Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 8

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Lt 88, 1893

Custer, John

Bank’s Terrace, Wellington, New Zealand

June 5, 1893

Previously unpublished.

Mr. John Custer
Napa, California

Dear Brother:

I thought I would address a letter to you. We are seeking in every way possible to advance the cause of present truth in Australia, and New Zealand. There is much work to be done and but few workers and little means to do with. It has seemed to me that our brethren and sisters might help us to get a start, a beginning. They could do this by helping us build humble places of worship and establish schools which are a positive necessity, if we make advancement. Those from other churches came to our meetings, but the halls hired are very expensive and illy ventilated. We have to hire and venture something. Prejudice is strong, but no firmer than we have had to meet in many places in America. Satan is very active to hedge up our way, but the truth will triumph. 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 1

The Lord will make a place for the truth in many hearts. It costs money to hold meetings in hired halls. If we could have a humble place of worship here, that the people who are dissatisfied with the churches could attend, and they could see a place in which to worship God without going to the skating rink (although sometimes used for religious meetings as well as temperance meetings) which is owned by a brewer who makes and sells liquor, I am sure we would stand a better chance to get a good congregation. 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 2

I know how it was when the work was started in Oakland. We could not make headway, until we built a meeting house. There are but few who believe present truth who own their homes, either in Australia or New Zealand. The help will not come to us from outside parties, and believers are poor. We are praying over the matter. The first term of school in this missionary field was started in Australia by my giving $1000 of royalty from books. Young men and women who give promise of becoming laborers have no money to use to enter the Bible School. We have started a fund for this purpose, and therefore have been enabled to send some, quite a number, to the school last term and this. 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 3

All here need to be educated for the work. Many things have gone in a haphazard way, because they have not had the advantages of ministerial institutes, which would have educated and drilled workers to enter the harvest field. Many of these young men and women offer themselves to enter to the field; but we dared not advise them to do so, until they had learned the trade to be workers together with God. Until they could have proper instruction to become Bible workers and canvassers, they could not do proper work. 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 4

I have thought you might be able to donate of your means to help us at this time. Last year I appropriated $1000.00. This year I again appropriated $1000.00 of royalty from books to educate workers from this field. I am deeply interested, and I feel that I cannot return to America until I see the cause of present truth firmly established. We are doing all we can do. If you would do something for us we would be very grateful. The work is the Lord’s. The cause is the Lord’s, and the gospel field is the world. 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 5

This field is so distant from America that our people seem to think, some of them at least, that money is about lost to be invested in foreign countries for missionary purposes. But I do hope the Lord will move upon hearts to consider that there are large cities of English speaking people who have never heard the truth. Many of these cities in New Zealand have had no labor done in them. We must see the banner of truth unfurled in these cities. Will you please advise with Brother Haskell in reference to these matters? 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 6

We will now close this short epistle, hoping the Lord will move upon your heart to do something for the cause in this mission field. Property in Australia, especially in New South Wales, is away down because of bank failures. Now is a favorable opportunity to buy property for our school building as well as for meeting houses. We could have a school building built to serve for school, home, and meetings and missionary rooms, if we could have the means to start the buildings at once. 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 7

I praise the Lord that my health is much improved. I have since coming to this country written thirty hundred pages of letter paper, and have labored hard in speaking. During the four months that have passed, I have spoken fifty-four times; that is since we have come to New Zealand. I am now trying to write The Life of Christ. 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 8

I’ll say in concluding that we shall be grateful for any sum you may send us. 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 9

With respect. 8LtMs, Lt 88, 1893, par. 10