Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
November 27, 1958

"There Wasn't Room For Them"

Mason Harris, Bergen, Norway

"There wasn't room for them" are the words that have been haunting this writer since last Sunday when I had to drive off in my loaded car, along with two hired cars loaded to the limit, and leave some children standing on the sidewalk, suppressing tears because there was no room for them to go to Bible classes with their friends. I have witnessed many heartbreaking scenes in my life and here is one that can go on the list that we will not soon forget. This could have been avoided by taking another car with us and this is what we will do next Sunday in all probability. However this will present another problem almost as serious.

If we bring all who want to come we will have two overcrowded rooms in which to teach fifty or more children who have not yet learned how to conduct themselves properly, and whose ages are from four years to fourteen years. Those who have teaching experience know that more space would be needed for such a group. This problem could be settled by getting a larger place in which to meet. This we are trying to do. However, even if we find a larger place that will allow more children to come, we have another serious problem.

We have reason to believe that when a larger place is found and its location listed that the number will increase. Yet we have only three teachers for the children. Two of them are Norwegian converts and the other is Brother Adams who speaks Norsk well. We have not yet learned to teach without the aid of an interpreter and such method is no good for children. As soon as I can learn the language well enough I will teach a class. We sometimes feel that in trying to teach so many at one time we actually fail in our purpose. Children this age need more special attention than can be given by so few teachers.

"These "problems" are brought about by: 1) Children who want to attend the classes but live too far from the meeting place to walk and whose parents are not interested enough to send them by bus or bring them in a car; 2) Not being able to find a larger place in which to meet; and 3) The lack of workers.

Is there a zealous Christian woman or man who has had experience in working with young people that can come over here to help us in the work? Of course you would need to learn the language to do the most good, but while you learn the language you could help us prepare material for teaching purposes. All such material must be translated and then mimeographed. The idea that one has to be a preacher to come to this place or any other place of such work is wrong. There is plenty of work that has to be done outside of the pulpit. Is there someone who would support such a person should one be found that will come? If you can't come perhaps you can help someone else to come.

We do not mean that we need help only for the children. Certainly we need more help with the adults. They are slow and deliberate in their thinking and acting so it requires much time and effort to teach them the truth and encourage them to obey it. But we do believe that the progress of the church in Norway is going to be affected one way or the other by teaching or failing to teach these young people. We pray that God in his providential way will so move the course of events that we may soon have more workers in this field that is white unto harvest and that not one single child will have to stay at home from Bible study because no one cared or could provide an opportunity.