Putting Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
Thursday/June/2013 03:59 PM Filed in: Leonard A. Johnson
Moving with ConvictionI read with interest a document provided by a friend regarding visions given by Ellen White while in Australia “in which she was shown places in California suitable for building sanitariums.” In August 1901, as she was attending the Los Angeles Camp Meeting, she recalled those visions and thus moved to acquire the properties. These included The Paradise Valley and Loma Linda properties. These would give rise to our initial sanitariums. Today, we identify one of these as the renowned Loma Linda facility. Without doubt, God inspired those projects. In fact, a well digger while digging for water on one of the properties encountered some difficulty. To explain, Mr. Hamilton, the well digger and his helpers had dug down some 80 feet but no water. However, Brother Hamilton in the light of this situation put the following question to Mrs. White, “Did the Lord tell you to buy this property?” It would seem that Mrs. White answered immediately. “‘Yes! Yes!’ ‘Three times I was shown that we should secure this particular property . . ..’” Brother Hamilton replied, “‘All right,’ ‘The Lord would not give us an elephant without providing water for it to drink.’” Therefore, he declared that he would go on digging. This time Hamilton “tunneled in another direction, and with a vigorous blow his pick broke through the clay into a fine stream of water as large as a man’s arm.” The well quickly began to fill so much so that there wasn’t enough time to get all the tools out. This was another indication that God was behind the plan to get the property.
Personal DemonstrationGiven the fact that, “the Southern California Conference was unable to provide the funds for this enterprise, Ellen White borrowed $2,000 from the St. Helena Bank, at 8 percent interest, and Josephine Gotzian, a close friend, provided the other $2,000 toward the total price of $4,000.” This clearly demonstrated Ellen’s faith in the visions and, therefore, her personal support for the advancement of the work.
Each Can Play a PartToday, I remind you and myself that the same God who encouraged the procurement of the California properties inspired numerous projects throughout our union. We who lead have opportunities to demonstrate our support by promoting and financing these projects, ensuring their advancement and completion. Much is accomplished when there is a united and team approach to assisting with so many unfinished conference/mission, church and school buildings.
It is not the amount that is given that is important, but it’s the willingness to give and the positive support we give publicly. I was most impressed with the giving of members, thus enabling the leaders to meet the deadline for purchase of the property. It should be noted that not in every instance was the giving spontaneous-there were many appeals made before some member were pricked to contribute. For example, following a three-hour meeting when an appeal for the Loma Linda project was made, “the people began to testify to their confidence in the work, and to tell of the money they had in the bank, which they would lend to the enterprise. Others promised to sell property and to invest the proceeds in sanitarium enterprises.” So astonished was the conference president that he commented in the Pacific Union Recorder: “This liberality on the part of a willing membership, few of whom are well off in this world’s goods, sought to stimulate confidence in our own conference and perhaps inspire other conferences to raise funds to liquidate all indebtedness (Sept.14, 1905).
Friend, I believe that that same liberality exists today –I only ask that you do your part in your area. Give today that church buildings can be obtained, schools can be completed and improved, and our children can be housed.