Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 13 (1898)


Lt 111, 1898

Wessels, Sister

“Sunnyside,” Cooranbong, New South Wales, Australia

December 1, 1898

Portions of this letter are published in WM 334-335.

Dear Sister Wessels:

I do not want you to have any trouble on account of that £1,000. I will do my best to obtain it in time. If I do not, be assured that it will be obtained. As soon as the call for the money came, I began to try to call in the money that was rightfully mine. I have a school fund of £200, which I have reserved for the education of the youth who cannot attend school, but who desire to become missionaries. But that money is in the school, and it would distress them to obtain it. I placed it there as a loan, that it might help them in an emergency, but I can use it to send students to school. We had to resort to every resource to obtain means at that time. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 1

I have one hundred pounds in the sanitarium, but should I dare that at this time, it would embarrass them. I hired £100 to help pay my workers, who are helping me in preparing my books and articles for the papers. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 2

Brother Leininger, of California, mortgaged my place and his own to raise money on which to live, and I have to assume that responsibility, for he once had large means, and helped the home and foreign missions. Had he not mortgaged, he would have lost his property, and more would have gone with it. I knew nothing of the matter until he wrote me for more money. Then the whole thing was revealed to me. I sent word at once to take on the mortgage. Sixteen pounds interest had to be paid; sixteen pounds more will soon be called for to keep up the interest until I can pay up and release the mortgage of nearly fifteen hundred dollars. He wrote asking me for four hundred dollars, to get food to sustain his family. I wrote to the Pacific Press, telling them that it was not in the order of God that a brother in their own borders should feel that there was no help for him there, and that he must appeal to me for money. If you do not help him at the Pacific Press, I wrote, draw on my account, and help him to the money he asks. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 3

The directions are given us in Leviticus: “If thy brother be waxen poor, and have sold away some of his possessions, and if any of his kin come to redeem it, then shall he redeem that which his brother sold. ... And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee, then thou shalt relieve him: yea, though he be a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. I am the Lord your God which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Israel, and to be your God.” [Leviticus 25:25, 35-38.] 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 4

A sister in California, to whom I sold a cottage could not pay me. She has now given up the truth. Years ago she made a donation of one thousand pounds to the Healdsburg [College]. She also gave a nice piano, but she has threatened to make them trouble in order to get back that which she urged them to accept fifteen years ago. Brother C. H. Jones writes me that she had not the money to pay for the cottage, about fifteen dollars: but he thought she would settle the whole money if I would take that amount in shares. He promised that they would help me to work off these shares. I wanted to save them trouble, so I accepted the settlement, but as yet I have received only thirty dollars. This entanglement was to save the Healdsburg College trouble. Both these transactions have cut away from me three thousand dollars. Unforeseen circumstances, which I have had no hand in bringing about, have lost to me, and have placed me in debt to the Pacific Press, one hundred pounds. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 5

I write you these particulars that you may not think that I am not going to meet my obligations. The Lord will open the way. I shall not, even if I have to bear the whole loss myself, suffer one of the Lord’s servants to be turned away from his rights. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 6

When our brethren in California view this matter as God would have them, they will consider my embarrassment, and those for whom I have faithfully labored will take up their duty as Christians. The churches in California will not leave me in this destitute mission field to bear this burden alone. There are places within thirty miles of Cooranbong that have never been worked. Newcastle and Maitland, and the towns along the line toward Queensland, are places for which nothing has been done. The people there know not the truth. But the message must go to them. We have a camp meeting appointed in Newcastle for the twenty-second of December. The fields are all ready for the seeds of truth. Brother Herbert Lacey, with several workers, has been appointed to give Bible readings and to preach the Word in Newcastle. The ground for the camp meeting has been secured without cost. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 7

Souls are taking hold of the truth at Dora Creek and Awaba. Last Sunday several of our family rode out eight miles to Awaba. Living at this place are a man and his wife named Heaton, and another man named Woods. These people walk to our meetings here. We meet them with our horse and carriage four miles from this place. We have a small house rented at Dora Creek, and meetings are held there on Sabbath. Forty or fifty assemble each week. They have encouraging meetings. All are poor, but Christ came to preach the gospel to the poor. Then we have special meetings, we have these people come up from Dora Creek. We send our teams to carry the women and those who cannot walk. When we have meetings in the forenoon and afternoon, we provide a dinner on the ground under the trees. At the close of the meeting we take the people again to their homes. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 8

The sick will call upon us for help, and we go to their assistance. Sister McEnterfer, my helper and nurse, is called upon from miles around to prescribe for them and give them treatment. She has had a wonderful success. There is no physician in Cooranbong, but we shall build a hospital or Sanitarium soon, where the sick can be brought in and cared for. In the past we have brought them to our own home and cared for them for we cannot let human beings suffer without doing something to relieve them. These poor people are God’s heritage, and that which we do for them is done for Christ. We take no pay for anything we do, but we must have a hospital, which will cost as little as possible, where we can have some conveniences and facilities for caring for the sick. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 9

This is the work of Christ, and this must be our work. We want to follow closely in the footsteps of the Master. We find in this place intelligent people, who once were in comfortable positions; but poverty has come to them. We find work [for] these, and pay them for it, and thus relieve their necessities. This is the very work to be done in order to heal the maladies of the soul as well as of the body. Christ is the mighty Healer of soul and body. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 10

Christ declared, “The poor have ye always with you.” [John 12:8.] Oh, how I long to do more than I am now doing. May the Lord strengthen me, is my prayer, that I may be able to do all He has appointed me to do. Yesterday a box of clothing was sent to a poor, but intelligent and industrious family. The father is a fine workman, a coachmaker by trade. He works when he can get work. This is now the third box of clothing we have sent him. Souls are coming into the truth through the influence of this family, and Brother Starr is going to Sydney to baptize several who have been converted to the truth. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 11

I long to see the work advancing. We shall labor on patiently, and the Lord will do the convicting and the converting. We cannot neglect the poor. Christ was poor. He knew privation and want. I use every dollar of my income to advance the work, and then I borrow and pay interest on the money, that I may do more than my own money will allow. We mean to work while the day lasts, for the night cometh in which no man can work. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 12

I have written you the particulars of my situation, that you may understand just how I am placed. Do not think I will disappoint you in returning to you the money you so generously and kindly loaned me. The Lord bless you and Brother and Sister Lindsay and Brother Philip Wessels and Brother Peter Wessels, for the help you have given me. We thank you for doing what you have done. The Lord will reward you. It is treasure laid up in heaven. If one soul is of more value than the whole world, we might better invest all the means possible, that we may reach lost sheep, and bring them back to the fold. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 13

Christ said, “I am the Light of the world, he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” [John 8:12.] He who follows me who treads in my footsteps, is my disciple, my servant. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 14

I will now close this. I ask you to be as forbearing as possible, and I will pay you all. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 15

In much love. 13LtMs, Lt 111, 1898, par. 16