Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


The Voyage to Samoa and Australia

As they left Honolulu, Elder and Mrs. Starr joined the traveling group. During the seven days to Samoa they crossed the equator. Somewhat to Ellen White's surprise, she found the weather not uncomfortably hot. On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, she celebrated her sixty-fourth birthday. The sea was calm, and in her comfortable rocking chair on deck she had opportunity to contemplate. Thoughts of God's preserving care and lovingkindness filled her mind, and she wrote: 4BIO 20.3

At times I have been afflicted in body and depressed in spirits, but the Lord has been my Redeemer, my Restorer. Many have been the rich blessings imparted to me. In the time of my greatest need, I have been enabled to hold fast my confidence in my heavenly Father. The bright beams of the righteousness of Christ have been shining into my heart and mind, the powers of darkness are restrained; for Jesus our Advocate lives to make intercession for us.—The Review and Herald, February 16, 1892. 4BIO 20.4

Reaching Samoa Friday morning, the ship cast anchor offshore from Apia, its principal city. Samoans hastened out to the side of the vessel in their boats and canoes, laden with articles for sale. There was an abundance of fruit—pineapples, bananas, oranges, mangoes, limes, coconuts, and some fruits Ellen White had never heard of. They also had shells and coral, mats, baskets, and fans woven from native grasses. Ellen White chose to remain on the ship while her traveling companions went ashore for the brief stay. 4BIO 20.5

Traveling west and south to New Zealand, they crossed the international date line. For the first time in her life Ellen White experienced a six-day week, for Tuesday, December 1, was dropped from the reckoning. They reached Auckland, New Zealand, on Thursday morning, December 3. Edward Hare and others took them to his home for lunch. After sightseeing in the afternoon, they met with a sizable congregation in the Seventh-day Adventist house of worship, one of the very few in the South Pacific. 4BIO 21.1

Approaching Australia on Monday, the seventh, she brought her shipboard writing to a close. She noted that she had come short of meeting the goal she had set for herself in writing: 4BIO 21.2

I have not been able to do much writing on this voyage. I have written about one hundred and fifty pages, but I expected to write as much as three hundred pages. I simply had to keep still, and be content not to do much of anything. I have not been able to walk on deck without an assistant, but my limbs [Note: Both ankles, broken in an accident on a camping trip in the rocky mountains, were improperly set, leaving her with a permanent weakness.] are now growing stronger. I was almost completely exhausted in mind and body when I came on board the vessel.—Letter 32a, 1891. 4BIO 21.3