Where the Physician Fits In

It is Written and physicians.

REUBEN MATIKO, M.D

After watching an It Is Written telecast in our city an impish lad, in response to the request at the close of the program, thought he would play a practical joke. He enrolled the name of one of his buddies in Take His Word. The sister of the latter, one who had not taken much notice of the program until then, took up the studies. Today she is attending one of our colleges and this past summer she became the wife of one of our earnest ministerial students.

It was on a fall afternoon in 1959, a Tuesday I will never forget, that an air­mail special delivery letter from my  young­est brother, mailed only the day before in Washington, D.C., arrived at my home.

"Incredible," I said. "Such letters usually take three days."

And what was this? An urgent request for funds? No. It was my first introduction to It Is Written. It was a plea that I attend an It Is Written rally in Seattle the follow­ing day. I dismissed the idea as impossible, wishing I had had more notice.

But the following morning while on hos­pital rounds I received a long-distance call from Brother Don Loveridge, whom I had never met, imploring that I attend. Within three hours, after canceling my commit­ments for the day, I was off the island and south of the border, meeting with the brethren of the Washington Conference.

My heart was thrilled as the plan un­folded. The rally in the evening had me on the edge of my seat. I Was convinced that the arrival of that letter in one day was providential. I, was determined that a full effort be made to implement the program in the British Columbia Conference.

Through the medium of a re­corded tape and an It Is Written film the Seattle rally was relayed to the brethren in my own confer­ence and in turn to some of our churches. Within two years, thanks to the vision of conference admin­istrators, the program was being released on several television sta­tions and satellites, blanketing our large province with the mes­sage.

We all understand that It Is 'Written is a plan that combines mass com­munication, the Written Word, the min­ister, and the layman. But a physician may ask, "Where do I fit into the picture?" May I offer just a few suggestions?

  1. A physician should be capable of and willing to do all that most laymen are ca­pable of and willing to do. He is part and parcel of the layman team.
  2. There is no reason why a physician should not carry the cost of at least one television program a month. Many could do more.
  3. You can mail announcements of the TV program to patients, business friends, service club members, lawyers, judges, and prominent civic officials. Do not hesitate to add a handwritten note with your sig­nature, giving the personal touch.
  4. You can mail TV announcements with your monthly statements.
  5. Keep announcements on your desk. Give your patients a personal invitation.
  6. A professionally done, hand-painted, eye-catching poster, preferably with a large picture of the speaker, is a must for every waiting room in areas where the telecast is carried. A similar poster can be used to announce the reaping meetings.
  7. Explore the possibility of billboard advertising in your area. Do not hesitate to share in or take care of the cost.
  8. You may own a piece of real estate in the community, perhaps a commercial building. A portion of the wall can be used effectively for advertising. This type of advertising must be dignified.
  9. Attendance at meetings is imperative. Do not be conspicuous by your absence.
  10. Volunteer to assist at meetings. Do not feel it beneath your dignity to welcome people at the door. Patients and friends you have greeted at the door will feel more at ease and be more receptive to the mes­sage.
  11. Assist in the presentation of the health message in the follow-up meetings.
  12. Assist in the cooking school program.
  13. Pray for the success of the entire ven­ture.

If these simple suggestions are followed, you will find the results most gratifying. On the night of the first reaping meeting in our city I was able to shake Elder Vande­man's hand and announce to him that some seventy of our patients were present at the meeting, not to mention the number of friends they brought with them.

And the fruit does not end with the early reaping meetings. Souls keep coming in months and years later. Just last Sabbath one of the It Is Written contacts of two years ago came forward and requested bap­tism. I am looking forward to the day when thousands will step out and choose to be numbered with God's remnant peo­ple as a result of this magnificent plan.

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REUBEN MATIKO, M.D

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