Gilead Sends Out More Missionaries for the Harvest
WHEN Jesus declared: “The harvest, indeed, is great . . . Therefore beg the Master of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest,” little did his listeners dream that more than 1,900 years later the Watchtower Bible School of Gilead would be doing just that. (Luke 10:2) For example, Monday, March 5, was another Gilead Graduation Day; this time for the fifty-fourth class. Forty-nine more missionaries were sent out to join the thousands already working hard in the “harvest” in this “time of the end.”
The program began at 1:55 p.m. After the opening song and prayer, some very encouraging remarks were given by a number of speakers. Instructor Ulysses Glass told the graduates: “Sometime in the not too distant future will be the last day you will preach to anyone in this old system of things. But between now and that ‘last day’ your faith will be severely tested. If, however, you are faithful every day in your ministry, then when that ‘last day’ of your preaching work comes, you will be ‘found a cause for praise and glory.’”—1 Pet. 1:6, 7.
“To succeed you must have the right attitude,” the registrar of the School, Edward Dunlap, declared. He cited the attitudes of the apostle Paul and the Lord Jesus Christ as proper ones to be copied. Building on these fine thoughts, the Branch overseer of the United States, Milton Henschel, then talked about appreciating true values, contrasting the value of material possessions with spiritual riches. To make his point he showed the audience various moneys—shell money from the South Sea Islands, occupation money printed by the Japanese during World War II and old British shillings, all of which have very little value today. Even the U.S. ten-dollar bill he exhibited has lost much of its former value. How wise the counsel to be “free of the love of money.”—Heb. 13:5.
The factory servant, Max Larson, reminded the graduating students that their association with the Bethel family really was part of their training, to help them stick to their assignments. How was this? Well, there are seventy, Larson said, who have been working here at Bethel longer than 28.6 years, the average age of this class. Fine examples, these!
The Bethel servant, George Couch, recounted how particularly well this class had been fed on knowledge of spiritual things. But now how successful they would prove to be as missionaries would depend upon how wisely they applied this knowledge in helping others.
After the reading of more than twenty telegrams and special greetings to the graduates from many parts of the world, the vice-president, F. W. Franz, next delivered a dynamic talk. In the course of the talk he asked the graduates a few interesting questions: ‘Have Jehovah’s witnesses passed their peak? Is that what you body of missionaries believe? Is that the attitude of mind you have as you leave for the missionary field? No, not at all. You believe that the summit is yet ahead of us and we are all determined to reach its top.’
It seems that the whole program was building up to President N. H. Knorr’s talk entitled “Your Faith Is Proved by Your Lips,” a talk based on Romans 10:8-10. ‘Our lips,’ Knorr declared, ‘have a lot to do with our faith in Jehovah God. But before it can be on your lips it has to be in your heart, for out of the heart the mouth speaks. You have shown during the past five months that you have faith in your hearts. Now you are going out as missionaries to use your lips to prove your faith . . . for faith without works is dead.’—Jas. 2:14-26.
The students then received an envelope with their assignments. The sixteen single brothers, five single sisters and fourteen married couples had come from six different countries. Now they were being sent to twenty-three lands.
After a supper intermission, the 2,061 present were ready to enjoy the evening program, the highlights of which were two Bible dramas. The first was entitled “Shout! For Jehovah Has Given You the City!” More than an entertaining portrayal of the urgency within the ancient city of Jericho, the drama impressed upon all the present urgency that bestirs those pictured by Rahab and her household today.
The second Bible drama was called “The Zeal for Your House Will Eat Me Up.” This too was a very moving presentation, for it covered many events in the dynamic ministry of Jesus Christ. It certainly made everyone present ask whether he, too, could follow a similar course of full-time service in the short time remaining.
If there was one overall impression this day made, it was this: The peak has not been reached, for the Master of the harvest continues sending out more workers for the worldwide ingathering.