THE ADVENT SURVEY - October, 1932
With the Colporteurs in Poland
BY K. SAKNIT
(Field Missionary Secretary, Polish Union)
Poland is very large and interesting land with thirty-two million inhabitants. Each year we see many people brought into the truth. The present membership is 3,300. Of course in proportion to the number of inhabitants this is very small, yet if we are all faithful we shall yet be able to win many of these millions to the Lord. We have rather more than one hundred workers in this land, and of these about fifty are in the colporteur work.
As many of you know Poland is a Catholic country, and no doubt the Roman Catholic Church is very proud of having such control over this country. There are quite a number of different religious societies in Poland, but the Catholic church feels that the Seventh-Day Adventists are causing her the most trouble, and therefore has a great hatred for our colporteur-evangelists. However, they continue to go forward despite the great difficulties with which they are confronted. Our literature sales continue to increase every year and last year was the best we have ever had in this phase of our work. The sales amounted to $12,000.00 or ten percent more than we sold during the year 1930. The standard of our money is not high compared with the dollar or the pound, but in order to comprehend what has really been a accomplished by our colporteurs it will be well for me to tell you the amount of literature they distributed. Last year our colporteurs sold 11,000 books and 105,000 magazines. The Lord says that His work shall not return unto Him void. (Isa. 55: 11.)
K. Schafer, Field Missionary Secretary, South Polish Conference
In our work there are different departments or branches, and the purpose of each is to win souls to Christ. The spirit of prophecy emphasizes that the colporteur work is one of the important and it certainly is proving one of the most effective means of bringing a knowledge of the truth to souls in darkness. I recently received a letter from a colporteur in East Poland. His name is Brother A. Stuhl, and he writes as follows: “In my locality I have sold a few dozen copies of Great Controversy in the Russian language, a few hundred other book, and a large number of magazines in the Polish, Russian, German, Ukrainian, and Czechoslovakian languages. Now this literature is doing its work. With joy I am going around in the villages, and as I stay overnight with the people, I hold Bible studies. I believe that trough the work of the Holy Spirit we shall see in the near future companies an groups of people keeping the commandments of God.
K. Piatek, Field Missionary Secretary, East Polish Conference
But it is also very important that we be willing to sacrifice for the Lord’s work in order to win souls to Him. I am so thankful to God that He has given me the privilege of offering my strength and all there is of me to His work in order to win souls for His kingdom.
St. Kwiecinski, Field Missionary Secretary, West Polish Conerence
Now I would like you to know the number of people who are to-day happy in the truth through the reading of our literature. In K- there are twelve believers; in S- twenty-five; in St – ten; in Sw- six; in I- two. In all there are at least fifty-five souls whom I have met who are to-day keeping God’s commandments through the reading of literature which I sold to them. All praise and thanks to the Lord”.
Brother Stuhl is putting forth real effort and is sacrificing in order to win these people to Christ. Hi told me that he had visited the people in K- thirty times. Another place he had visited a group twenty times. Hi did it in the evening after his day’s work. Sometimes he had to walk thirty kilometres in going to these places and back to the place where he was lodging. Sometimes he walked as far as forty kilometres in order to follow up the interest. Brother Stuhl tanks God that he has a great love for mankind, and I believe that this love is the secret of his success.
Colporteur A. Stuhl, East Polish Conference, who has thus for won fifty-five souls to the truth.
While the colporteurs here in Poland have hearts burning with love for mankind, they are threatened with many dangers, such as being arrested, and thrown in prison. We have a number of such colporteurs who have been arrested When they are thrown in prison, often their literature is confiscated and they are fined. In this special number of the ADVENT SURVEY you will find pictures of some of these colporteurs.
Colporteur M. Kott, South Polish Conference, one of our happiest colporteurs, though he has been imprisoned twelve times.
They are happy in serving the Lord even thought they have been cast into prison many times. Once on of our colporteurs was given the option of paying a fine or being put in prison. Hi was short of money and decided to go to prison. The officer in charge was not very anxious to keep our brother in prison for he noticed that our brother was doing missionary work there. After a short time he was again given the opportunity to pay his fine, but again he decided to remain in prison to carry on his missionary work. Finally that he was to be released. “We don’t want you in the prison any longer,” he said, “for you will be making too many converts”.
Colporteur A. Junak, East Polish Conference, who has had extraordinary experiences in winning soul to Christ.
The experience of Brother Junak also shows the wonderful work that is being done by our colporteurs. About fifteen kilometres from the village where he was staying Brother Junak had interested some people by selling them literature. After the day’s work he spend some time visiting these people throughout the winter. With a real longing in his heart and with most earnest prayer Brother Junak made these evening journeys. As he held Bible studies with them, it was often late when he returned home. On returning from one of these trips he discovered that his toes were frozen. But even though he suffered much pain and lost his toes, he forgot all of this because he was able to see these people accepting Christ and this wonderful truth. The next summer he visited the newly-baptized members and stayed overnight with them. The next morning the people saw him pulling on his boots very carefully, for his feet still pained him very much, and asked, “Why do you have so many wrappings about your feet?” The colporteur did not want to answer but as they kept on asking he finally replied, “For your sake I have done this.” Then he told of the evening when he discovered that his toes were frozen. The whole family began to weep but they were joy tears. Finally the father of the family said to the colporteur, “I’m very happy that you visited us during the winter for we know not where we should have been to-day if you had not come and brought us this truth.”
Colporteur Lydia Turunen (Finland) ready to start on her skiis to her field. She started colporteur work in 1916.
Shall we not think of the colporteur and the work he is doing? Let us pray for him and do all we can to enlist many more of our brethren and sisters in this heavenly work!