Section 3—Smaller Communities and Rural Areas

The Highways and Byways

Out-of-the-Way Places—In our planning for the extension of the work, far more than the cities alone must be comprehended. In out-of-the-way places are many, many families that need to be looked after in order to learn whether they understand the work that Jesus is doing for His people. Ev 45.1

Those in the highways are not to be neglected; neither are those in the hedges; and as we journey about from place to place and pass by house after house, we should often inquire, “Have the people who are living in these places heard the message? Has the truth of God's Word been brought to their ears? Do they understand that the end of all things is at hand, and that the judgments of God are impending? Do they realize that every soul has been bought with an infinite price? As I meditate upon these things, my heart goes out in deep longing to see the truth carried in its simplicity to the homes of these people along the highways and places far removed from the crowded centers of population....It is our privilege to visit them and acquaint them with God's love for them and with His wonderful provision for the salvation of their souls. Ev 45.2

In this work in the highways and the hedges, there are serious difficulties to be met and overcome. The worker, as he searches for souls, is not to fear nor be discouraged, for God is his helper, and will continue to be his helper; and He will open up ways before His servants.—Manuscript 15, 1909. Ev 45.3

A Call for Larger Plans—We are altogether too narrow in our plans. We need to be broader minded. God wants us to carry out in our work for Him the principles of truth and righteousness. His work is to go forward in cities and towns and villages.... Ev 46.1

We must get away from our smallness and make larger plans. There must be a wider reaching forth to work for those who are nigh and those who are afar off.—Manuscript 87, 1907. Ev 46.2

Unpromising Fields—The field of labor is to be extended. The gospel message is to go to all parts of the world. The most unpromising fields must receive earnest, determined labor. The sons of God, earnest, true, unselfish, must use all the knowledge they possess in managing this important work.—Manuscript 141, 1899. Ev 46.3

Country People More Easily Reached—The people who live in the country places are often more easily reached than are those who dwell in the thickly populated cities. Here among the scenes of nature Christian character is more easily formed than amid the wickedness of city life. When the truth takes hold of the hearts of the simplehearted, and the Spirit of God works upon their minds, leading them to respond to the proclamation of the Word, there will be some raised up to help support the cause of God both by their means and their labors.—Manuscript 65, 1908. Ev 46.4

To All Classes—Men and women in the highways and byways are to be reached. We read of Christ's labors: “Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people.” Just such a work as this is to be done in our cities and villages, in the highways and hedges. The gospel of the third angel's message is to be carried to all classes.—Manuscript 7, 1908. Ev 46.5

Sounding the Call in New Places—Our Saviour's work was to warn the cities and to ordain workers to go out of the cities to places where the light had never yet been given, and to lift up the standard of truth in new localities....The light is given me that we must not have special anxiety to crowd too many interests into one locality, but should look for places in out-of-the-way districts and work in new places. Thus people may be reached and converted who know nothing of the precious, testing truths for this time. The last call should be made just as important in new places in this country as in distant lands. This word was spoken concerning some localities that have not had the message brought to them. The seeds of truth are to be sown in uncultivated centers....It will cultivate a missionary spirit to work in new localities. Selfishness in respect to keeping large companies together is not the Lord's plan. Enter every new place possible and begin the work of educating in vicinities that have not heard the truth. Ev 47.1

Why did our Saviour labor to sow the seed in out-of-the-way places? Why did He travel slowly away from the villages which had been His places for communicating light by opening the Scriptures? There was a world to hear, and some souls would accept the truth who had not yet heard it. Christ traveled slowly and opened the Scriptures in their simplicity to minds that would receive the truth.—Letter 318, 1908. Ev 47.2

Simultaneous Efforts in Smaller Cities—During the time when camp meetings can be held in this conference, two or three meetings in different places should be in progress at the same time. There is a time when these meetings cannot be held; but during the months when we can use the tents to advantage, we are not to confine our efforts to the largest cities. We must give the warning message to the people in every place.—Manuscript 104, 1902. Ev 47.3