Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


Sowing Beside All Waters

She was beginning to sense more and more the difficulties of evangelistic labor in Europe. “This is a hard field,” she admitted, “but we are to sow beside all waters. These valleys have been watered with the blood of the Christian Waldenses, and it must be that the seed of truth will spring up and bear fruit to the glory of God. We will work, we will pray, and we will believe. It is no harder field than Jesus found when He came to our world.”—Ibid. EGWE 177.2

The next day the rain continued to fall, and Ellen White devoted the day to writing while Elder Bourdeau walked the five miles to Villar Pellice to fill his speaking appointment. Tuesday she managed to get a covered carriage to take her to St. John's, where she spoke again. EGWE 177.3

Finally on Wednesday, April 21, the sun broke through, and Mrs. White, along with Mary K., Martha Bourdeau, and Martha's daughter, Sarah, rented a carriage to ride out in the sunshine. “We drove very slowly, for the horse, although strong, had no idea of hurting his constitution,” Ellen White remarked wryly! EGWE 177.4

Later that day Antoine Biglia arrived from Naples, Italy, where he had lived and worked for a number of years. Biglia, like others who had had only the most limited opportunities to learn how to be an effective minister, was in need of counsel. Of the interview Ellen White reported: EGWE 177.5

“We labored with him, and sought most earnestly to help him to take hold of the work, not as a fighter, contending and debating, as was his habit, driving people away from the truth rather than into it. He saw we talked the truth, not with storm; not pelting the people with denunciations like hailstones. We had very precious seasons of prayer.... EGWE 178.1

“This brother from Naples said he had received much light, and would labor in altogether a different manner than he had done.” EGWE 178.2

“We have to work with these men who are really intelligent just as we worked with them one by one in the infancy of the Seventh-day Adventist cause, separating from these precious souls their unsanctified ways and manners, talking to them about Jesus, His great love, His meekness, His lowliness, His self-denial. These rough stones we bring if possible into the workshop of God where they will be hewed and squared, and all the rough edges removed.... Thus they may grow up into a holy temple for God.”—Letter 44, 1886, p. 3. EGWE 178.3

The next day was market day, and the clatter of wooden shoes woke Ellen White at 5:00 A.M. She looked out of her window on the crowds of people hurrying to market. EGWE 178.4

Then A. C. Bourdeau appeared on the scene with exciting news. The night before, his meeting place was crowded with people, and more than one hundred were unable to gain entrance. Fortunately J. D. Geymet was on hand to speak to those outside while Bourdeau took care of the crowd in the building. It was a successful evening. EGWE 178.5

On Friday the rain came again, and Sabbath also, but the meetings continued to be crowded with eager listeners. EGWE 178.6

On Sunday morning Ellen White took time to visit the young man from Switzerland who had wanted so much to marry Elise Vuilleumier. He had come to Torre Pellice just after receiving Ellen White's letter and moved his church membership there. There is no way of knowing what she said to him, but she was conscious that her earlier counsel to him was not easy to bear. Now she showed a tender interest in him and his welfare. EGWE 178.7