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General Conference Bulletin, vol. 1

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    S. M. BAKER

    DR. KELLOGG, being away from the city, arranged that the hour should be occupied by a number of those who had been engaged in the Christian Help work. Only a synopsis of their remarks is given.

    Spoke in substance as follows: Two years ago a company of about fifty nurses began Christian Help work in this city. We found as we went from house to house that the needs which presented themselves, were, the sick to be cared for, the poor needing food and clothing, and as we cared for the sick and furnished food and clothing, we enjoyed a blessing that we had never realized before.GCB February 6, 1895, page 20.4

    But as we continued in the work, we soon found that the people were coming to depend upon us. We left them no better able to care for themselves than they were in the first place. We found that if we did them permanent good, we must educate them. And so the work has become an educating work. A course of instruction was laid out by which people can be taught to relieve pain in simple cases, and save the expense of a doctor’s bill; also, healthful cookery, healthful dress, what to do in accidents and emergencies, hygiene, domestic economy, etc.GCB February 6, 1895, page 20.5

    As we educate the people in these things and they see that we have a real, kindly desire to help them, their hearts are prepared to receive the greater truths of the gospel. It has been said that kindness will open hearts that “ology” cannot reach.GCB February 6, 1895, page 20.6

    Many do not realize in what ignorance the children of the very poor are growing up. They are hungering for kindness, and their characters are being dwarfed and warped for the want of the broadening influence of a proper education. The Christian Help work seeks to provide instruction for them in which are taught thoroughly all branches of housework and sewing, at the same time building up their characters. We also form them into little societies in which are taught humane principles, as kindness to animals, and lessons given in physiology and hygiene, temperance principles, purity, manliness, nature, by a study of which their thoughts are lead through the works of the Creator to the Creator himself. These schools and societies have been started in different places with the most encouraging results.GCB February 6, 1895, page 20.7

    Until we get out among the poor, we have little conception of the hardships of children, and how they can be saved from the reform school and penitentiary, and be made useful and Christian men and women, by the education which we can give them.GCB February 6, 1895, page 21.1

    It is also a part of the work to hold parents’ meetings, teaching them their duty to their children, and inspiring in them love and kindness, where only harshness was known before.GCB February 6, 1895, page 21.2

    The questions before us to-day are not, Where is there a field of work? how shall we begin? what can we do? but, where are the workers? The children especially are needing us. Are we ready to sacrifice personal interests that we may carry the gospel to them?GCB February 6, 1895, page 21.3

    D. H. KRESS

    Our work is to help people where they most need help. There are plenty about us who are suffering — some with poverty, some with disease, some with heartache and despondency. Our work is first to help their present necessity. Then we can inquire into the cause of their trouble, and try to remove the cause. There is a cause for poverty. It may be due to poor management. If so, a word of advice would be more valuable to them than anything else we could give them. All sickness is due to violation of nature’s laws. So in visiting the sick, we should first relieve the present suffering, then inquire into the cause of the disease, and make nature’s laws plain, and urge obedience to them.GCB February 6, 1895, page 21.4

    I was engaged in this work in Chicago three months, and met with a great many interesting cases. I will speak of one man who was about as hopeless looking a case as I ever saw. He lifted his hands as I went near him, and said, “I am unclean; do n’t come near me!” I told him we had come to help him; that we appreciated his condition; and finally he allowed us to take him to our bath room, and give him a cleaning up. He was a hard drinker and smoker. But we had not done much for him before he became anxious to reform. He wanted to go to the Home for Inebriates. I gave him an order to the president; and he made the application; but soon returned with the order. The president of the Home had written upon the back of it that the case was hopeless and could not be admitted. but I continued to do what I could to help and encourage him. I found he was a man of education, and a Catholic. He gave up drink, and soon after wanted to quit smoking. He gave me his pipe and tobacco. I told him the Lord had helped him to give up drink, and would help him to give up this habit also. He was so addicted to the habit of smoking that he would wake up in the night and smoke. After this, he would wake up in the night, and his hands would instinctively reach out after his pipe; but instead of smoking, he would thank God for deliverance from the habit.GCB February 6, 1895, page 21.5

    One day I received a note from him, saying that he had read in the Bible that if a man kept the whole law and yet offended in one point, he was guilty of all; and he thought he ought to keep the Sabbath. I had not said anything to him about the Sabbath. The very first money he earned, he bought a pair of shoes for a man who was in a similar condition to that he had been in. He himself did not have respectable clothing; but he was thinking about others. I might mention many other cases equally interesting. We find great satisfaction in doing this work. Nothing has given me greater joy.GCB February 6, 1895, page 21.6


    I am certainly very glad to have the privilege of speaking in behalf of this kind of work. When we started in with this work in Chicago, there were three of us, two lady nurses and myself. We started the work in a basement on Van Buren Street under the custom house. We had nothing with which to advertise the work; it had to advertise itself. The first work I did was to go out and gather up little orphans on the streets, boot-blacks, and newsboys. Almost the first case I found was a poor little fellow on Pacific Avenue. He was sitting down weeping. I went up to him and began to talk to him; but he would not listen to me at first. I sat down by him and began to talk to him about his work. He was a newsboy, and told me that the older newsboys had taken away his money; and he could not buy any more papers. I asked him to take me to his home. He consented, and we went down along by those shabby places on Pacific Avenue, and we finally reached a tenement house, and he led me to an old garret, and in a little room about ten feet square, I found where he stayed, and there was his mother lying sick. They had not a penny or scarcely anything else. I conversed with the mother, and learned that she was a praying woman. In answer to her prayers her boy had been kept from many of the evils into which other boys had fallen. It brought to my mind the text, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and he will not depart from it.” I bought the boy some papers; started him out, and told him to report to me each day. In less than a month he was earning enough to support his mother.GCB February 6, 1895, page 21.7

    One thing I learned about this kind of work is that indiscriminate giving is a very unwise thing. Some people think that giving when they are called upon is all that is necessary. One should find out the necessities of the case and act accordingly. The important thing is to really find out the needs of the people. We often mention the case of Job. He said, “The cause which I knew not I searched out.” “I put on righteousness.” I am sure that when we do this, we will search out the cause of the poor as did Job.GCB February 6, 1895, page 22.1


    When I began this kind of work, I did not know what to do first. It seemed that I could not do anything. There was so much to be done and so few to do it that it seemed almost hopeless to begin. But as we got started we found so many homes right in sight that needed our help we felt encouraged to go on. We visited the homes of the poor people, giving them needed help and attention and soon many of them came to us. Many of them were in a worse condition than I can describe to you. One day I went with a nurse to an old tenement house. We found the halls and stairs just crowded with the poor creatures. They gathered around us, men, women, and children, and some of them looked even dangerous; it seemed as if we might be injured; but we felt that if the Lord had sent us there, he would protect us, and so we trusted in him. We had fairly to elbow our way through. Finally reaching the fourth floor, we found in a little room an old man, lying sick on some straw. We did what we could to help him. He was a cripple and so was his wife. She was with him, but was not able to do much to help him. As the nurse straightened up the things in the room, she gave the woman some helpful suggestions as to how to do her work, and how to care for themselves.GCB February 6, 1895, page 22.2

    When we were ready to come away, they seemed so grateful, and their hearts seemed so touched, that we offered to have a season of prayer. As we offered prayer, they both broke down and wept. They said it was years since they had had such an occasion as that. We cannot do this way at first in every home, but we work along, helping the people, and as an opportunity presents itself, we pray with them, and many of them seem to appreciate it very much. There seems to be a new life for them; and they begin to look at life in a different way. One poor woman broke down crying, and said, “I have not had any one talk so to me in years.” Not all that we work for appreciate it; but the seed is sown, and we leave it with the Lord; and we know that he will bless the effort put forth to raise the fallen in Chicago.GCB February 6, 1895, page 22.3

    G. A. DOW

    I understand the object in this work is to work to help the people. If a man should come to me and say, “I am very hungry; would you not be so kind as to give me fifteen cents to get something to eat?” would I not give it to him if I really loved him? How many would? Well, I think the best way would not be to give him the money. Give him something to eat. This is the way with some people; they will take out a quarter, if a person asks them for something, never stopping to think whether it will do the person good or not. A certain doctor in New York City said, “I always help a man when he needs help.” A man came to him for help; he said, “Certainly, certainly! I see you are a drinking man. Here is a quarter. I know you will spend it for drink. Take this and spend it, and then do n’t drink any more.” This is the kind of work ordinarily spoken of as “Christian Help Work.” It is like helping a man who is slipping down hill, and has got caught. You let him loose so he slips farther down.GCB February 6, 1895, page 22.4

    The one thing that has been taught me in this work is that the Lord wants my life, my character, more than he wants my money. When a man comes to me and says, “Give me a coat,” the Lord wants me to go and search out that case. It will be an experience that will be a valuable one.GCB February 6, 1895, page 22.5

    Once in New York City, a waiter came to me; he said he was a waiter, and that if he could only get a coat he would be all right. I had a very important matter in hand, and did not want to take the time to investigate the case to see if the man was really telling the truth. So I undertook to get the coat. I hunted around nearly three-quarters of an hour before I got the coat, and I asked him if there was anything more I could do for him. He said, “No:” and went on his way rejoicing. And in a very short time he had pawned the coat for money, and spent it for liquor. My time was gone. The most valuable thing we have is our time. I had lost my time, my coat, and my man. It would not have taken more than fifteen minutes to have found out what kind of man he was, if I had taken the time to do that instead of trying to get the coat. So when we read of laying down our lives for people, it means that we are to give our time to them; for our time is our lives. If you are willing to give your time, you will save your money, you will save yourself, and thus you will work for others.GCB February 6, 1895, page 22.6

    W. A. GEORGE

    As it is my privilege to be connected with the educational work, my thoughts naturally run in that line. So in speaking of the subject of “Christian Help Work” a few moments, I shall try to notice the connection between this work and the educational work. I remember an article that was in the Review some two years ago written by Sister White, in which it was stated that the “loud cry” had begun; and the next week, she said, “Now is the time to take up the little duties right around us.” I have thought so many times since that the “loud cry” is to go by each one of God’s people taking up the little duties right around them.GCB February 6, 1895, page 23.1

    Some things have been said about the work in the cities. This is a great work. Yet we find so many people that seem to feel that in order for them to engage in the work, they must have some important position, where they can do a great deal of good in a short time. But can they not do the little things right now? If they cannot do the little things well, how could they do a great work well? Our work should be an educational one, teaching each one to take up the little duties right near him, and in this way become educated to fill more important positions. I am glad our people are being educated to do the work right at hand.GCB February 6, 1895, page 23.2

    It has been said that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” I find in my experience in this work that when I have helped a person physically, his prejudice is gone, and he is willing to be helped in ministering to his spiritual needs.GCB February 6, 1895, page 23.3


    Many of you have been in New York City, and looked down those streets and seen the crowds and the fine buildings, and probably you thought you had seen New York City. You saw something grand on Broadway and down 5th Avenue; but if this is all you saw, you have not seen New York City. That is only a little bit of it. One single square mile in New York has 150,000 more population than the same area in London. Just think of it; this mass of humanity that generation after generation has been crowded into such a small area, filled with ignorance and vice! What is being done for them? What are our people doing for them? Thousands of them have never heard the name of Christ. The Lord has taught us as a people how to work for such. He has given us line upon line and precept upon precept. He has taught us how to help them, how to work for them.GCB February 6, 1895, page 23.4

    There are some who are working for them; not Seventh-day-Adventists. In the little medical mission in which I was working, the Lord has a people that are doing something. I have wakened at midnight and heard those people pleading with God for the poor people in New York. They are not Seventh-day Adventists, but they are doing the Lord’s work.GCB February 6, 1895, page 23.5

    If you have the spirit of the Master, you can reach down and help those people. You cannot help them unless you love them. If you love a man he will know it without your telling him. I do n’t know how it is, but he will know it, and you can help him. Unless you love the people, you cannot do anything for them. You can love them for what Christ has done for them.GCB February 6, 1895, page 23.6

    Could you witness some of the scenes that I have, it would drive sleep from your eyes; and yet how very little is being done for them! Do you feel that you can do nothing for them? If you cannot do anything else, you can pray. God hears the prayers of his people. I believe the Lord is going to do a great work in our day; so do you; but he is going to do it through men. It is going to be done by those who love the fallen, who will work in the spirit of the Master. They will carry the precious truth to others who will rejoice over it just as much as you and I rejoice over it to-day.GCB February 6, 1895, page 23.7


    We cannot all go to New York or Chicago to work, but there is work for every one to do. The work that I shall speak of was done in Ann Arbor. We went there three years ago last fall; and after looking around us, soon saw a vast amount of work to be done. We wanted to do something for the children; just how, we did not know. The Lord opened the way. A lady in the city became interested in our plans, and offered us two rooms for kindergarten for the children. We started a Sabbath school. We did not know whether it would be best for us to advertise it or let the children advertise it. We decided to let the children advertise it. So we told two little boys what we were going to do, and asked them to go and tell their playmates. The very first Sabbath we had nineteen. We did not have chairs enough for them; so we sat down on the floor. We taught them from nature, from the flowers, the trees, and tried to lead their minds up to nature’s God, telling them how he cares for them, and desires to take them at last to heaven.GCB February 6, 1895, page 23.8

    Every Sabbath we gathered these children together. The work has now been going on over two years, and the number has increased to over sixty, and an encouraging feature of it is that mostly the same children continue to attend. The work has had a most excellent influence upon the parents. it has drawn them toward us and we can not get into their homes with the truth. They tell us their children have become so good and kind at home; more obedient and helpful.GCB February 6, 1895, page 24.1

    We have also had lessons for the girls in cooking and sewing, teaching them how to cook and to sew. It is wonderful how interested they became. We had them bring materials to cook and take home with them, and they were greatly pleased.GCB February 6, 1895, page 24.2

    We hardly knew how to interest the boys. One thing we tried was a whittling class. We got a lot of knives, and had the boys whittle. They got a nice lot of shavings, and took them over to a poor widow for kindling.GCB February 6, 1895, page 24.3

    So you see little plans can be devised for helping and teaching the children, of whom Jesus said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”GCB February 6, 1895, page 24.4

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