The True Spirit of Medical Evangelism
CARL SUNDIN: General Conference Medical Extension Secretary
many reports come to my desk of good that our physicians are doing in small communities throughout the States. Sometimes the question is raised whether the College of Medical Evangelists is imbuing its students with the true spirit of medical evangelism. Do the graduates of today have the same spirit of service for mankind and for God that was the case when the medical college was established?
It is heartwarming when the testimony of a person who has benefited from the ministry of one of these men, without knowing the objectives of the college, cogently points out just such a spirit. Let me quote from an article printed in the local newspaper by a grateful patient, a member of the Catholic Church. The men referred to are Doctors Wendell Ford, "47, and Gilbert R. Christenson, '48, C.M.E. graduates, located at Hemingford, Nebraska.
"One of the things I admire most about our very busy doctors is the kind, unhurried way they have with their patients. Each patient's case is of vital importance to both Hemingford doctors, and there is always time to talk about it and take care of it.
"These doctors are very thorough in their examinations and listen carefully to every complaint and symptom. So often it is very necessary to relieve the mind of fears by talking to someone, and who is better fitted to listen understandingly than doctors who really care about their patients?
"A Hemingford clinic doctor never makes one feel that his fears are trivial. His very attitude has a good therapeutic effect, and many who have been physically ill and mentally burdened have found the cure here for both.
"Nurses at the hospital where our Hemingford doctors care for their bedfast patients say, 'What a pity they are wasting their time on a general practice they could become famous as specialists in their chosen field.'
"But the very things that are making them wonderful physicians and surgeons are the facts that they are working in a small town like Hemingford, that they never turn down a person who needs medical care even though it may be their Sabbath, and they are real Christian gentlemen, who love the common people and believe in them."
These men are truly laboring in the spirit of the Lord's commission. We are told: "He called His disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure dis eases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick."
Health Evangelism in Sydney
E. W. HON: Director, Social Service Centre, Sydney, Australia
Day by day health evangelism is beginning to take a more important part in the work of helping to spread the gospel in various parts of the Greater Sydney Conference. The Social Service Centre as part of its activities has the responsibility of promoting the health work throughout the conference.
Eighteen months ago our workers in Drummoyne set the pattern for the type of health work which was to be promoted in Ryde, Rock- dale, and Wollongong and in the new Drummoyne church.
In addition to cooking demonstrations, the health evangelistic program included talks by a doctor and a dietitian and a short course in simple home treatments. The cookery demonstrations were conducted by a fully trained sanitarium nurse and a home cook. Opportunity was improved on each occasion to give constructive health instruction and then intro duce at the appropriate time our health magazines, books, and other literature that would help to awaken spiritual interest.
The health work has proved that it is an effective force in pioneering the message, pre paring the way, breaking down prejudice, and opening doors for Bible study. It truly is the right arm of the message. Each of the evangelists who included it in his evangelistic program last year has spoken in the highest terms of its possibilities and the strong support it has been to his work. Entrance was gained to many homes that would not otherwise have been entered.
The health work has helped to create confidence in the hearts and minds of those who have seen the logic and the soundness of our health principles. How true is this statement:
"A demonstration of the principles of health reform will do much toward removing prejudice against our evangelical work. The Great Physician, the originator of medical missionary work, will bless all who thus seek to impart the truth for this time." ----Counsels on Health, p. 497.
Department Store Demonstrations
For further extending the health evangelistic program for last year, we approached the superintendent of a large department store about demonstrating vegetarian cooking in their home-cooking center. Such approaches should be tactfully made by a worker who has a personality to meet businessmen. Permission was granted by the firm of David Jones, one of Sydney's largest stores, for us to conduct a series of cooking demonstrations in their attractive home appliance center. Being of an entirely different nature from those previously con ducted, these demonstrations created wide spread interest among not only the customers of the store but also its employees. Opportunities were given to speak to some of the staff about the activities of the church and to explain to them our objectives for the promoting of health instruction.
As a result of the work in this large department store, promises have been made to give our Social Service Centre strong support in its future plans for promoting its health program. Our experiences have clearly shown the un limited possibilities of our health work in opening the way for the spreading of the message. Connected with public evangelism, the practical work of the church will enlist the cooperation of these large city stores, and many of their customers will become interested in our special mission. Here is a plan for expanding as well as dignifying our message.