King's Business - 1928-03


K i n g ’ s

March 1928

T h e

B u s i n e s s

be sufficiently removed to allow a member of the family to go to school. This poor man was in dire extremity, and could scarcely stand on his feet. Dr. Keller gave him medicine, but added that it would avail nothing if he did not rest. He replied that rest would be starvation, as he lived from hand to mouth. Finally, the doctor took him into his own hired house, and there fed him and nursed him back to health; In those days he could not speak much Chinese, but the fingers that dressed those ulcers twice a' day were more eloquent than a tongue. And the native evangelist explained what it all meant. The man became a Christian, and immedi­ ately received an unmistakable baptism of the Spirit. This so much impressed the evangelist that he got a new view of the grace of God, and he sought and obtained a great uplift in his own life. The barber in his turn became a preacher o f the Good News, and is today the leader of one o f the Biola Bands. It was personal kindness that opened his heart. It was the love of God looking out o f human eyes, felt in the touch of a human hand, that conquered him and claimed him. It is that personal touch that counts, whether with or with­ out such material assistance as the medical missionary can give. A. practically infinite multiplication of such individual effort is what is needed in China, as indeed everywhere else. Dr. Keller says, “ If only we could have six parties in every province, in five years we could preach the gospel in every untouched home in China.” The critical state of things at the present moment should not cause any to take a gloomy view of the outlook for Christianity. A lack of responsible government for years together would lead to disturbances in any country. The mob is easily inflamed, and there are not lacking paid agitators to kindle its passions. The missionaries often say-—“ Anything may happen.” Bolshevism is essentially anti-Christian and it is bidding for China. But the fact remains that the people, when not influenced from without, are more ready to listen to the gospel than ever before. Livingstone’s successor in the African mission field, Dr. Robert Laws, has returned to England after fifty-two years o f unbroken service in the heart Of Central Africa. He leaves behind him on the shores of his African “ parish,” Lake Nyasa, a flourishing community with 765 mission schools under its control. He says, however, “ Africa’s needs are much greater now than when I an­ swered Livingstone’s call and first saw the waters o f Lake Nyasa.” Dr. Laws worked as a boy at his father’s trade of cabi­ net-making in Aberdeen for 7 shillings and sixpence a week. A fter the day’s work he studied arts, theology and medicine. He received his “ call” in the early part o f 1875. With a few friends he made a small steamboat in Glas­ gow yards and named it “ Liala,” taking it in sections to Chinde at the mouth o f the Zambesi. Assembling the boat there, they reached Shrie, took it to pieces again in order to travel overland. They reassembled it at Lake Nyasa, and launched the first boat seen on any Central African lake, on October 12, 1875. m Unbroken Service for Fifty-two Years

T h e U se of P osters Dr. Keller’s third specialty is posters. He has brought them to a pitch o f perfection, and has his men trained in the art of putting them up. Two in each Band attend to this matter. The posters are lithographed, and are tough enough to stand a good deal o f weather when closely pasted. In the Chinese streets, there is not the exposure that we have in our broader, Western thoroughfares. Some posters have been known to remain up as long as six years, and Dr. Keller considers a single year’s wear by no means satisfactory. There is at the top of the sheet soma title that will attract the eye of the passer-by. Beneath it comes a strik­ ing text. In smaller type the interested reader finds a suggestion that he go to some Gospel Hall for further information. Printed in bright colors and large char­ acters, these messages cannot fail to arrest attention, especially when a team o f evangelists puts up several hundred at a time in a single city. Hunan and the neigh­ boring province of Kiangsi have been fairly well sown with this good seed, but the work might be extended all over China if sufficient funds were forthcoming. Dr. Keller delights to send grants to missionaries far and near, whenever friends at home make this possible. One missionary said to me, “ These are the things the Chinese admire. Dozens o f men will stop in front o f a poster, and while one reads they all listen.” A lady worker mentioned that some of the Christians pasted the posters outside their doors as a constant witness for Christ. Another spoke o f them as a great help to open-air preachers, who, taking their stand beside one, will use it as a text. To give one more instance: A missionary, itinerating in the province o f Kiangsi, mentioned that she had her­ self visited forty villages and pasted up one of Dr. Keller’s posters in each. An old man and woman who had recently renounced their idols begged for one of them to put in the vacant spot. So the message of- salvation has taken the place o f the ugly picture of the Kitchen God. Doubtless, there will be many inquiries from the neighbors as to the meaning o f the strange sentence on the wall. The poster work, while so quiet and simple, is o f far- reaching usefulness. The masses may jostle along the crowded street unheeding the silent witness, but here and there an individual finds what he has long been seeking. Pardon and peace are freely offered, and this sheet of paper means new life for him. T horoughness of T h e W ork Everything is done with the greatest thoroughness, and itemized reports are sent in by the workers. When privileged to make observations on the spot, one marveled at the minuteness of detail in the records as much as at the magnificence o f the general scheme. The work of the Bands is so much appreciated by missionaries that they are booked up for months and sometimes years ahead. But nothing can account for their wonderful success, except the power o f the Holy Spirit, working through men and women who are filled with a love for souls. The con­ verts are gathered one by one; thus it has been from the beginning. Some time in the ’nineties Dr. Keller was one day preaching and dispensing medicine with his Chinese assist­ ant, when a wretched man came for treatment, suffering with ulcers on his legs. He was a barber, and as such very low in the social scale. Under the old regime it took several generations before the strain of barber-ism could

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