Ministerial Association Secretary A. Meyer writes this encouraging letter regarding recent progress made in his field, the Southern European Division:
"A spirit of courage, zeal, and unity prevails everywhere among the working forces of the Southern European Division. On Sabbath, June II, we held a baptismal ceremony for twenty-eight. This is the highest number ever reached thus far in Italy for just one baptism. In Naples, on May 28, we baptized eight. Only a few days before, twenty joined the church in Sicily, mostly won by lay members.
"Last Sabbath the Zurich church had the joy of receiving thirty people through baptism as the first result of an evangelistic effort held by Brother Schmid and his fellow workers. In other places prospects are gratifying also:
"The workers' meeting held with our Austrian brethren was a blessed occasion indeed. It was our first contact with all the union workers. The evangelistic work meets with hardship in Austria, but our brethren there are of good cheer, and are trusting the Lord for success.
"News from countries east and north of Austria is rare, but we trust that behind apparent silence glorious victories are being won. Once in a while we have word from one of our evangelists in Czechoslovakia.
"Next week, God willing, we shall be in Paris for the annual meeting. The Lord has richly blessed the evangelistic efforts in this great city. The church there now has more than five hundred members. A former Anglican chapel has just been secured.
"In North Africa, the Indian Ocean, Spain, and Portugal the predominant feature is evangelistic work. We pray that the Lord may bless each one of His workers with success and give them all joy in laboring for Him."
Institutes in Northern Europe
NETHERLANDS.—From May 31 to June 2 all the workers in the Netherland Union were gathered together for a workers' meeting in the Dutch school in Zandbergen. Under the leadership of F. J. Voorthuis, union president, we spent three full days together, studying and discussing many features of the evangelistic and pastoral work. W. E. Read, from the General Conference, gave us some interesting and thought-provoking Bible studies; and many of the workers expressed their opinion that this meeting was one of the best they had attended.
How to win more souls in conservative, Calvinistic Holland, and how to approach its more than four million Catholics with the everlasting gospel, were the main subjects of this meeting. About twenty-five workers were present, and a great majority of these will go out in direct evangelistic work this coming season. Some of our ministers in Holland are able to gather and hold large congregations. In Rotterdam and Amsterdam up to one thousand people attended the public meetings last winter, and by May of this year sixty people in these two towns were baptized.
POLAND.—It was a thrilling experience for me to visit Poland again after two years of absence. In spite of all the hindrances of getting a visa, I finally succeeded in entering, and spent twenty days there. Members and workers were happy for a visitor from outside. The time I spent in Poland attending two annual meetings and visiting several churches was in many ways a touching experience, not soon to be forgotten. The week before my arrival all the workers had bee'n together at a workers' institute in Krakow. J. Skrzypaczek, the union secretary, writes the following greetings from this meeting:
"The motto for our workers' meeting was John Is :16 : 'That Ye Should Go and Bring Forth Fruit, and That Your Fruit Should Remain.' F. Stekla, the union president, was in charge of the meeting ; and all workers from the union, including thirteen young people who graduated from the school this year, were present. The older workers took their part in the meeting and had prepared papers, which were presented and discussed. Much time and attention were devoted to the discussion of our evangelistic work in Poland. All workers attending the meeting, including those engaged in office or administrative work, promised to devote more time than ever before in direct soul-winning endeavor, and to do a better work for the Master.
"We are very thankful to the Lord for this institute, because we all felt the presence of His Spirit and its working in our hearts. We are also very grateful-for the thirteen new members that have been added to the worker group here in Poland as the first fruits from our school after the war. All the workers in the Polish Union convey their hearty greetings to the brethren in the division and in the General Conference."
As I met the workers at the annual meetings I found them all of good courage, with a firm resolution to use the liberty that they now have in Poland for an intense proclamation of the message among the twenty million Poles.
NORWAY, DENMARK, FINLAND.—Nationwide workers' meetings were held in three of the Scandinavian countries during August and September. H. M. Blunden and J. E. Edwards, from the General Conference, attended some of these meetings and the lay preachers' convention held in connection with them. After much prayer we planned for all these conventions, believing that they would bring a new impulse and inspiration to workers and lay members to work more devotedly and energetically for lost souls while the day lasts.
AXEL VARMER. [Ministerial Association Secretary, Northern European Division.]
Advance Moves for B.I.'s in Britain
We have been doing all that we possibly could to raise the status of our Bible instructors and bring to them the measure of encouragement and recognition we believe the important nature of their work deserves. For one thing, we have made it possible for all our Bible instructors in this union to be enrolled in the Bible correspondence course now offered by the Home Study Institute, based on Miss Kleuser's excellent treatise The Bible Instructor.
And now we have been 'able to take a forward-looking step in the matter of administration in our local fields. Bible instructors have been elected to the 'local executive committees of our two larger conferences, North and South England, and in our two Irish missions.
I do believe that the placing of these Bible instructors on our executive committees will be a source of real encouragement to the Bible instructors throughout the whole of this union. It is a progressive move when we think of the planning of evangelism by the local committees and the place the Bible instructor fills in the program of evangelism. We will be interested to know whether a similar step has been taken in any other of the fields.
We have had excellent meetings throughout the union, and some of the evangelistic symposiums and workers' meetings in which I was able to assist were a source of real blessing and strength to the fields concerned.
G. D. KING. [Ministerial Association Secretary, British Union Conference.]
The association work in the Southern Asia Division is progressing very encouragingly. Several ministerial institutes have been held thus far this year, and several more will be held before the year closes. The division committee is in session now, and I have been asked to go to Assam, Pakistan, and Western India to conduct ministerial institutes. We sincerely hope that these will be a real success.
A. E. RAWSON. [Ministerial Association Secretary, Southern Asia Division.]