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months ago, and already we have several inquirers, and large numbers come to the services.
On Sunday evenings we have our college service, to which we try to get all our resident students ; some, however, go off for the week-end, so that our attendance at this Sunday night meeting is smaller than that on the other nights. This service is usually conducted by some missionary in the city or by a Chinese pastor or evangelist ; the variety thus secured being much appreciated. Last Sunday we had a very eloquent address from a Chinese pastor, who in emphasising the splendid opportunities which medical work presented, told the students that he owed his conversion to the work of our hospital.
In addition to these various activities the students themselves carry on Y. M. C. A. work. They hold a weekly meeting and, besides, organize Bible study circles, which meet at convenient hours for the members attending each circle. The Y. M. C. A. also takes an interest in morning prayers and appoints leaders, and it organizes other things, such, e.g., as welcome meetings for new students.
In addition to these and other forms of work the power of personal influence and example must be taken into account. All the Christian influences of the place play around the students. They cannot help seeing that the motive power of all our work is the constraining love of Christ. The kindness shown to patients and I have often observed that the gentleness and general attitude and bearing of the medical missionary in the treatment of a patient is a sermon in itself, and the same may be said of many of our Christian students--the prayer and singing and preaching in the wards, in which our students are encouraged to help, all tell.
We try also as far as possible to take a personal interest in each man ; this is not easy, but it is our aim, and we achieve
1 it to some degree. Each member of the resident staff has a list made out containing the names of a certain number of students with the request that he will do all he can to get in touch with them. He is asked to pray for each and, directly or indirectly, to try and find out about his spiritual state. A weekly meeting of the resident staff makes the spiritual welfare of the college a matter of very earnest prayer.
Another very great help is to get Chinese workers and Christian students interested in the objects we are aiming at, viz., the spiritual growth of our Christian men and the conversion of the non-Christians. And here the value of the warmhearted, zealous Christian student is of especial value. We have found the push and initiative of those men our most valuable asset; many of their suggestions have been adopted, and they are always to be relied upon for sympathetic help in every earnest spiritual endeavour.
And, finally, a great responsibility rests upon the man at the head of affairs; his word and influence go a long way with the men; when he observes coldness or slackness he can do much by timely exhortation to revive Christian aspirations and remind his students of their Christian obligations, and of course he must show an interest in all that affects each man as well as in his spiritual welfare. Well may we cry, “Who is sufficient for these things ?"
To sum up then we can best secure the highest spiritual results in our medical colleges :
Firstly, by using every means in our power to give the men the best medical training possible, and this, under present circuinstances and in these changing times, necessitates the sinking of all differences in a union which is at once commonsense and Christian.
Secondly, by arranging the opportunities for Christian work as methodically and vigorously as we do our classes.
And thirdly, by being and doing what in our ideal moments we feel we would like our students to be and do.
If we can accomplish these objects God will supply the rain and sunshine for our harvest.
The Value of Following Up Hospital Work
BY DR. F. A. KELLER, CHANGSHA N interesting hospital report came to hand this afternoon and on one of its pages was this striking sentence :
'But the majority (of the patients) come from a distance, and we have had so few workers we have not been able to follow them up after returning to their homes. In fact our whole work suffers from the lack of a good Chinese evangelist.”
This statement suggests two facts of vital importance to those who seek to make the medical side of missionary work attain its highest degree of efficiency as an evangelistic agency.
First, the cases must be “followed up" after they leave the hospital or dispensary, and, second, the doctor inust be supported by an adequate staff of colleagues and assistants in order to make this follow-up work a possibility.
The writer of the report mentioned above by no means bears the burden alone. Doubtless many a busy doctor breathes a sigh as he sees a patient, who may have been in the hospital for a month or more, and with whom he has talked and prayed, leaving for a distant district that is still in utter heathen darkness, where there is no missionary, no Gospel hall, and which he himself has little or no hope of visiting in the near future. Is there nothing more to be done for this man ? There most certainly is, and it is because of this conviction that this paper is being written.
Recently an earnest and thoughtful evangelist, who is connected with our work, but lives in an entirely distinct part of the city, said to the writer : “ It is too bad that many people come to the hospital two, three, and more times, hear a little of the Gospel, and then as soon as their illnesses are cured or relieved, they stop coming and are lost sight of. If you will keep a list of all patients living in my part of the city and give it to me, I will call on the patients in their homes and see if in this way we cannot get a greater harvest from the seed sown in the hospital.
At the Yale Hospital, Dr. Hume's splendid Chinese assistant, Dr. Hou, became much concerned over the spiritual needs of a village some ten li distant, the home of several patients who had come to the hospital, had heard the Gospel, had been cured of their physical infirmities, and then had returned to their heathen surroundings and associations. He asked Dr. Hume if he might go out to the village on Sunday mornings and preach to these people. The result was a series of excellent meetings, in which not only was the seed already sown watered, but much new seed was sown in soil prepared by what had been heard of the love and skill and tender care received by those who had been at the hospital.
These two cases are quoted to show that our really consecrated Chinese fellow-workers are thinking about these things and feel the need of follow-up work, and also because of the two valuable suggestions that have come from them as to some of the methods by which follow-up work may be prosecuted.
Some very busy doctor, alone in his station, may say that while he recognizes the great value of follow-up work where it is possible, for him it is impossible. He must be content to sow the seed and trust that some Apollos may be sent along to water it. The writer believes, however, that no man is so
. busy but he can do some follow-up work, and that with a well systematized method the amount of this work that can be done, and the fruitfulness of it will be a surprise and joy to all who undertake it.
To lay out a plan of campaign we need to classify our patients, not into the two familiar divisions of the hospital report_“Out-patients and In-patients”—but rather into three divisions: First, Local Patients. Second, Patients from distant cities, or localities near cities where there are missionaries. Third, Patients from distant localities where there are no missionaries.
It is assumed that each patient leaves the hospital with a Scripture portion at least and with some Christian literature. Moreover it is recognized that it is not likely that extensive follow-up work can be done in the case of every patient, though a certain amount can be done for each one and a much larger work for special ones. The example of Christ is well worth considering and following. The time came in the course of His public preaching when He called to Him those who had been following Him, who had seen His miracles and had heard His teaching, and from among them He chose twelve who should be with Him, and to whom He might explain more carefully the things of the kingdom.
Many patients come to us who are utterly unresponsive to the presentation of spiritual truth, while there others in both the dispensary and the wards whose minds and hearts seem to open up almost at once, and who are willing and glad to talk on spiritual themes. Follow-up work, undertaken on behalf of the latter class, if conducted under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, is bound to meet with most gratifying success.
METHODS OF FOLLOW-UP WORK.
I. Follow-up work on behalf of class 1 (Local Patients).
). A useful general method is to have a neatly printed card, giving a list of all Gospel meetings and other public services with a cordial invitation to attend. A verse of Scripture on one side of the card will make it of value eyen if its invitation to the meetings is not accepted. One of these cards, accompanied by a friendly word, should be handed to each patient as he leaves the hospital.
A directory of city patients is of great value. Take a memorandum book and divide it into sections, allowing from two to four pages to each, or in case of very long streets, to each section of the street. In this book enter the names of the patients according to the streets on which they live or work, thus all the patients of any locality will be grouped together and can be found quite readily. Such a directory will make it possible, once or twice a year, to put a fresh invitation to the meetings into the hands of the majority of the patients, both old and new. It will also inake it possible to put notices of special services, in a personal kind of way, into the hands of a large number of people who, of their own will, have placed themselves in contact with us in the past. These invitations will cause them to think of the kindness and help they received at the hospital, and may lead them to think of the words of life which they heard while in the waiting or consulting room or in the wards.
Another memorandum book, small enough to slip into the pocket, arranged like the one above, but containing only the names of those patients who have made several return visits to the hospital, or who have shown some interest in the Gospel, will be found most helpful. More space should be given to each person to permit a record of interesting facts in connection with calls and other efforts on his behalf. By having the names arranged by streets the doctor can take a short walk down this street to-day, up that street to-morrow, and another street next day, stopping in the shops where patients are at work, asking questions about their trade, about the articles they have for sale, and about themselves. Of course a word will be spoken for the Master, and invitations to the meetings renewed. Often some little thing may be purchased which will strengthen the bond of friendship and give to the patient an added assurance of the foreign doctor's interest in him. It hardly seems necessary to add that where there is no lady doctor and no trained nurse, the doctor's wife, or one of the lady missionaries in the station, together with a Bible-woman, may do follow-up work among the women patients by visiting in their homes.
Let no one think that the benefits of the above method accrue to the patient alone; there is a decided reflex benefit;