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    December 15, 1903

    A Fruitful Missionary Field


    “They that turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars forever and ever.”SW December 15, 1903, par. 1

    I have an intense interest in all that concerns the welfare of the Southern work. When a difficult field is presented before me as a field that must be worked, I understand that I must make this field my special burden, until, before the earnest, continuous efforts put forth, the difficulties disappear, and the work is established.SW December 15, 1903, par. 2

    The Southern field, with its encouraging and discouraging features, has been kept before me for many years.SW December 15, 1903, par. 3

    The workers in the South have had to struggle long against obstacles that have hindered their progress. It is God's help alone that has enabled them to move forward in the face of difficulties which at times have threatened to overcome them. If all in our ranks knew how difficult it has been to establish the work in places which have since become important centers, they would realize that it takes courage to face an unpromising situation, and to declare, with hands uplifted to heaven, We will not fail nor become discouraged. Those who have not broken the ground in fields that have never before been worked, can not understand the difficulties of pioneer work. If they could understand God's working, they would not only rejoice because of what has been done, but would see cause for rejoicing in the future of the work.SW December 15, 1903, par. 4

    My brethren in the South, there is no reason for discouragement. The good seed is being sown. God will watch over it, causing it to spring up and bring forth an abundant harvest. Remember that many of the enterprises for soul-saving which have proved so successful, have, at the beginning, been carried forward amidst great difficulty.SW December 15, 1903, par. 5

    I am instructed to say to you, Move guardedly, doing always that which the Lord commands. Move forward courageously, assured that the Lord will be with those who love and serve him. He will work in behalf of his afflicted people. He will not suffer them to become a reproach. He will purify all who yield themselves to him, and will make them a praise in the earth. Nothing in this world is so dear to God as his church. He will work with mighty power through humble, faithful men.SW December 15, 1903, par. 6

    The message of Christ's soon coming is to be given to all the nations of the earth. Vigilant, untiring effort is required to overcome the forces of the enemy. Our part is not to sit and weep and wring our hands, but to arise and work for time and for eternity.SW December 15, 1903, par. 7

    It was in accordance with God's purpose that the publishing work was started at Nashville. In the Southern field there is need of a printing office for the publication of the truth for this time, and especially for printing reading-matter suitable for the different classes of people in this field. And there is no city in the South better suited than Nashville for the carrying forward of the publishing work. The establishing of such an institution is an advance movement. If rightly managed, this institution will give character to the work in the South, and to many souls will be the means of imparting a knowledge of the truth. The Nashville publishing house will still need to be assisted for a time by gifts and offerings.SW December 15, 1903, par. 8

    Those who have never borne the burdens connected with the successful building up of publishing enterprises can comprehend comparatively little of the perplexities and necessities of this work. Men are few who have the adaptability for this work that would make their efforts successful. The work needs men who are willing to begin small, yet who are broad and liberal in their plans.SW December 15, 1903, par. 9

    The work in Nashville is important. If the workers labor earnestly and judiciously, there will be conversions to the truth in the schools of learning that have been established in Nashville for the colored people. Let every worker be sure that he has on the gospel shoes, that his feet are shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.SW December 15, 1903, par. 10

    Light will shine upon the workers in Nashville. From this center light will shine forth in the ministry of the word, in the publication of books large and small. We have as yet merely touched the Southern field with the tips of our fingers. “The earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” The same Voice that at the beginning said, “Let there be light,” in these last days declares that a knowledge of God's word shall not be confined merely to a few places.SW December 15, 1903, par. 11

    The laborers who have the missionary spirit will go forth as heralds of the morning. Christ, heaven's Conqueror, is in the midst of you. From the experiences you are now passing through in the South, all may learn lessons. Truth and righteousness live, and will continue to shine amidst the darkness of this degenerate age.SW December 15, 1903, par. 12

    Let a class of canvassers be fitted up, by thorough instruction and training, to handle the publications that shall come forth from the press. Those who take up the work of canvassing as a preparation for the ministry will indeed realize the truth of the Saviour's words, “He shall testify of Me; for he shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.”SW December 15, 1903, par. 13

    It is not the Lord's will that the work in the South shall be confined to the set, “regular lines.” It has been found impossible to confine the work to these lines and gain success. Workers daily filled with zeal and wisdom from on high must work as they are guided by the Lord, waiting not to receive their commission from men.SW December 15, 1903, par. 14

    The Lord has laid upon me a heavy burden in behalf of the work in the Southern States of America. In the past I have received much instruction regarding this work, and for years I have followed the movements of the workers with intense interest. As it now is, this field is no credit to those who claim to be fulfilling the commission that Christ gave His disciples just before his ascension.SW December 15, 1903, par. 15

    Oh, that the presidents of our conferences would encourage the church-members to take an active interest in the work in the South, and to do all in their power to advance the work of Seventh-day Adventists in this field!SW December 15, 1903, par. 16

    We know that some have done all in their power to help the Southern work. Every cent entrusted to us by the Lord is to be wisely and economically used. May God help those to whom He has given this world's goods, to awaken to His design and to their individual responsibility. God says to them, “I have put you in possession of My goods that you may trade upon them to carry forward the Christian missions that are to be established far and near. I have given you the benefits of accumulated knowledge. The advantages of the past and present are yours. Upon you rests the weighty burden of accumulated light.”SW December 15, 1903, par. 17

    With every age God's plan deepens and widens to embrace the world. God's instrumentalities, His light-bearers, are to adjust their movements to His progressive plans. They are to embrace new territory. The churches are to be wide-awake, moving with the force of Omnipotence, because they move in harmony with God's purpose. They are to seize every opportunity for blessing a world in darkness. A spirit of greater devotion must be shown by the churches. They must labor with greater zeal for the promulgation of the last message to be given to the world.SW December 15, 1903, par. 18

    Everywhere there are those who will take their stand for present truth. Beside all waters we are to sow the seeds of truth. Let us never allow ourselves to be controlled by feelings of hopelessness. God's work will be done. The Lord knows those that are His. In His providence, He will direct them as He directed Cornelius.SW December 15, 1903, par. 19

    Have we not a work to do for the Lord, and should we not labor more intelligently, more earnestly, than we have labored in the past for those who need help? Let us remember that we are God's helping hand. With the Bible as our guide and counselor let us go forth to work for the Lord, serving Him in the way He has appointed, proclaiming the message of present truth in a way that makes it impressive and acceptable. We are weak, but God will give us His enduring strength if we will but believe.SW December 15, 1903, par. 20

    God will use His believing ones as His instrumentalities, through them ministering to souls fainting for the bread of life. Words of hope and cheer falling from lips that have been touched with a live coal from God's altar, will revive and comfort those who are weary and distressed.SW December 15, 1903, par. 21

    God's people would put on joy and gladness as a garment if they would only receive that which God is waiting to give them—that which would make them strong to help those in need of help. Our people need the breath of life breathed into them, that they may revive to spiritual action. Many have lost their vital energy, and are sluggish, dead, as it were. Let those who have been receiving the grace of Christ help these souls to rouse to action. Let us keep in the current of life that comes from Christ, that we may kindle life in some other soul. Healthy, happy action is what is needed in the church today.SW December 15, 1903, par. 22

    The Lord's work in the South is to go forward. The workers are to move steadily, cautiously, promptly. When advancement calls for sacrifices, they are to make sacrifices, and make them gladly and willingly. This the cause of God demands of every one. Let all move forward courageously, trusting in God to supply their needs according to the riches of His goodness. He has at His disposal all the resources of heaven. Before those who trust and obey Him, He will open ways of advance. In emergencies, he will give them special help.SW December 15, 1903, par. 23

    The Lord has been working with and for the tried laborers in the South. Many are preparing to put their shoulders to the wheel, to help advance the work. The cloud of darkness and despondency is rolling back, and the sunshine of God's favor is shining upon the workers. The Lord is gracious. He will not leave our work in the South in its present condition. The ones living in this great field will yet have the privilege of hearing the last message of mercy, warning them to prepare for the great day of God which is right upon us. Now, just now, is our time to proclaim the third angel's message to the millions living in the Southern States, who know not that the Saviour's coming is near at hand.SW December 15, 1903, par. 24

    Mrs. E. G. White

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