What About the Little Villages?

THERE are many little villages around the world, and Holland is not without its share. What about the message of the three angels in relation to the people of these tiny spots on the map comprising the lowlands and islands of Holland?

-Lay Activities Secretary, South Netherlands Conference, at the time this article was written

THERE are many little villages around the world, and Holland is not without its share. What about the message of the three angels in relation to the people of these tiny spots on the map comprising the lowlands and islands of Holland?

There are some twenty literature evangelists who are faithfully carrying this message by way of the printed page, and who enroll as many as possible in the Bible correspondence course. Then, too, every Sunday The Voice of Hope can be heard. But is that enough?

This is a question a Seventh-day Adventist minister cannot escape, and thus it led me to some serious thinking, resulting in a plan that has proved very helpful.

The Plan

It was decided to go into these villages with the help of a sound installation composed of a 30-watt amplifier, a loud-speaker on the roof of the car, and a tape recorder.

Because we felt the need of giving the people something tangible to give direction to their lives we began publishing the Houvast, a special evangelistic paper that now appears ten times a year. The word houvast means "something to hold onto, a handhold." Today Houvast is the periodical of the lay activities department in Holland, and the members of the church are taking extra copies to give to their friends and neighbors.

With the help of another minister or two, we drive every Monday to a village where with the permission of the mayor we amplify gospel music along the streets while working from house to house. We leave free tracts and folders of the Voice of Prophecy and The Voice of Hope, and try to interest people in the Gift Bible Plan. We also sell the Houvast and other magazines. In April, 1971, the Dutch edition of These Times featured the book of Daniel, and this year we will publish the Revelation special. We are happy to have these specially written messages to use with Houvast.

Let the People Know!

The purpose of this kind of evangelism is to let the people know that there is a Seventh-day Adventist Church in Holland. Most people here are unaware of the existence of our church. They do not know the message for these last days. We have many churches in Holland, some thirty different churches of the Reformation, the Roman Catholic church, the Baptists, and also such American religious movements as the Jehovah's Witnesses, the Mormons, the different Pentecostal and Full Gospel movements. As far as Seventh-day Adventists are concerned, we are often thought of as just another unusual American religious body. And this is understandable, because after World War II a lot of Americans went to Holland. What the people don't know is that Adventism came to Holland at the end of the nineteenth century.

Our task is to show them that Adventism is not just an American sect but God's way of salvation for all mankind in these last days of earth's history. In our literature we declare that Adventism has the answers to the problems we face today. We published a special folder that speaks of the medical-mission program of the church and tells about the work of SAWS. It also explains our fundamental beliefs, with emphasis on the second coming of Christ.

Although our weekly village evangelism does not bring immediate results, we think it is fulfilling a real need, as are the large evangelistic efforts held in the large cities of Holland.

We return home after a day's work with a feeling of deep satisfaction. In every village home we have left something that may influence the residents to alter their thoughts about Adventism, and lead them to the Bible and to Jesus Christ.

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-Lay Activities Secretary, South Netherlands Conference, at the time this article was written

June 1972

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