Welfare Ministry

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Ellen G. White in Practical Dorcas Work

(Jottings from E. G. White Diary of 1859)

January 2, Sunday—Sister Augusta Bognes was sent for to assist me to prepare for another journey. Made a coat for Edson. He will accompany us. We tried to comfort Augusta. She is cast down and discouraged, health poor and no one to depend on. She has laid aside her armor and shield of faith. May the Lord strengthen the weak hands and confirm the feeble knees. Gave Sister Irving a warm cloak and dress and a few other things to make over for her. WM 322.2

January 3, Monday—Went to the office. Called in to Brother Loughborough's and to my sister's. Wrote seven pages to Doctor Naramores, then took dinner to my sister's. Had a good interview with my father and mother. Went to the office again after dinner, and wrote four pages to Brother Orton's family. Also wrote four pages to Brother Howland's family and wrote to Sister Ashley, and Brother Collin's family. Paid widow Cranson $1.00 for making a couple of shirts. Paid Sister Bognes $1.00 for making a coat. She was unwilling to take it, but I felt it duty to hand it to her. She is poor and sickly. May the Lord pity and care for her. Said Jesus, “The poor always ye have with you.” May the Lord rid us of selfishness and help us to care for other's woes and relieve them. WM 322.3

January 6, Thursday—Make a cap for Edson and a vest. At night am very weary. Give Agnes a half worn dress for her mother. They are poor. The husband and father is sick. Their crops have failed. Have breadstuff to buy and nothing to buy with. Agnes is their main support. She is only seventeen. There are four children now at home. They must suffer unless the church interests themselves in their behalf. May the Lord have mercy upon the needy, and put it in His children's hearts to dispense to them with a liberal hand. WM 323.1

February 3, Thursday—Very sick all day with sick headache. Henry Pierce from Monterey at our house. Send Sister Leander Jones some things for her children and Jenny sends her her best bonnet. May the Lord enable us to see the wants of the poor and give us a ready and willing heart to supply them. WM 323.2

February 28, Monday—Mary Loughborough came here. Stopped with us for dinner. Her baby is sick in the afternoon. Went into Sister Ratel's. Have a pleasant interview. Her babe has on an old torn white dress. The best he has except one that she keeps to put on when she goes out with him. She speaks of her children that died two years since. She does not wish them alive again. The family are all poor. The oldest girl prizes a Bible I gave her, much. She reads out of it to her parents. Sister Ratel's health is very poor. Has spit blood today. I fear she will not fill her place in her family long. She tries to do right. Her husband is a poor, wicked, passionate man and she has great trials. May the Lord sustain her. She begs us to pray for her that she may do right at all times. WM 323.3

March 1, Tuesday—Walked to the office. Called to see Sister Sarah and mother. Sarah gave me a little dress and two aprons for Sister Ratel's babe. I then called on Sister Aurora Lockwood. Had a pleasant interview with her. She is a choice sister, beloved of God and highly respected of all the church. WM 324.1

I rode down to the city and purchased a few things. Bought a little dress for Sister Ratel's babe. Came to the office, assisted them a little there, and then came home to dinner. Sent the little articles to Sister Ratel. Mary Loughborough sends her another dress, so she will do very well now. Oh, that all knew the sweetness of giving to the poor, of helping do others good, and making others happy. The Lord open my heart to do all in my power to relieve those around me. “Give me to feel my brother's woe.” WM 324.2

March 8, Tuesday—It is a day when infirmities are striving for the victory. I suffer much pain in my left shoulder and lung. My spirits are depressed. Brother John Andrews leaves today. Comes up to visit us in the eve. Have a pleasant interview. Get together a few things for him to take home. Send Angeline a new calico dress, nine shillings, and a stout pair of calfskin shoes. Father gives the making of the shoes and the making of a pair of boots for Brother John Andrews. I send the little boy a nice little flannel shirt and yarn to knit him a pair of stockings. I send Sister or Mother Andrews a nice large cape, well wadded for her to wear. I make a bag to put them in of towel cloth. Write three small pages to Sister Mary Chase. In it write receipt [recipe] obtained from John's. WM 324.3

March 10, Thursday—Walked to the city and back. Was very weary. Purchased John F. a pair of pants. In the afternoon Sister Irving came in.... WM 324.4

For ten weeks the daughter has lived with us, and we paid her nine shillings a week. All but one dollar of this she has handed to her mother. Her clothes are poor, yet she does not appropriate any means to her own use. She forgets herself in her devotion and self-sacrifice to her parents. It was as affecting a scene as I never witnessed. The reluctance of the mother to accept the wages, all the wages of a daughter, through necessity and the willingness and freedom of the daughter to have all go to her poor afflicted parents. The mother and daughter wept, and we wept. We aided them some. Paid half toward a pair of boots for a little brother. One dollar. I paid one-fifty for a pair of shoes for the mother. Husband gave her one dollar in money. Henry gave her ten cents. Edson, ten cents, and little Willie ten. Husband gave her twenty-five more to buy a little luxury for the sick one. We parted with considerable half-worn clothing to make over. WM 324.5

April 21, Thursday—Work on a rug. Write a letter to Daniel Bourdeau. This morning there is a feeling of sympathy among certain of the flock for Brother Benedict's family. We have contributed a mite for their relief, about seven dollars. Purchased them different things to eat, and carry it to them. Brother and Sister Benedict visited us all day. Had a very interesting and pleasant interview. My mother came to see me, which was a great comfort to me. WM 325.1