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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    L. T. NICOLA

    We have spoken thus far of our work in the older mission fields only. No less advancement has been witnessed in those lands where pioneer missionary work is carried forward. Traveling north from Cape Town, South Africa - a distance of fifteen hundred miles, — Matabeleland is reached, the scene of one of our latest missionary ventures. The five missionaries who sailed from the United States at the close of the last General Conference, have reached their field and begun erecting buildings in which to live, in preparation for an active campaign in the near future. The natives manifest a kindly and appreciative spirit. Here, as in other places, the value of medical missionary work is being demonstrated. Hardly a month had passed before one hundred and twenty-seven callers at the mission station for relief from physical suffering, testified of the open field in Matabeleland for this class of labor. It is yet too early to predict the results of our effort in this field, but the providential care which has attended the enterprise thus far, presages most glorious results. These we confidently expect to see.GCB December 1895, page 602.1

    On the Gold Coast of West Africa, the work has moved forward but slowly, in consequence of the feeble efforts put forth, due to a lack of laborers. The one lone worker on this coast has unweariedly carried on the sale of our publications and health supplies. Five laborers are at this writing en route for that field, and before the time of the week of prayer, will have landed at Cape Coast Castle. We expect that a new impetus will be given to our work on this coast, in consequence of this augmentation of our mission force.GCB December 1895, page 602.2

    In both of these new missions in Africa, extensive investments must soon be made, would our work be placed upon a basis paramount to its importance and urgency. Schools must be established, and translations made into the native tongues. Hospitals must be erected for the treatment of the sick, churches must be built, and houses for missionaries must be provided. All this will require much labor and the expenditure of considerable money.GCB December 1895, page 602.3

    In China, our ship missionary has been doing good work in distributing the printed page. Several conversions have occurred in consequence of the work done.GCB December 1895, page 602.4

    In India, four brethren and one sister have been employed in the sale of publications, and one sister has been engaged in the study of the Bengali language, preparatory to mission work in the near future. A minister and his wife, with an additional Bible worker, have recently sailed for Calcutta. It is expected that one or more physicians will follow in the near future to engage in medical missionary work. Many interesting experiences are related by our workers in this great country, showing that the Indian people are susceptible to the truth, and that aggressive work in that field will be productive of rich returns. Several have already begun the observance of the Sabbath through the influence of association with our workers.GCB December 1895, page 602.5

    Our work in Central America has also shown an encouraging increase. Our force of workers has been supplemented by three additions, and this has given a new impetus to the work. The work begun in British Honduras has grown, and now at the capital of the Colony, a nucleus for a future church has been formed. The mission school at Bonacca, has been well patronized. Our workers in this field are hampered for facilities with which to reach the coast towns and the islands. The boat in contemplation for this field, and for which money has been furnished by our Sabbath-schools, will supply an urgently-felt want.GCB December 1895, page 602.6

    The mission in Mexico has been in operation nearly two years. It began with four workers - a superintendent, a doctor, a nurse, and a teacher. The medical work prospered well from the first, but was largely confined to the lower classes, and charitable in its nature. A demand soon arising for work for a better class of patients, steps were taken to provide facilities for both pay and charitable work. The Lord has signally blessed the efforts in this direction. Some of the leading citizens of Guadalajara, who were given up by the city doctors to die, have sought and obtained relief through the methods of treatment employed at the mission rooms. While this has given to our work a standing with the better class of citizens, it has furnished occasion for much opposition from the more fanatical and from those who felt that their craft was endangered.GCB December 1895, page 603.1

    The success of the medical missionary work has demonstrated the need of a sanitarium in this country, and plans are already in progress to erect an institution of this character in the near future. It is hoped to form in connection with our mission in Mexico, a training school for the education of Spanish workers. The many encouraging features connected with our missionary efforts in Guadalajara during the past year, have demonstrated that it has enjoyed the fostering care of the great Physician, and that this method of labor should be largely employed by the denomination as work is begun in Catholic and in heathen lands.GCB December 1895, page 603.2

    The school work has gone forward very prosperously. A demand for a boarding school has sprung up, and steps are now taken for the establishment of this additional feature of the work.GCB December 1895, page 603.3

    There have been many things in connection with our work in South America which have proven that we entered that field none too soon. Open doors exist on every hand; our work in that field bids fair to prove even more prosperous than it has in the mission fields of the Old World. There is a reason for this, as the country is new, and the society more or less broken, thus making the inhabitants ready to imbibe new ideas, and take advance steps.GCB December 1895, page 603.4

    The work in Georgetown has been strengthened, and the church is to-day in a more prosperous condition than ever before. Three additions have been made to the force of laborers during the last year. The medical missionary work begun in Georgetown will prove a valuable accessory to the envangelical effort that is put forth in that Colony. Plans are now under consideration to extend the work to many of the prosperous villages along the coast.GCB December 1895, page 603.5

    In Brazil a wide influence has been exerted by the sale of our publications, and in the recent visit of one of our ordained missionaries to that field, several companies were found nearly ready for church organization. In several places an organization was effected, and a deep and growing interest was apparent on the part of many. Here was enjoyed the novel experience of affecting a church organization in the open street, for lack of suitable accommodations in any of the buildings that could be secured. With tears in their eyes the people plead for additional labor. The message will, we trust, reap a rich harvest in the French and German Colonies of Southern Brazil. Our native workers in this field have been encouraged by the addition of a young Portuguese colporteur to their ranks. He is now engaged in the dissemination of the message of truth. One minister with his family, one licentiate and his wife, and three canvassers constitute the working force of this country.GCB December 1895, page 603.6

    The work in Argentine has progressed further than the work in Brazil, in consequence of the additional help which has been rendered it. Three public laborers and two Bible workers, with several canvassers, are laboring in this Republic. Already three churches have been organized. The great interest in the German and French Colonies demands that additional laborers be soon sent to that field. Our workers have been cheered by finding a number of individuals who, without any knowledge of our work, had begun the observance of the Lord’s Sabbath through a personal study of their Bibles.GCB December 1895, page 603.7

    The interest awakened in the Chilean field by the sale of our publications, occasioned the sending of a missionary and his wife to that country several months ago. Work will be begun in Valparaiso, and prosecuted as opening providences may direct. Our agents have had excellent success in the sale of our literature. Bogota, United States of Columbia, has but one worker, a brother who is laboring as a self-supporting missionary, perfecting his knowledge of Spanish, and doing what he can to advance the interests of the truth. There is a growing demand for additional assistance to be sent to that field.GCB December 1895, page 603.8

    Our island work was never so prosperous as at the present time. Our missionary boat has just completed its fourth cruise among the islands of Polynesia. During its last trip laborers were left at Pitcairn Island, where three buildings have been erected for school purposes; in the school work the boarding house, or home plan, is followed. The purpose of this school is to educate workers for other islands of the South Pacific. Our forces of laborers at Tahiti and at Raratonga, were strengthened by several additions. Work for the first time was begun in the Fiji group, and on the island of Tongatabu. In all of these islands, evidences are seen that the Lord is working, and though the work may be moving but slowly, it is certainly taking firm hold of the affections of the people.GCB December 1895, page 603.9

    In the West Indies, a laborer has been found for the Windward and Leeward Islands, which have so long been calling for help. A laborer has likewise been sent to the island of Trinidad to carry forward the work begun there one year ago. Some thirty or forty Sabbath-keepers were found as a result of previous labor, holding up the light of truth. These will soon be formed into a church organization.GCB December 1895, page 604.1

    Several additional laborers have been sent to Jamaica during the past summer, but these are not sufficient to fill the constantly growing openings in that field. The number of believers amounts to upwards of one hundred, and additions are constantly being made.GCB December 1895, page 604.2

    One canvasser is laboring in the Bahama group with excellent success. Many openings for personal work occur, and a call for the living preacher is heard from many directions.GCB December 1895, page 604.3

    One year ago the work in Newfoundland was but barely begun by two brethren sent to that field to engage in the sale of our publications. Through the interest thus awakened, a minister and his wife were sent to that island during the past summer. Several have since taken their stand with those already obeying the truth in the capital of the island, and a deep agitation exists there over the subjects that have been presented. According to the indications, the truth will soon be placed upon a substantial basis.GCB December 1895, page 604.4

    Thus, to whatever field we turn, where we have begun missionary operations, we can see the hand of the Lord leading in the work. The last year has been in many respects the most successful one in the history of our missionary operations. Our work today has truly reached a most encouraging stage. And it has also reached a critical point in its history. The crisis is not in the question of its success. It has long ago passed the experimental stage. But the great question that confronts us to-day is, whether as a church, we shall be prepared to fill God’s opening providences that we see presented before us. God, it is true, has accomplished a mighty work, but there is still a great work to be done. The world has been encircled by the rays of light from the message for to-day, but there are many hedges yet to be made up, many openings to be filled in.GCB December 1895, page 604.5

    We rejoice that we see a score of workers in the South American continent, but what are a score for the 30,000,000 of people in that field to whom the message for this time must be given? Hundreds of openings are still unfilled. We rejoice that in India several workers have been laboring during the last one or two years, but what are five workers to the 280,000,000 of people in that field? And when we go a little farther east, we find the great empires of Japan with its 40,000,000 of people, and China with its population of 400,000,000 of souls, without a single laborer who can speak the native languages. But some may say, “The work is the Lord’s, and he will carry it forward.” That is true, but God works through agencies, and he has chosen the human agent through whom to demonstrate to lost humanity the power of his saving grace. To his people God has committed the dispensation of the truth, and he requires them so to cooperate with him in the work of salvation, that they may be used as instruments through which his grace may freely flow out to a lost world.GCB December 1895, page 604.6

    The needs of the work to-day are twofold in character, — consecrated men and consecrated means. Young men and women are wanted who are willing to consecrate themselves to God for life or death, for labor in the regions beyond. Those are wanted who are afraid of naught but sin; who are willing to spend and be spent for the Master, and in the power promised in the great commission, go to earth’s remotest bounds, to carry the message of salvation to a dying world.GCB December 1895, page 604.7

    But there are many who cannot go, whose age, or peculiar environment, demand that they remain at home. To such God gives the precious privilege of giving an equivalent of their lives, even their means, to send in their stead.GCB December 1895, page 604.8

    Our work must enter such countries as China and Japan, to which we have not yet sent a single laborer. Our work in India must be placed upon a substantial basis. The work in Mexico must be extended. In South America large additions must be made to our working force, and investments made in several ways for the extension of the truth; and in older mission fields, assistance must be rendered in establishing new institutions, and in the prosecution of the work in its every phase. All of this will require means, and to the people of God is given the gracious privilege of supplying the lack. In this way, every soul, whether rich or poor, may become in some degree a laborer with God. The man who gives of his means to extend the work of God, is, in God’s sight, accomplishing as acceptable a work as though he gave himself to act as the lightbearer. “Gather my saints together,” says the Lord, “those that have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” It is those who, in giving themselves, have placed all upon God’s altar, who will share in the final triumph of the everlasting Gospel. F.M. WILCOX.GCB December 1895, page 604.9

    NOTE. — The use of a wall map or atlas will be found serviceable in locating the mission fields described in the above reading. The maps contained in a small school geography will answer the purpose if nothing better is at hand. The various fields given should be pointed out by the leader as the reading progresses.GCB December 1895, page 605.1

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