Ellen G. White in Europe 1885-1887


Chapter 18—Among the Swiss Believers

Busy times with the Roth family

After the breathtaking journey through the Alps, Ellen White's train pulled into Geneva Thursday evening in a driving rainstorm. At the station waiting for the traveling party from Italy were the D. T. Bourdeau family. Soon the travelers were again comfortably situated in the hospitable Bourdeau home. EGWE 186.1

Much of the next day Ellen White spent in writing and then that evening, after the setting of the sun, spoke to a small group of interested persons in Bourdeau's home. Sabbath morning she took the train for Lausanne and went directly to the hall where Sabbath services were in progress. Bourdeau translated her message into French while Conradi rendered it in German. Here Conradi had at least twenty who had accepted the Sabbath. EGWE 186.2

As she met with the workers on Sunday she was impressed with their self-sacrifice, and the difficulty of their task: EGWE 186.3

“There are efforts being made, but how few the workers! Limited means, bound about constantly for want of money—it is pinch here and pinch there, and that kind of plain diet that in America they would think they would be going on the starvation plan. Many and most of their meals are bare bread and hot milk, and frequently the bare bread. The dress of all is severely plain; and yet how much easier working now than when the bloodhounds of persecution were upon the track of everyone who had dared to differ in sentiment from Rome, and afterward from the State Church.... EGWE 186.4

“When I saw them in Lausanne in a small hall, boards without backs for seats, I then thought of how much good a little means might do that is squandered upon attractive garments or extras in diet and furniture by so many in America. My heart aches. I so long to see the example of Christ followed in self-denial, in self-sacrifice.”—Letter 97, 1886. EGWE 187.1