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


An Appeal to the Wessels Family for Money

The work at Avondale was at a standstill, mainly for lack of funds. On April 29 Ellen White wrote to the Wessels family in Africa, pleading for help: 4BIO 265.4

I wish to write you a few lines, asking you to lend me £1000. At the present time we are greatly in need of a building for school purposes. On account of the lack of means, we may not be able to carry out the plans designed by Brother Sisley, but if you will lend us the money I ask, we can commence at once to erect a plain, economical building.... It would be a great mistake [to stop] the work on the school building for a year.... Are you able to loan us £1000, and can you send it direct to us? ... If you can send the money, I will give you my note for the same, only asking you to make the interest as low as you can afford.... Would you know how you can best please your Saviour? It is by putting your money to the exchangers, to be used in the Lord's service and to advance His work.—Letter 107, 1896. 4BIO 265.5

In another letter she told of how “the word of the Lord” came to her, “‘Send to Africa for help. I have entrusted my stewards there with means, and I will move upon their hearts to trade upon My entrusted talents.’”—Letter 114, 1896. 4BIO 265.6

Although money was scarce, the land yielded its crops in such abundance and good quality that Ellen White could write, “We are all convinced that this is the place where we should locate.”—Letter 107, 1896. Now she would wait for a response, a response that could assure progress. 4BIO 266.1

In the meantime the program of writing and of ministering in the community continued. “I am so glad I am here,” she wrote on May 3. They were calling for her to return to America, but “Not yet, not yet” was her word. 4BIO 266.2

I have important writing to do, and this must be done before I can leave this locality. The school must be started, a meeting house must be built before we can leave the work. I feel forbidden to go now. We must not leave, for the people here would be utterly discouraged if we did. Poverty binds them about in this country. They say, If you had not been able to help us, what would we have done. I tell them that all the gold and silver in the world belongs to the Lord. The cattle upon a thousand hills are His, and He will not let His work come to a standstill. It must go. “Go forward,” saith the Lord; and if we move, the way will open. The work here must not stop.—Letter 111, 1896. 4BIO 266.3