools, sanitariums, publishing houses, and the like. Neither the secretary's report nor the review was given. After a well-presented mis­sion story and explanation of how missions are financed, an offering was taken.

Pastor Lee had the Sabbath school lesson, which was presented in sermon form instead of the usual class study. Because of a longer and special program there was no separate service for the regular worship hour. The Sab­bath school lesson-sermon took the place of the preaching service. No appeal was made for church membership, or to enter a baptismal class.

At the conclusion of the Sabbath school les­son-sermon signature cards were passed to all who desired membership in the regular Sab­bath school. The response was very large. The two hundred mimeographed Sabbath school outlines which had been prepared for the fol­lowing Sabbath's lesson were not nearly enough, and additional copies had to be made to distribute Sunday night.

All our workers have felt that this was a most successful meeting. It was something dif­ferent and colorful which caught the attention. The program stimulated visitors to return to another Sabbath service. The attendance far surpassed the average nightly attendance of the preceding two weeks. We feel that the effort and expense which went into this special Pei Ling Da Huei were well rewarded. We pray that the Holy Spirit will continue striving with these individuals who have taken the first step, and give a rich harvest in baptisms.

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By WILLIAM A. MILLIARD, Director, Southwest China Mission

August 1949

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