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was released from his work in Switzerland, and came to Canada to work among the French of that country. He conducted tent work in Montreal and at other important centers, experiencing considerable opposition, but also finding many honest inquiring souls.
Work among other foreign nationalities is being carried on to a limited extent. In 1910, A. Boettcher was called to take supervision of the work in the Eastern division, among all the foreign nationalities except the Germans and Scandinavians. In the following year he conducted a tent-meeting at Newark, N. J., with an excellent interest and encouraging results. The Hungarian church in New York City grew steadily in membership, and developed some workers. A tent-meeting was held among the Finns in Brooklyn, in the summer of 1913, which resulted in raising up a little company of believers. The church at Newark, N. J., composed of Slavs, Bohemians, and Poles, erected a chapel in 1913. They also held a series of meetings in Passaic. A Rumanian Bible worker labored for a time among her countrymen in Cleveland, Ohio. R. Calderone developed a growing work among the Italians of Chicago. A church numbering over forty members was organized, worshiping in a church building of its own on Erie Street, formerly occupied by the Scandinavian Sabbath keepers in that part of the city. Elder Calderone was assisted by Miss Vesta Cash, a Bible worker who had learned the language, and was giving her whole energies to the work among the Italians. There was also in Chicago a Hungarian who visited among the interested persons of his nationality, and saw some results of his efforts.
Also among the Hollanders the work had been for some years practically at a standstill. While not so numerous as the French, the Hollanders are represented in this country by hundreds of thousands, and are among the most intelligent and thrifty of our foreigners. The Adventists of this nationality are chiefly located in Michigan. At a representative meeting held at Grand Rapids in the spring of 1911, request was made that a laborer be provided as soon as possible to work among the Hollanders of this country.
The outlook for the future of the Foreign Department is a bright one. The work is fraught with great possibilities. America is still the land of opportunity. In its early history it was for many years a refuge for the oppressed of Europe. People came here in order that they might freely worship God according to the dictates of conscience. Some are still coming
here for that purpose. Many others are coming to us because living conditions are better than in the congested portions of Europe. Some find employment in the factories and coal mines of our Eastern States; others seek homes on the great prairies of the Mississippi Valley, or continue their journey farther west. They come to us from every country of Europe, the men for the most part honest, industrious, accustomed to toil; the women worn with labor and hardships, but with hope in their hearts. And they come to stay, having bidden final farewell to their native lands, in order to make a new start in this land of promise.
Until recent years they came at the rate of about a million a year, with the result that today the population of this country is one third foreign. Indeed, in thirty-three of our largest cities the foreign population is greater than the native, and in Milwaukee and Fall River the percentage of foreigners is actually more than four fifths. New York not only has more inhabitants of German than of native descent, but it has more Germans than any city of Germany except Berlin. It has double the number of Irish people that are to be found in Dublin, and more Italians than Naples or Venice.
The foreigners in our great cities for the most part live in settlements of their own. They retain their native language, their peculiar customs and traditions. Thus they present to the gospel worker a home mission problem of the greatest magnitude; but also a great opportunity. In the words of the Rev. A. R. Bailey:
"The coming of this great foreign army to us spells opportunity and responsibility for the church of the living God. For years we have been sending men and money to foreign fields with the gospel. It seems as if God has looked down upon us and says, 'You are too slow. You will never evangelize the world at the rate you are now working.' So he has stirred up these people to come to us, and with the coming of these millions from foreign lands the church and every individual Christian ought to see the greatest opportunity for evangelism that has ever been given to any people."
AT the General Conference of 1901 plans were laid for taking over the Sabbath school along with other branches of the work and making of it also a separate department. The eighteenth meeting of the International Sabbath School Association, held in the Tabernacle at Battle Creek, Mich., April 18, 1901, was accordingly the last meeting of the kind. At the close of the General Conference, Sabbath school workers were appointed
1 For much of the material in this brief sketch of the recent growth and development of the Sabbath school the writer has drawn freely from the pamphlet by Mrs. L. Flora Plummer, entitled, "From Acorn to Oak," in some cases only slightly adapting the language.
by the General Conference Committee. L. Flora Plummer was selected to serve as corresponding secretary, and a committee of ten was chosen to form a department committee. The office of the corresponding secretary was for a time at Minneapolis, Minn. In October, 1903, it was moved to Washington, D. C., occupying quarters temporarily at 222 North Capitol St. At the same time the department committee was reorganized so that its members could be called together for counsel at any time.
Further help being required in order to care for the growing interests of the work, G. B. Thompson was called to Washington in 1904, and for some years devoted a portion of his time. to the Sabbath School Department. Mrs. Plummer being unable to remain in Washington, her place was filled for a few months by Mrs. Flora L. Bland. In July, 1905, the former secretary resumed her work in the office. In December of the same year the department moved into the quarters it has since occupied in the office building of the General Conference at Takoma Park, D. C.
The period from 1906 to 1912 was a memorable one in the annals of the Sabbath school because of the strenuous and successful effort put forth in behalf of missions. The missionary spirit had been steadily growing, Sabbath school offerings were increasing, but a considerable portion of the funds was still used for local expenses. In 1906 the Vermont Conference sent in a Sabbath school report showing that all the schools in that conference had given all their regular Sabbath contributions to missions. The effect was instantaneous. Mrs. Plummer writes:
"Like a mighty rushing tide that could not be stayed or turned aside, the missionary idea enveloped the Sabbath schools, and in six short years of time every school, from the large one at headquarters to the remotest one in the uttermost parts of the world, was giving its all to missions."
The quarterly report for September, 1912, showed that the goal had been reached. The Sabbath schools in all the conferences, and in the mission fields as well, had given all their offerings to missions. Once the principle had been established that all the offerings should go to missions, the fund rapidly grew, and it was not many years before the Sabbath School Department was giving fully one half, and then three fourths of the total amount of funds used for carrying on the work of missions. Said W. A. Spicer,
"There is no agency but the Sabbath school that can hold an envelope before each believer in the denomination every Sabbath, and solicit an offering for missions."