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Testimonies for the Church, vol. 7

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    What can be Done

    How best to accomplish the work in this difficult field is the problem before us. Long years of neglect have made it far more difficult than it would otherwise have been. Obstructions have been accumulating.7T 226.3

    Great progress might have been made in medical missionary work. Sanitariums might have been established. The principles of health reform might have been proclaimed. This work is now to be taken up. And into it not a vestige of selfishness is to be brought. It is to be done with an earnestness, perseverance, and devotion that will open doors through which the truth can enter, and that to stay.7T 227.1

    In the South there is much that could be done by lay members of the church, persons of limited education. There are men, women, and children who need to be taught to read. These poor souls are starving for a knowledge of God.7T 227.2

    Our people in the South are not to wait for eloquent preachers, talented men; they are to take up the work which the Lord places before them, and do their best. He will accept and work through humble, earnest men and women, even though they may not be eloquent or highly educated. My brethren and sisters, devise wise plans for labor, and go forward, trusting in the Lord. Do not indulge the feeling that you are capable and keen-sighted. Begin and continue in humility. Be a living exposition of the truth. Make the word of God the man of your counsel. Then the truth will go with power, and souls will be converted.7T 227.3

    Let Sabbathkeeping families move to the South and live out the truth before those who know it not. These families can be a help to one another, but let them be careful to do nothing that will hedge up their way. Let them do Christian help work, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. This will have a far stronger influence for good than the preaching of sermons. Deeds, as well as words, of sympathy are needed. Christ prefaced the giving of His message by deeds of love and benevolence. Let these workers go from house to house, helping where help is needed, and, as opportunity offers, telling the story of the cross. Christ is to be their text. They need not dwell upon doctrinal subjects; let them speak of the work and sacrifice of Christ. Let them hold up His righteousness, in their lives revealing His purity.7T 227.4

    The true missionary must be armed with the mind of Christ. His heart must be filled with Christlike love; and he must be true and steadfast to principle.7T 228.1

    In many places schools should be established, and those who are tender and sympathetic, who, like the Saviour, are touched by the sight of woe and suffering, should teach old and young. Let the word of God be taught in a way that will enable all to understand it. Let the pupils be encouraged to study the lessons of Christ. This will do more to enlarge the mind and strengthen the intellect than any other study. Nothing gives such vigor to the faculties as contact with the word of God.7T 228.2

    The cotton field is not to be the only means whereby the colored people can gain a livelihood. They are to be taught how to till the soil, how to cultivate various crops, and how to plant and care for orchards. Painstaking effort is to be put forth to develop their capabilities. Thus will be awakened in them the thought that they are of value with God, because they are His property.7T 228.3

    Among the colored people some will be found whose intellect has been too long darkened for them to be speedily fitted for usefulness. But they may be taught to know God. The bright beams of the Sun of Righteousness may shine into the darkened chambers of their minds. It is their privilege to have the life that measures with the life of God. Plant in their minds uplifting, ennobling thoughts. Live before them lives that will make plain the difference between vice and purity, darkness and light. Let them read in your lives what it means to be a Christian. The chain that has been let down from the throne of God is long enough to reach to the lowest depths. Christ is able to lift the most sinful out of the pit of degradation, and to place them where they will be acknowledged as children of God, heirs with Christ to an immortal inheritance.7T 228.4

    Many are utterly discouraged. Because they have been despised and forsaken they have become stoical. They are looked upon as unable to comprehend or to receive the gospel of Christ. Yet by the miracle of divine grace they may be changed. Under the ministration of the Holy Spirit the stupidity that makes their uplifting appear so hopeless will pass away. The dull, clouded mind will awake. The slave of sin will be set free. Spiritual life will revive and strengthen. Vice will disappear, and ignorance will be overcome. Through the faith that works by love the heart will be purified and the mind enlightened.7T 229.1

    There are others among the colored people who have quick perceptions and bright minds. Many of the colored race are rich in faith and trust. God sees among them precious jewels that will one day shine out brightly. The colored people deserve more from the hands of the white people than they have received. There are thousands who have minds capable of cultivation and uplifting. With proper labor, many who have been looked upon as hopeless will become educators of their race. Through the grace of God the race that the enemy has for generations oppressed may rise to the dignity of God-given manhood and womanhood.7T 229.2

    The Lord desires the desert places of the South, where the outlook appears so forbidding, to become as the garden of God. Let our people arouse and redeem the past. The obligation to work for the colored people rests heavily upon us. Shall we not try to repair, as far as lies in our power, the injury that in the past has been done to these people? Shall not the number of missionaries to the South be multiplied? Shall we not hear of many volunteers who are ready to enter this field to bring souls out of darkness and ignorance into the marvelous light in which we rejoice? God will pour out His Spirit upon those who respond to His call. In the strength of Christ they may do a work that will fill heaven with rejoicing.7T 230.1

    *****

    “Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I, even I, will both search My sheep, and seek them out.... So will I seek out My sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day.... I will feed My flock, and I will cause them to lie down, saith the Lord God. I will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.... And I will make with them a covenant of peace.... And I will make them and the places round about My hill a blessing; and I will cause the shower to come down in his season; there shall be showers of blessing.... Thus shall they know that I the Lord their God am with them.... And ye My flock, the flock of My pasture, are men, and I am your God, saith the Lord God.”7T 230.2

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