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Medical Ministry

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    Sanitariums and Education

    Every sanitarium established by Seventh-day Adventists is to be conducted on educational lines. And constantly it is to advance to higher and still higher lines of work. Those who fill positions of responsibility should remember the influence that their words and actions have on those connected with them. They are to labor for the spiritual and physical health of those who are brought in connection with the institution. A far higher work is to be done in this line than has hitherto been done.MM 175.1

    Those who occupy positions of responsibility in a sanitarium, either as manager or matron, should feel the importance of the responsibility resting on them to train those in their charge to do their work thoroughly and quickly. If they are true Christians, they will strive earnestly to achieve the best results for the present and eternal good of the learners. They will not betray sacred trusts by bringing into their instruction sentiments of their own that are not in harmony with the teaching of the word of God.MM 175.2

    Those who take charge of this work are first to obtain Christlikeness. Daily they are to learn in the school of Christ. Then they will have wisdom to know how to deal with human minds. They will know how to carry on from stage to stage of true knowledge those who come to the institution to prepare themselves for usefulness in God's service.MM 175.3

    To Be Training Schools

    All our institutions are to be training schools. Especially is this true with regard to our sanitariums. Wise counsel must be given to the youth. Neatness and thoroughness must be required from them. They are to be taught to make their motions as quick as possible as they work. Slowness should be treated as a disease that must be cured.MM 175.4

    Every institution should have wise overseers over the inside and outside work, that the helpers may be trained to guard against shiftless, indolent habits. The matron should select from those under her those who can aid her in teaching the helpers to do their work with neatness and thoroughness. Slowness is never to be encouraged. Everyone should try to work quickly and at the same time with neatness and carefulness.MM 175.5

    The matron is to show a motherly care for the girls in her charge. She is to show them the wisdom of putting by each month a portion of their wages, placing it in charge of faithful hands. She is to encourage them in neatness of dress, at the same time teaching them that their dress should always be neat and becoming. She is to discourage vanity and extravagance in any line.MM 176.1

    The Elimination of Waste

    The one who has charge of the finances should study how much he can save, instead of how much he can spend. All needless expense should be curtailed. Let the helpers understand that the consumption must not exceed the production. To waste in a sanitarium is a grave matter. There are so many who have to do with the different lines of work, and it is most essential that they understand the need of economy. Economy is a very valuable science. Many waste much by failing to save the odds and ends. In many a family as much is wasted as would support a small family. All these things are included in the education to be given in our sanitariums.MM 176.2

    Money is a needed treasure; let it not be lavished on those who do not need it. Someone needs your willing gifts. Too often those who have means fail to consider how many in the world are hungry, starving for food. They may say, “I cannot feed them all.” But by practicing Christ's lessons on economy you can feed one. It may be that you can feed many who are hungering for temporal food. And you can feed their souls with the bread of life. “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.” These words were spoken by Him who had all the resources of the universe at His command; by His miracle-working power He supplied thousands with food, but He did not disdain to teach a lesson in economy.MM 176.3

    The Spirit of Cheerful Service

    The workers in our sanitariums are to be trained for the work for which they are best adapted. But when an emergency arises, and help is needed, no worker should say, That is not my work. The helper who has the idea that he is only to do the work assigned him, and no more, who feels no responsibility to help wherever and whenever help is needed, should at once dismiss this idea from his mind. He should never feel that a wrong is done him if in an emergency he is asked to work overtime. When extra help is needed, let the workers assist willingly, in Christian meekness, and they will receive a blessing.MM 176.4

    It may be that some will rebel when they are asked to do the small, common duties. But these are the duties they need to know how to perform. It is faithfulness in little things that prepares us for usefulness in larger responsibilities. The most successful toilers are those who cheerfully take up the work of serving God in little things. Every human being is to work with his life thread, weaving it into the fabric to help to complete the pattern. Those who desire to be useful can always find employment. Time will never hang heavy on their hands....MM 177.1

    No one is to spend his time longing to do the impossible, forgetting ordinary daily duties in a desire to do something great. Round after round, from the lowest round, the ladder must be climbed—it may be by painful effort. But success comes with diligent effort, and the progress made is of great value to the earnest striver for victory....MM 177.2

    By their actions those connected with our institutions give proof of the worth, or worthlessness, of their judgment. Those who enter the service of the institution with a spirit of unwillingness to help, who do their allotted tasks with a feeling of compulsion, in sullen submission, who act as if they would gladly escape from the drudgery of the necessary daily duties which someone must do, are very little help to the institution. A mechanical obedience may hide the smoldering fire of rebellion, but it is ready to break out at any time against restraint. In the service of such there is no peace or light or love. The atmosphere surrounding their souls is not fragrant. The influence of their words and actions is felt by others, and this influence is a harm even to those who are trying to do their best in any position in which they are placed. Self-pity is deteriorating to the characters of those who cherish it, and it exerts an influence that spoils the happiness of others.MM 177.3

    Patient Dealing with the Erring

    The one who is placed in charge of such ones should in no case fret or scold. He should not give way to impatience or lose his self-control. Take them by themselves, and tell them that such exhibitions cannot be permitted, that their spirit must be changed. Tell them that to educate themselves to think that they need sympathy is the most foolish thing they can do. Pray with them; then give them their task, as God gives us our tasks. He has given to every man his work, according to his several ability.MM 178.1

    If, after these youth have been fully and patiently tried, they make no change, let them be plainly told that they cannot be retained in the institution. Let their place be given to those who will not be such a burden to the institution....MM 178.2

    There is to be no slavery. The service of all is to be cheerful and willing. But those who train the youth in our institutions have one disadvantage to work against. There are many who in the homelife have received an imperfect training. Often the mother makes herself the slave of her children, and in so doing neglects her most important work—the training of her children to wait on themselves, to follow habits of neatness, order, and thoroughness in the little things of life....MM 178.3

    When such children reach the age of responsibility and caretaking, they are unsubdued and undisciplined. It may be that they have a desire to enter one of our sanitariums to take a nurse's training. They come, but the defects of their home training make their stay at the institution hard for themselves and for those who have charge of their education.MM 178.4

    Overcoming Parental Neglect

    Let there be in the institution no continuation of the spoiling received in the home. There will be no hope for these poor youth—wronged from childhood by unwise indulgence—if the policy followed in the home is followed in the institution. Let them be wisely and kindly disciplined, and when it is seen that they are trying to improve, trying to make themselves what they ought to be, let words of encouragement be spoken to them. But let them plainly understand that they cannot follow in the institution the course of self-pleasing that they followed in the home. If they are willing to begin at the beginning, if they are determined to master every problem, they will improve....MM 178.5

    Their parents’ neglect has made their training much harder than it otherwise would have been. Do not pass by any slighted work unnoticed; but do not blame or scold them. This will not overcome the difficulty, but will embarrass and discourage them. In the most kindly way tell them that the neglect of the past must be remedied, or they cannot be retained in the institution. The need for a reformation must be pointed out. They must be encouraged to change wrong habits and establish right ones.MM 179.1

    Those who sympathize with the one who is causing great perplexity by his lack of determination to remedy the defects of his training are in need of being labored with. Show them that it is their duty to help those who have so much to overcome. Those in a position of responsibility in an institution can spoil young men and young women for a lifetime by unduly sympathizing with them, petting them, and listening to their complaints. Those who do this show that they themselves need to reform before they are prepared to take wise charge of a sanitarium or any other institution in which the youth are receiving a training.MM 179.2

    This is one line of medical missionary work to be done in our sanitariums. And oh, how careful should those in charge be not to make any mistake. Those who, while occupying a position of trust, give wrong advice, are counterworking the work of the Lord Jesus.MM 179.3

    Responsibilities of Leaders

    Oh, what a work there is before those who are standing in responsible positions in our institutions! A great work is to be done. There are weighty responsibilities to be borne, and they must be borne by men who have a living experience in the things of God, who day by day seek Him with the whole heart. Solemn are the obligations resting on the physicians and managers of our sanitariums. They are to set an example worthy of their claim to believe the truth....MM 179.4

    I desire if possible to impress the minds of our physicians and managers with the importance of giving so pure and righteous a representation of God that the world will see Him in His beauty. I desire them to be so filled with the Spirit that dwelt in Him that worldly policy will have no power to divert their minds from the work of presenting to men the grand, wonderful possibilities before every soul who receives and believes in Christ.—Manuscript 27, 1902.MM 179.5

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