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The Advent Movement | Survey 18, Part 3

Greetings MOL Family!

In today’s class, we will be concluding our survey on the history of medical missionary evangelism at Paradise Valley, Glendale, and Loma Linda! God had a special vision for the work of medical missionary evangelism, and this vision should never be lost sight of! We must go forward!

 

Workers Needed… Now!

Sister White came to Loma Linda and stood upon those grounds that she had seen in vision. She looked at the very pepper trees that she had seen in the picture God gave her before she ever came to Southern California. She had seen those trees with their leafy canopies, and patients under the shade of the trees, rejoicing in the fresh air and being outdoors. They had an outdoor meeting on that hill, and she addressed the workers as well as others who came in from the community, some of the early helpers who had helped in the work there.

As she looked out upon that hill and upon that place, her vision took in far more than it being simply one more sanitarium like Paradise Valley or Glendale. She said that with the possession of this place comes the weighty responsibility of making the work educational in character. Loma Linda is to be not only a sanitarium but a school. This place is to be an educational center. A school is to be established here for the training of gospel medical missionary evangelists. Many workers are to be qualified with all the ability of physicians to labor not in professional lines as physicians, but as medical missionary evangelists.

That was the vision that filled her soul. And during those years of 1905 to 1912, she was continually writing and speaking those things to Elder Burden and to the other workers in the early days of Loma Linda. She visited Loma Linda from time to time, coming down from her St. Helena home in Northern California. She kept in touch with them by letter. And there is today, in the hands of a number of the workers who were at Loma Linda in the early days, and those they have been in touch with, a compilation called “The Burden Collection”, or “The Loma Linda Messages, Unabridged”, in which there are nearly a thousand pages of testimonies and records dealing with the acquisition and development of the Loma Linda project. Surely, that work was precious to the Lord.

Why was so much light focused on a certain place at a certain time? It was not merely because Battle Creek was going down. I have heard Elder Burden say that, as Sister White stood there on that hill, she said, “Battle Creek is going down. God will reestablish His medical missionary work at Loma Linda.” On the points where Battle Creek had been weak, Loma Linda was to be strong. Battle Creek had become a bone of contention. It had become an issue between the medical on one side and the evangelistic on the other. But right into the very foundation of Loma Linda was put the idea and the ideal that it was to be a training place for medical evangelists. That is why the name, College of Medical Evangelists, has been so significant through the years. Not medical without evangelism, and not evangelism without the medical.

Do you see? And it was God’s plan that, as workers were trained at Loma Linda, they would go out and start other places, and yet others, until the whole earth should be covered with medical missionary work as the waters cover the sea. That was God’s vision given to His prophet, and that’s why she labored so earnestly.

That is why God began to focus there and pour in talent both medical and evangelistic. For example, soon after Loma Linda was purchased, Sister White wrote to Elder and Sister Haskell, her friends of many years. Elder and Sister Haskell had been prominent in evangelistic work. Sister White urged that they come and connect with Loma Linda for awhile. Why? To give the proper mold to the work. She wanted it to be
evangelistic, not just medical.

Elder Warren was brought there. Elder Owen was brought there. After a few years, there came a call that Elder Owen might connect with one of our large senior colleges in another part of the country as Bible teacher. Sister White wrote a message to the president of the General Conference and said the work at Loma Linda required the services of the best Bible teacher that can be secured. She said that Elder Owen must not be disturbed. He must remain to teach those students.

Ah, with what a jealous care, a mother’s care, Sister White watched over the early years of that institution. What for? That many workers might be developed, not merely in professional lines, but with the ability of physicians and nurses to go out as medical evangelists to all parts of the earth. I want you to see something very interesting that was written in 1903 at the time that Battle Creek was at the height of its influence, just before Loma Linda was started.

This was written when efforts were being made to pull to Battle Creek the flower of our young people to train them as graduate doctors with degrees, and nurses with degrees. This came out in the Review and Herald in late 1903 from the Lord’s messenger. These statements loomed large in the thinking of Elder Burden and of those with him who helped establish the medical missionary training work at Loma Linda. Notice her clear vision:

Much good can be done by those who do not hold diplomas as fully accredited physicians. Some are to be prepared to work as competent physicians. Many, working under the direction of such ones, can do acceptable work without spending so long a time in study as it has been thought necessary to spend in the past. – Counsels on Health, pg. 538

I hope you will study that paragraph, and study the chapter in which it’s written. It is called “Medical Missionary Evangelists”. It is just a little chapter, but it opens a great field of thought. Notice that some were to be prepared to work as competent, accredited physicians. This is one of the very few places in the Testimonies where the word accredited is used. There is a place for a type of recognition, my friends.

God wanted back there, and He wants today, some physicians who have secured their degrees and their licenses from the state to practice medicine in a way that will be recognized. That was called for back there; it’s called for today. But notice, that was not to be the only thing. That wasn’t to be the big thing. In the same paragraph, it says that many can do acceptable work without spending so long a time in study, as formerly thought necessary.

The time for getting accredited and recognized training lengthens out from time to time. It takes many more years to get it now than it did back there. As that time increases, and the time between now and the coming of Jesus grows shorter, should not every young person, and older one, think carefully what God would have him do?

Workers – gospel medical missionaries – are needed now. You cannot afford to spend years in preparation. Soon doors now open to the truth will be forever closed. Carry the message now. Do not wait, allowing the enemy to take possession of the fields now open before you. Let little companies go forth to do the work to which Christ appointed His disciples. Let them labor as evangelists, scattering our publications and talking of the truth to those they meet. Let them pray for the sick, ministering to their necessities, not with drugs, but with nature’s remedies, and teaching them how to regain health and avoid disease. – Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9, pg. 172

I want to invite you to read these closing chapters in Robinson’s book. Also in Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 9 you will find two chapters that you should give special study to: “A Plea for Medical Missionary Evangelists”, starting on page 167, and “The Loma Linda College of Evangelists” on page 173. These two chapters you will greatly enjoy after listening to the history we have gone over in our class today.

Dear students and older ones. Do not let yourself miss the joy that comes from knowing what God wants you to do. Every one of you can know what God wants you to do. If God wants you to get a degree, get it, dear ones. If He has something else for you to do, don’t be worried about it.

I trust that today as we have studied this lesson, and as you dig into the books from which we have brought these lessons, that every one of you will, on your knees, rejoice with God that He has a special place for you. If you have got a degree, thank God you have put that into the pot to be used. And if you don’t have, you have something else God wants.

 

In our next survey, we will be discussing inspired principles of self-supporting work from Madison. Don’t forget to invite a friend to join us! 

-Continue on to the next study-

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* This study has been adapted from classes taken by Elder W.D. Frazee.