A Furrow

  But he and Great-grandma felt that there was more they could do. And they discussed their finances; they felt that they wanted to make another gift. And just the week before, they had heard that Mrs. White was traveling to Australia, and that she would be there for at least three or four months. And so they decided to write a check for a certain amount and to mail it to Australia.

     Now you have to stay with me because it becomes a little complicated. It took twenty-six days, minimum for a letter to arrive from South Africa, by ship, to Australia. And here, Mrs. White was in Australia, working with the brethren, planning to establish a school.

     And in a vision (and you can read the vision; it's written down), she saw a clearing of land with trees on one side and trees on the other and a six-foot long furrow, six inches wide and six inches deep, without a trace of horses or oxen, tractors (which they didn't have then), or any implements of any kind. No trace, just this furrow. And, in the vision, the Lord told her that this would be the place to establish the school.

     So the next morning, Tuesday morning, as they were leaving to go and hunt for a piece of property, they picked her up with a buggy and started off in a certain direction. And she said,  "Where are you going?" They said, "We are heading out toward the place where we think we should look for the property." She said, "No, turn around, go this way." They said, "No, you can't do that. The property out that way is so bad." In those days they called it "sour soil." They said, "You cannot establish a school there. Our school must be established where you can have agriculture." And they argued with her. And she said, "We've got to go in this direction."

     And after driving most of the day, they were hot and tired and hungry; and as they were rounding the bend in a dusty little road she said, "STOP" There they helped her off the buggy and she walked into a clearing. And they found a six foot long furrow, six inches wide and six inches deep, without a trace of human hands or implements. And she told them, "This is the property we're going to buy. Find out who owns it." They threw their hands up in despair. They said, "Number one, we don't have the money. Number two, this is a rotten part of the country." And she said, "Let's just follow those instructions."

    And to prove her wrong, they took some of the samples of the soil. And they took them very quietly that evening to the University, the college at that time, which is today the University of Sidney, Australia campus; and they gave it to the agricultural experts and said, "Test this soil for us." The next morning, when the conference office opened, there was a gentleman sitting in front of the office waiting for them. He said, "Where did you get this soil? I don't know of any soil around here that is so rich and so good." And what they found was that there was a pocket of land, surrounded by this rotten, sour soil. One hurdle was crossed.

     The biggest hurdle was the money. And they kept asking her, "Where are we going to get the money?" But she knew her Bible well; and she said, "The Lord will provide." Wednesday came.   Thursday, Friday morning; still no money. And the owners of the property had given them only until Friday to come up with the money. They were desperate and very despondent. The mood at the conference office, we are told, was very gloomy that day.

     And in the mid-morning mail came a letter with a postmark on it from Capetown, South Africa. Remember it was mailed at least twenty-six days before. And, as they opened that letter, they found in it a check in Great-grandmother's handwriting, made out to a bank in Australia. It was a cashier's check, for the exact amount of money that they needed to buy Avondale College.

[Thank God for the Spirit of Prophecy!]

A Furrow In A Dream

 Before I visited Cooranbong, the Lord gave me a dream. In my dream I was taken to the land that was for sale in Cooranbong. Several of our brethren had been solicited to visit the land, and I dreamed that I was walking upon the ground. I came to a neat-cut furrow that had been plowed one quarter of a yard deep and two yards in length. Two of the brethren who had been acquainted with the rich soil of Iowa were standing before this furrow and saying, "This is not good land; the soil is not favorable." But One who has often spoken in counsel was present also, and He said, "False witness has been borne of this land." Then He described the properties of the different layers of earth. He explained the science of the soil, and said that this land was adapted to the growth of fruit and vegetables, and that if well worked it would produce its treasures for the benefit of man. This dream I related to Brother and Sister Starr and my family.  

     The next day we were on the cars, on our way to meet others who were investigating the land; and as I was afterward walking on the ground where the trees had been removed, lo, there was a furrow just as I had described it, and the men also who had criticized the appearance of the land. The words were spoken just as I had dreamed. 

     After we had returned to the cottage rented by one of the brethren for the time we should spend in investigating the land, a council was held, and the decision made to take the land. Elder McCullagh was among the number. He had brought his spring cot with him, purposing to remain for a time and see what the climate would do for him. He was suffering from severe inflammation of the throat and stomach, and did not dare to use the vocal organs.  

     In the morning we had a season of prayer. The Lord gave me the burden of prayer for Brother McCullagh, and the blessing of the Lord came into our midst. The room seemed to be flooded with the glory of God, and our brother was healed. He said that the soreness was all gone, and he repaired at once to his home in Parramatta, and continued his labor for months without any difficulty. It seemed as if this was the seal of God upon the decision made.  

     But after this there was a change in the minds of the brethren. They objected to the land, and kept searching for a better location; but in every place there was something objectionable, and they could not come to a decision. I was so sure that the Lord was leading us to locate on these grounds that I told my son Willie and my brethren that I would pay the price for the land myself; then, if they did not want it, I would settle upon it some of our poor brethren who were crowded into the cities. I would make homes here for those who could not make homes for themselves. But this proposition was not acceptable, and for a year the work was greatly hindered by the unbelief of those who should have had faith.  

     The land was accepted. We now have a home upon the land, and what has been done speaks for itself. The land speaks for itself. The trees that were planted the last of September bore fruit in less than two years. The most beautiful peaches I have ever looked upon and most delicious to the taste, many of them weighing one half-pound each, have been produced on the land. From the first crop many of the peaches were picked off, for we feared that it would hurt the trees to let them bear so early. This last season our peach trees were so loaded with fruit that we had to prop up the branches. We have had all the vegetables we wanted for our own use, and have supplied the family of W.C.W. and Brother James, our farm manager. The orchard at the school bore well, and the fruit was of a good flavor.  

     When our trees were first planted, we had no rain for many months, but with careful attention they nearly all lived. During the past season, while the countries [country areas] around us have been without rain, we have had all we needed. We visited Melbourne the last of February, and after we had passed a few stations near Sydney, the whole country presented a charred and burned appearance. They had had no rain, and everywhere the cattle were suffering for water and food. In Melbourne the cattle were poor and the paddocks almost without a green thing in them. All through Victoria was this drought felt; but this country has had showers when needed; the grass is green, and everything is pleasant to the eye. We thank the Lord that we are located just where we are, and that we have been blessed by Him.  

     Three school buildings are already completed, and the meetinghouse is erected. We went forward in faith, and the Lord honored our faith. The word came to me from the Lord, "Arise, and build a house for the Lord, and build without delay." In His providence there was just at that time carpenters who were not engaged at their business, and these were employed. All donated liberally of their time, and worked at reduced wages. In eight weeks the meetinghouse was built. We know that the angels of the Lord were with the workers. When hindrances seemed to arise, Elder Haskell would encourage the workers. He would propose a season of prayer, and all would leave their work. And as they called upon the name of the Lord the Holy Spirit of God softened and subdued the hearts of the workers.  

16MR 155