A few weeks ago a Seventh-day Adventist man past middle age who was visiting Florida was taken to a hospital suffering from a severe heart attack. The doctor who examined him gave no hope. But the nurse on duty observed SDA on his admission slip and determined to get the local pastor in that city to come and pray for him. She was a new resident in Florida, and knew no Adventist there. On returning to her home in a town some twelve miles distant, all local inquiries having proved fruitless, she made several long-distance calls in her efforts to find the local pastor. It was at a cost of over six dollars to her personally that she finally reached the right man. He visited and prayed with the dying man. The sequel of the story is gratifying: the man recovered in response to prayer and good medical and nursing care, and has now returned to his family.
The question arises, however, Why should it have been so difficult and expensive for this nurse to perform this errand of mercy? There was nobody to underwrite her efforts; she did it because she felt it was her Christian duty. Most people faced with such obstacles as she encountered would have given up without accomplishing the objective.
Why must it be so difficult for a stranger in need of a Seventh-day Adventist pastor to find one? The stranger may not know the pastor's name or address, or even the address of the local church. Should not adequate information be listed in every telephone directory under Seventh-day Adventists? Local inquiries frequently fail of results, even if made of businessmen living near the pastor's residence or the church itself. These persons may be either uninformed or, in some instances, for reasons of their own, satisfied to withhold information. A double listing in the telephone directory can solve such problems—one listing for the church and the other for the Seventh-day Adventist pastor. It could save a life. That life might be your own.