Change and Changeless
Published on 03/01/2019 |
The original Medical Evangelist journal was first published June 1908. It was edited by John Burden, one of the early administrators of the Loma Linda Sanitarium and its affiliate, The College of Evangelists (which was very soon renamed The College of Medical Evangelists).
Some things have changed
I had the opportunity to review the very first issue of The Medical Evangelist. In the 110 years that have passed, some things have changed. The first issue of the journal advertised the three courses that Loma Linda offered at that time. Here’s the journal’s description of these courses:
• “A medical-evangelistic course of three years for medical and foreign missionaries, evangelists and ministers.”
• “A nurses’ training course of three years educates evangelistic nurses for both home and foreign fields.”
• “A gospel workers’ course of one year, designed for canvassers, ministers, Bible workers and others who wish to combine medical evangelistic work with their gospel ministry.”
The fees and costs for any of these courses was as follows:
• Yearly Matriculation Fee: $1
• Yearly Library Fee: $0.50
• Tuition and room (in advance):
$10.00/month of four weeks (with one hour work/day)
• Board on the European plan: $2/week
• Tuition alone: $6/four weeks
Yes, some things indeed have changed!
But some things have not changed
1. The need for information and instruction on medical evangelism remains.
In that first issue Ellen White wrote, “Medical missionary work is yet in its infancy. The meaning of genuine medical missionary work is known by but few. Why? Because the Saviour’s plan of work has not been followed.… From the instruction that the Lord has given me from time to time, I know that there should be workers who make medical evangelistic tours among the towns and villages. Those who do this Work will gather a rich harvest, of souls, both from the higher and the lower classes.”
2. The purpose of The Medical Evangelist is unchanged.
The first issue stated the following:
“A name amounts to but little unless it names the thing designated. The reason for choosing the name … Medical Evangelist for the journal [is] to represent its principles, … to emphasize the importance of training for evangelistic work, rather than mere professional work or general philanthropy.”
This remains the guiding philosophy of the editorial committee for our journal, even today.
I am privileged to follow Brian Schwartz as editor. Because this is a journal of the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, and Brian is now president, I will continue to work closely with him. Building on his foundational work, the purpose and message of this journal will continue unchanged. We will address the difficult challenges that face medical evangelists today.
In this age of instant access, we want to have our journal available online.
We solicit your articles, news stories, and reports about medical evangelism at home and abroad. Give us your suggestions and criticisms.
Your input is essential. We will be asking every AMEN member and Medical Evangelist reader to complete a short survey to help us keep the journal fresh and relevant. We want to know what you would like to read and what would be helpful in your medical evangelistic endeavors. We will learn and grow and change together.
Though editors for this journal will come and go, one thing will never change: Christ’s promise, “…lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” – Matthew 28:20
That promise is for every medical evangelist.
Table of Contents