Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 9

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Lt 64, 1894

Olsen, O. A.

Per Ardua, Williams St., Granville, New South Wales, Australia

May 6, 1894

Portions of this letter are published in 1MR 29; 7MR 82.

Elder O. A. Olsen 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 1

Battle Creek, Michigan 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 2

Dear Brother:

By the last mail but one, Brother Haskell wrote me that two brethren in California had each pledged five thousand dollars for the work of God in this country. Last month he wrote that he hoped to get a draft of one thousand dollars to send in that mail. For some cause he failed to do this, but said it should come by the next mail. We were all counting on the pressure being lightened, when lo, I read that C. H. Jones did not think it advisable to send the money; they needed it just now at the Pacific Press. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 3

If you had anything to do in reaching this supposed wise decision, all I wish is that for a little time you might be situated as we have been during the last few weeks, studying and planning what we could do to avoid spending a shilling that was not positively necessary, and talking about the relief that was to come by the next mail; then the word comes that it is decided to keep the money in the publishing house at Oakland. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 4

I read this, and looked at Willie. I felt distressed, far more because of the action itself than for the trouble it would cause us. To think that we have been sent to this far-off country, to find the treasury empty, and then that men in responsible positions at home, standing as stewards of God, should come to such a decision! What are we to expect or to hope for? The Lord has made men His almoners, and He has moved by His spirit upon men who have means to donate money for this country, specifying that it is in response to the urgent appeals of Sister White, and then someone steps between them and the object for which these means were given, and says, “No, it must not go there. I want it to use in the work here!” How can we look upon such a proceeding? This matter crushed me. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 5

If this is the way our brethren venture to divert means into another channel than that for which it was designed, the Pacific Press will lose more than they gain, whatever their purpose may be. God will not bless any such purposes. It is not the way He works. Is it supposed that everything for this far-off country must come from or through Battle Creek? The Lord is not pleased with any such ideas. But as I have written quite fully in reference to this matter in a letter to C. H. Jones, I will say no more here in regard to it. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 6

I see that we must trust in God alone. The Lord is full of resources; if one fails, it is because of man’s perverted wisdom; if selfishness is exhibited right in God’s moral vineyard, if men can see nigh, and not afar off, they need the heavenly eyesalve. We now wait and pray; it is all we can do. Since coming to this country, I have hired twelve hundred dollars, and have used it to advance the work in different lines. God help me, that I may not fail nor be discouraged. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 7

We cannot sit down with folded arms, and yet what can we do? I felt the disappointment so much. A door of thought was opened that I could not close, and I lay awake nearly one entire night. I have said over and over, God help me to make no mistake and leave no duty undone. I could not attend meeting yesterday, was troubled with heart difficulty. I have been unable to breathe freely for days. Today I decide again to buckle on the armor and go to speak to the people at Seven Hills. I will not lament over the nonaccomplishment of a work on our part which we have honestly and earnestly tried to do but have been hindered. We will remember that when we have done our best, we can still look for God Himself to work. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 8

The Lord wants us to have facilities to do a work in this country which cannot be done without them. There are “regions beyond” that need help. [2 Corinthians 10:16.] Many souls are to be numbered with God’s jewels. God always has means; if men make blunders, and do not permit the means to flow into the right channel, He still has ways to bring about His ends that we poor shortsighted mortals cannot discern. We must keep in partnership with God. We may tell it all to the Lord. We are His servants, ready to do His will. It is not we and God that are to do the work; it is God and we. The net will be cast on the right side of the ship, and we shall become fishers of men. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 9

We will not be impetuous if there must be delay in the accomplishment of our plans because our fellow workers do not manage so that we shall make connection. We will try not to carry the burden, but say, It is the Lord; let Him do what seemeth Him good. I will believe. “And having done all, to stand,” waiting on the Lord. [Ephesians 6:13.] There is important work to be done. The Lord will send His angels to lead us in the way. He says, “I will guide thee with mine eye.” [Psalm 32:8.] “Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” [Psalm 27:14.] But sometimes I feel almost wild as I see the great work to be done and so little accomplished. Surely we can do nothing without means. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 10

God has given me in trust the royalty on the foreign books, and I sometimes ask, Is it not my duty to use that royalty, the whole if need be, right where I am, and where I see that the work can be advanced? Over and over I ask, What is God’s way? The course my brethren sometimes think best to pursue, throws me into a most perplexing position. I feel constrained to follow that which I am convinced is God’s way, irrespective of the course they see fit to take. I pray for an enlightened conscience that guides only toward the right way. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 11

O, I need the closest connection with my brethren, but I cannot always follow their way. I pray the Lord that He will give me faith and clear eyesight to keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment. My life has been spared by the mercy of God to do a certain work; I have pledged that life to Him, but the work is not always easy to perform. I have to take positions not in harmony with men whom I believe to be God’s workmen, and I see that I must do this in the future as in the past. It hurts me more than I can tell. The dearest hope that I can have may not be realized, yet if God will show me the right way, I will walk in it. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 12

But O, I am so weary, weary and homesick. I want to see Jesus, and sit at His feet. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. There will come, it may be, the last perplexity, the last heartache. God reigns. Now I must stop and prepare for this afternoon’s meeting. God give me a message for His little flock today, and raise me above this sadness and heartache, that I may speak His message to the sheep and lambs of His pasture. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 13

I hope I shall not become disheartened. I am very much disappointed that no encouragement was given me in regard to Edson and Emma’s coming to this country. I need just the help they could give me, now that the Lord is leading them because they will be led. I think my children and my good brethren do not consider that I am growing old; I know not how soon I may be called to lay off my armor, and my heart yearns for my children. To have them with me in my work, if God wills, would be a great satisfaction to me. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 14

I know what Edson can be if he submits to the molding of the Holy Spirit. He will be a man of opportunity in very many branches of the work. Emma standing by his side, with her talent in singing consecrated to Christ, would exert a good influence, and prepare the way for my testimony. This is what should be, for it has been presented thus to me again and again. But Satan has hindered that which God designed. 9LtMs, Lt 64, 1894, par. 15