Foreign-Language Workers' Convention

Foreign-Language Workers' Convention

Conference held in Battle Creek, Michigan, August 10-13, 1964.

Vice-President, North American Division

The foreign-language workers of the North American Division, some 300 delegates and their wives from all sections of the United States and Canada, met in historic Battle Creek, Michigan, from Au­gust 10-13, 1964. Host to the gath­ering was the commodious Bat­tle Creek Seventh-day Adventist church located on the site for­merly occupied by the famous Dime Tabernacle of pioneer days.

The historic setting impressed those in attendance with the faith and courage of the pioneers as they struggled to develop a strong medical, pub­lishing, and educational work in Battle Creek. These lessons of early denomina­tional perseverance and faith were espe­cially helpful to language workers coping with similar problems today. As a result, torches of zeal and determination were re­lighted by those in attendance as various speakers recalled providential leadings of God's grace in our past history.

Authorized by the General Conference Committee for the purpose of revitalizing methods of winning foreign-language­speaking people to God's truth, the meet­ing encompassed a comprehensive agenda, dealing with all phases of ministry for the foreign born. It was a thrilling sight to see assembled in one place Seventh-day Adventist ministers representing the lan­guages used by the church in North Amer­ica, namely: Armenian, Chinese, Czecho­slovakian, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Fili­pino, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Polish, Portu­guese, Rumanian, Russian, Spanish, Swed­ish, Ukrainian, Jewish, and Yugoslavian.

As these earnest workers recounted their blessings, hardships, and victories, we could envision the purpose of God in beginning a work for foreigners in North America. Truly, the 189 foreign - language churches and 11,500 members represent the tre­mendous potential in the 28 mil­lion foreign-speaking population of the United States and Canada. Reaching these heterogeneous peo­ples is our responsibility, and we cannot shrug it off as unimportant or belonging to someone else. Great issues depend upon the faithfulness with which we address ourselves to the task. Our work at home and overseas stands to gain if we diligently do our duty for the strangers in our midst. This God has made unequivocally clear.

We deeply appreciated the excellent help assigned to the meeting from the Gen­eral Conference, the union and local con­ferences, and the publishing house staffs. These men of experience rendered invalu­able service with their counsel and instruc­tion. As a part of God's great family, and as members of the various conferences to which they belong, the assembled dele­gates saw in clear perspective their privi­leges, responsibilities, and possibilities in working for their kinsmen.

It was a moving and poignant experience to watch these earnest workers linking hands in the closing meeting and renewing their loyalty to Christ, the remnant church, and to one another. I do not recall witness­ing another meeting where the Spirit of God was so manifest. We believe that as this consecration is maintained we shall, in the days ahead, even as at Pentecost, witness a great ingathering of souls from the foreign-language-speaking multitudes of North America. In this great task we solicit the prayers and support of our fellow believers.

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Vice-President, North American Division

December 1964

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