Prominent in the program of the foreign-language workers' meeting in Battle Creek, August 10-13, were the meetings of the various ethnic groups, classified by languages, who met to consider the progress of the past and to study how plans and methods for the future could be improved. There were twenty of these groups, and they ranged in number of participants from one worker, as in the Filipino and Chinese, to several score, as in the Spanish. The discussions in these groups were generally lively, relevant, and constructive. In the group organization each had its chairman and secretary, and all groups were encouraged to develop statements or resolutions that would summarize their convictions arising out of the discussions and would set forth plans to push the work forward.
Serving the meeting as a whole was a committee on resolutions, which received all the reports from the various groups. Upon examination, these resolutions were found to cover a wide range of interests, so much so that to report them all in their original form might require a whole issue of the MINISTRY. After careful study it was seen that there was quite a little duplication, or at least similarity, in the recommendations coming from several of the groups. For example, the preparation of new or revised Bible correspondence courses was mentioned as a need by more than one of the foreign-language study groups.
The committee on resolutions therefore decided to analyze all the resolutions and to arrange them in categories, classifying them according to the purpose of the resolution and the action called for. The report of this committee is being sent through the North American Missions Committee to the General Conference officers, who will guide in referring the resolutions to the organizations concerned or in taking other appropriate action. Those actions having to do with literature would naturally be referred to the Pacific Press Publishing Association, which does the printing in North America in the foreign langauges. Those relating to Bible courses could be referred to the Voice of Prophecy or Faith for Today; and so with all the resolutions.
It might be noted that there were some recommendations sent to the committee on resolutions that were of a nature that did not fit into any of the general classes. These had to do with specific projects, or called for the employment of workers under conditions that would require administrative action by a committee or board, such as a local or union conference committee. It is evident that all that could be done with this type of request would be to bring it to the attention of the organization concerned for study as to its value and feasibility.
In its report, which is too extensive to be published fully here, the committee on resolutions has worked out the following arrangement of the resolutions and recommendations:
- A resolution of appreciation and dedication.
- A recommendation that in our educational institutions foreign-language study be stressed so as to develop an interest in, and points of contact with, peoples of various cultures, and to prepare workers in the various languages.
- A recommendation for greater mobilization and utilization of the soul-saving potential of our members among the foreign-language population.
- Recommendations that in the local conferences the various departments take care to carry the training and activity features into all the foreign - language churches; further, that Bible school interests referred to the conferences be followed up diligently, and the results be reported faithfully.
- Recommendations that branch Sabbath schools and Vacation Bible Schools be held wherever possible for children and adults from foreign-language homes; also that Sabbath school lessons in the foreign languages be prepared in complete form.
- A recommendation concerning materials for the Five-Day Plan to be made available in several languages.
- A list of recommendations and requests for additional or revised literature items in various languages. The list is long, covering three pages, and lists twenty-nine items; also there is another list of requests for publication of Spirit of Prophecy items, thirteen in all, in various languages.
- A group of recommendations relating to radio broadcasts, Bible courses, recordings of songs, and methods of publicizing these activities.
The adoption of the resolutions above, we ardently hope, will result in a forward movement in the foreign-language field, the acquiring and use of new tools, the awakening of new interests among those in our population whose language is not English. Is it not the spirit of the gospel commission that we go and make disciples of all nations, and that in every nation no minority group be passed by?