Testimonies to Southern Africa


Testimonies to Southern Africa

The Ellen G. White Africa Collection

When in 1886 a “Macedonian call” came to the General Conference in Battle Creek from several Sabbath-keeping Adventists in South Africa asking that a minister be sent to them, the response came in the form of a company who set out from America the next year for Cape Town, consisting of D. A. Robinson and C. L. Boyd and their wives; two colporteurs, George Burleigh and R. S. Anthony; and a Bible instructor, Miss Carrie Mace. TSA 4.1

In Norway, as they were en route to South Africa, the path of brethren D. A. Robinson and C. L. Boyd crossed that of Ellen White who had gone from America to spend some time in Europe (1885-1887); and having become deeply interested in their mission she wrote letters of counsel which she placed in their hands as they journeyed to Africa. TSA 4.2

Mrs. White's interest in the opening work in Africa did not stop there. In 1889 when S. N. Haskell went to Africa to spend five months in visiting, holding meetings, and counseling concerning the work, he received letters from Ellen White in which she discussed certain aspects of the work of the mission and those leading out in it. TSA 4.3

A. T. Robinson was sent to Africa in 1891 and, as he took charge of the work there, had much to do in shaping its organization. Letters of counsel from the pen of Ellen White were also addressed to him. TSA 4.4

Among those very prominent in Ellen White's correspondence concerning the Africa interests was a South African family, the Wessels family, who had come into the possession of considerable means. Pieter Wessels was one of the original two believers who wrote for help to the General Conference in 1886, and this entire family evoked the deepest interest in the years that followed on the part of Ellen White who was concerned with their spiritual welfare, their personal problems, and the right use of their means for the cause. TSA 4.5

While Ellen White never visited South Africa in person she conducted regular correspondence with leaders and members there while she was in Australia from 1891 to 1900. There are in the files many letters from the pen of Ellen White to members of the Wessels family starting in 1890 and spanning the years to 1908, only seven years before her death. TSA 5.1

To summarize, the E. G. White materials in the files of letters and documents touching on Africa consist of counsels to missionaries and leaders in Africa, to believers, and especially to members of the Wessels family. It includes counsel to individuals, some of it very personal and applying to particular situations. There are observations pointing out mistakes in method, many exhortations, statements of principles applying to the work, and many pages of deeply spiritual instruction. TSA 5.2

The E. G. White office has endeavoured to bring together in this collection the relevant material that will serve to guide and inspire in the work in Africa, and to include some of the special items out of the correspondence that will show the deep interest and involvement of Ellen White in the Africa mission and her burden for the rapid and balanced growth of the Advent message in that continent. TSA 5.3

Ellen G. White Estate

Washington, D. C.

August 1974