Archive for the ‘Missions’ Category

1994, Rwanda, Carl Wilkens’ Story

March 5, 2009

“Carl Wilkens is the former head of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency International in Rwanda. In 1994, he was the only American who chose to remain in the country after the genocide began. His choice to stay and try to help resulted in preventing the massacre of hundreds of children over the course of the genocide.”

The World Outside My Shoes Speaking Tour

Carl Wilkens visited our Religion 11 class March 4. In preparation for his visit, we studied the various news accounts of the Rwandan genocide, watched “Hotel Rwanda”, and examined the Adventist connections to the event, both positive and negative.

At some point we hope to report on what Carl Wilkens shared in detail. He proved to be an effective communicator. For our class of ninety minutes, the interaction between the students and Mr. Wilkens remained focused and lively.

He used Google Earth to show the geographical setting. He mentioned Hôtel des Mille Collines of “Hotel Rwanda”. He went there several times during the crisis. Paul Rusesabagina, the hero portrayed in the movie, attended Gitwe Adventist Secondary School.

He reported that he had been so busy that he had not become acquainted with his neighbors but that his children played with their children day after day. A friendly rapport developed. During the crisis, this saved their lives. People stood up for them. They had some Tutsis hiding in their house. But the people protected them.

Wilkens showed pictures of the people affected by the tragedy. Seven people hid away in a friend’s bathroom for three months on meagre rations. Another man had to whisper in his place of hiding for so long that he could not speak otherwise afterwards for some time. One boy found his mother among the dead. He noticed a pulse. Got her to a hospital. Begged for them to help her. She lived.

The Adventist pastor convicted of war crimes declared his innocence until his death. Carl Wilkens knew this pastor-administrator. They had worked on church matters together. The pastor was on the opposite side of town from where Wilkens was when the church betrayal took place. The pastor went to jail. Even while in prison, he gave Bible studies to his fellow inmates. His accusers related stories of him taking certain individuals out of the church before the massacre began. Grenades were thrown into the church. As people ran to escape they were cut down, slaughtered.

The pastor’s medical doctor son drove around in a jeep with a machine gun. His complicity was obvious.

Church administrators ordered Carl to leave. Even President Folkenburg sent a personal message telling him to leave. They did not want to order him to do so, nor to violate his conscience, but that he should get out.

He stayed because people need him. He saved lives by staying. He stressed that he did not do this all alone. He worked together with others. The children and adults connected with an orphanage owe their lives to his intervention with the Prime Minister who was one of the main perpetrators of the genocide.

There were many international soldiers present in the country; the UN, etc. They could have prevented the massacres.

We asked him how the experience affected his faith in God. Before the crisis, he was a weak, insecure Christian. The crisis helped him realize that his salvation was in Jesus and that he could count on Jesus for his assurance of salvation. This awareness of salvation in Christ inspired him to live for Him.

More on Rwanda can be found at The Adventist History Library at Covenant Forum. ***HERE***

Current Projects

February 4, 2009

Covenant Forum has invited us to develop some history posts for them.

Recent Posts on Covenant Forum:

Belize and the Bay Islands

Early Work in Belize and the Bay Islands, 1896; F.M. Wilcox writes. He includes a colorful letter from J.A. Morrow of British Honduras.

Our current projects include the gathering of information about:

Pastor James A. Morrow, and

Studying the Early Adventist Use of the Apocrypha

You can find other of our Covenant Forum postings here:

http://www.covenantforum.com/discus/messages/584/1105.html?1233666914

    Stories, 1905-1915
    James A. Morrow
    Stories, 1916 – 1926
    The Official Church Paper, 1849 and Following
    Alonzo Barry
    Methods of Evangelism – The History of Gospel Work
    The First Ones – The Third Angel in New Lands
    The History of Ideas Within Adventism
    World War II
    Adventist Radio
    Online Study Links
    The Advocate
    Resolutions from General Conference Sessions
    Seventh-day Adventists and Seventh-day Baptists
    1888 Notes

Mrs. Cudney’s Obituary, 1952

December 21, 2008

Review and Herald, May 27, 1952, page 20

mrs-cudneys-obituary

Capt. Lovell’s Sister-in-Law Writes Mrs. Cudney

December 20, 2008

Review and Herald, June 25, 1889, page 8.

capt-lovells-sister-in-laws-letter

A. J. Cudney

December 20, 2008

cudney

Cudney Lost at Sea with the sinking of the Phoebe Chapman

“John Tay went to other islands in the Pacific Ocean to carry the message. But he found it so hard to get to many of them, where ships did not call very often, that he came home to America, to ask for a ship of our own. At first the brethren did not think of building one. Instead they sent A. J. Cudney in a small ship which they bought and named the “Phoebe Chapman.” With a missionary crew of five men, Cudney started out in this ship to go to Pitcairn. Mr. Tay had gone down to Tahiti to wait for Mr. Cudney to pick him up, when they would go together to Pitcairn, and afterwards to other islands.

“The “Phoebe Chapman” sailed from Honolulu, in the Hawaiian Islands, July 31, 1888, and should have reached Tahiti in a few weeks. But nothing more was ever heard from her or the people in her. No doubt they perished in some great storm. God knew His reasons, though we do not, why Mr. Cudney and his brother missionaries should not reach their field of labor. He laid them away to rest in the bosom of old ocean, until that day when the sea shall give up her dead to receive their reward. And were they not martyrs for Jesus, as much as any who have died for Him, though they perished not under the spears or the axes of savage men, nor languished in dungeons and chains, but gave up their lives to the storm-king of the waters?

Cudney Organizes Churches in Hawaii Before Sailing for Pitcairn

On July 22, 1888, Pastor A. J. Cudney organized these nine members into the first Seventh-day Adventist Church in Hawaii. Just a few days later, on July 31, 1888, he left on a sailboat for Pitcairn Island (now famous for its place in early Adventist missions), but the ship was lost at sea and never heard from again. Because of this tragedy, the organization of the church in Hawaii was never reported to the world headquarters and was not officially recognized until its reorganization on February 22, 1896, with fifteen members.

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TWENTY-SEVENTH ANNUAL SESSION
GENERAL CONFERENCE OF SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
HELD AT MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA, OCTOBER 17 TO NOVEMBER 4, AND AT
BATTLE CREEK, MICHIGAN, NOVEMBER 8, 1888

Missionary-ship Committee for 1888

Members of committee: C. Eldridge, C. H. Jones, J. N. Loughborough, W. C. Sisley, A. T. Robinson, who reported as follows:–

Your committee appointed to take into consideration the matter of securing a ship to be used for missionary purposes, after thorough investigation on the Atlantic Coast, find that a vessel of 100 tons, Government measurement, built of white oak, with a cabin to accommodate sixteen passengers, thoroughly equipped and ready for sea, will cost between $8,000 and $9,000. Second-hand vessels of from 40 to 100 tons, and from three to five years old, could be purchased at from $2,000 to $6,000. We find that on the Pacific Coast a vessel of 75 tons, Government measurement, built of oregon pine, fully equipped and ready for service, will cost about $8,000. With steam auxiliary, the vessel will cost about $15,000. The cabin of this ship would accommodate fifteen persons.

Further than this, your committee learn that elder A. J. Cudney, who was instructed by the General Conference Committee to proceed with Brother J. I. Tay to Pitcairn Island as soon as possible, after seeking in vain to secure passage direct from San Francisco, sailed to Honolulu, from whence, after laboring a short time with the church in that place, he expected to sail to Tahiti, there to meet Brother Tay, who was to sail direct from San Francisco, at the first opportunity, from whence they hoped to find passage to Pitcairn Island. On reaching Honolulu, and finding no means of transport, Elder Cudney accepted the offer of Brother N. F. Burgess, who proposed to purchase a schooner, then offered at forced sale, if Elder Cudney would fit it up, man it, and use it in the missionary work, among the islands of the Pacific. This schooner is 45 tons’ burden, capable of accommodating ten persons besides the crew, and costs only $1,100. Brother Burgess makes no charge for the use of the vessel on this trip, and if desired, will sell it to the Conference for what it cost him. The cost of fitting up this schooner was about $900, which is to be returned to the Conference, if the vessel is sold to other parties.

Elder Cudney secured a crew, consisting of a captain, a mate, two sailors, 373–GCS 63-88 and a steward, and July 31 started for Pitcairn, intending to proceed first to Tahiti, to take on board Brother Tay, who sailed from San Francisco, July 5. We hope soon to hear of their safe arrival at Pitcairn Island. In view of these facts,–

1. We recommend that, if this vessel, after thorough examination, is found to be sound, and well-adapted to our needs, it be purchased, according to the liberal offer of Brother Burgess, and used till the work demands a larger one. [Oct. 19].

2. RESOLVED, That the General Conference express its appreciation of the generous act of Brother N. F. Burgess, of Honolulu, in providing the missionary ship for Elder Cudney to go to the islands of the Pacific; and we pray the blessing of God upon him and his, and upon the ship and her crew, and that she may have a prosperous voyage throughout [A. T. Jones, Oct. 31].

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/GCB/GCB1863-88.pdf#search=%22cudney%22

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Seventh-day Adventist General Conference Daily Bulletin, November 2, 1888

21 Resolved, That the General Conference express its appreciation of the generous act of Bro. N. F. Burgess, of Honolulu, in providing, the missionary ship for Eld. Cudney to go to the Islands of the Pacific, and we pray the blessing of God upon him and his, and upon the ship and crew, and that he may give her a prosperous journey.

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/GCB/GCB1888-10-12/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=7

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Seventh-day Adventist General Conference Daily Bulletin, November 6, 1889, page 3.

WHEREAS, Elder A. J. Cudney was selected to visit the brethren in Pitcairn Island, to complete the organization of a church there, and left Honolulu, H. I-, on the ship Phebe Chapman, for that purpose, July 5, 1888; and,—

WHEREAS, Nothing has “been heard from him since that time; therefore,

Resolved, That we hereby express the sense of pain we feel over the suspense arising from this lack of tidings, and the uncertainty that hangs over his fate.

Resolved, That we will use due diligence to secure, if possible, some tidings concerning him after his departure from Honolulu.

Resolved, That we tender to his family our sympathy in their afflicting circumstances.

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/GCB/GCB1889-16/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=3

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General Conference Committee, March 27?, 1889

The consideration of the Ship bought be Eld. Cudney was taken up, and the following resolution was adopted.

Resolved, That N.F.Burgess be paid the amount which he advanced for the purchase of the Sch. Phebe Chapman, That Mrs Capt. Lovel be paid the wages of Capt. Lovel, less the amount which she has already received on account. That the wages of officer and crew be paid to their legal representatives, and that their time calculated from the time of their engagement to the longest reasonable time required to make passage from Honolulu to their port of destination.

http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/GCC/GCC1889/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=59

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Help For Mrs. Cudney

gcc-1889-motion-to-mrs-cudney

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Further Notes About A. J. Cudney

  • President of the Nebraska Conference, 1886
  • Organized the first church in Hawaii.
  • mr-and-mrs-cudney

    — Source, Review and Herald, June 28, 1951, page 17

    The Phoebe Chapman

    December 19, 2008

    Review and Herald, February 3, 1891, page 16

    is-it-the-phoebe-chapman

    http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH18910203-V68-05/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=16

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    An excerpt from

    Pioneer Stories of the Second Advent Message by A. W. Spalding, XXVII, The Pitcairn

    “In 1876 James White and John Loughborough, hearing of this island, sent a package of papers and tracts to the people, but they did not know whether they would reach them or not, for very seldom did a ship pass by Pitcairn Island. They did reach them, however, and this was the first that Pitcairn heard of Seventh-day Adventists. The people read the papers, and for awhile they almost decided to keep the Sabbath; but since there was no one to teach them further, they dropped the matter at last.

    “Ten years afterwards John I. Tay determined that he would go to Pitcairn and carry the message to the islanders. He landed there one day in October, 1886, and stayed about six weeks. By this time the people all had Bibles, and Mr. Tay studied with them, from the Bible, the truths of the Coming of the Lord, the Sabbath, and all the rest. And before he left, every one, man, woman, and child, was keeping the Sabbath and looking for Jesus to come.

    “John Tay went to other islands in the Pacific Ocean to carry the message. But he found it so hard to get to many of them, where ships did not call very often, that he came home to America, to ask for a ship of our own. At first the brethren did not think of building one. Instead they sent A. J. Cudney in a small ship which they bought and named the “Phoebe Chapman.” With a missionary crew of five men, Cudney started out in this ship to go to Pitcairn. Mr. Tay had gone down to Tahiti to wait for Mr. Cudney to pick him up, when they would go together to Pitcairn, and afterwards to other islands.

    “The “Phoebe Chapman” sailed from Honolulu, in the Hawaiian Islands, July 31, 1888, and should have reached Tahiti in a few weeks. But nothing more was ever heard from her or the people in her. No doubt they perished in some great storm. God knew His reasons, though we do not, why Mr. Cudney and his brother missionaries should not reach their field of labor. He laid them away to rest in the bosom of old ocean, until that day when the sea shall give up her dead to receive their reward. And were they not martyrs for Jesus, as much as any who have died for Him, though they perished not under the spears or the axes of savage men, nor languished in dungeons and chains, but gave up their lives to the storm-king of the waters?

    “When John Tay saw that it was of no more use to wait for the “Phoebe Chapman,” he came back to America and urged that a boat be built. And this was the time when the Sabbath schools were set to work to get the money for its building. Five months it was in building, and then, launched on the blue waters of San Francisco Bay, it lay ready for its mission to the islands of the sea. It was named the “Pitcairn.” E. H. Gates and his wife, A. J. Read and his wife, and John I. Tay and his wife went with the ship. Captain Marsh was over the crew.”

    —————–

    A Century of Miracles by Don Neufeld
    Review and Herald, September 12, 1974, page 11

    “Not Without Sacrifices

    “The expansive missionary work has not been without sacrifices. Perhaps few Seventh-day Advent- ists living today have heard of the Phoebe Chapman. This was a schooner purchased by Adventists in Honolulu, Hawaii, for $1,000, and outfitted for another $1,000, and which left Honolulu, July, 1888, bound for Pitcairn Island via Tahiti. The purpose of the journey was to take SDA publications to Pitcairn and other islands of the South Pacific at which commercial ships seldom called. The vessel was lost at sea with all hands, which included missionary A. J. Cudney and a crew of five.

    “Shortly after this tragedy the church acquired the vessel Pitcairn (1889) and used it to transport mis- sionaries to the islands of the South Pacific.”

    http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH1974-37/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=11

    —————–

    The Phoebe Chapman’s Name Sake

    California’s first tent campaign by Mary Colby Monteith

    Review and Herald, February 28, 1980, page 13

    “… When my mother, Phoebe Chapman, visited her Vermont relatives, she met Hiram Colby, a distant cousin, to whom she said Yes when he proposed marriage. So again the Chapman-Colby family lines converged.

    Ellen White became a very real person to me. I remember when mother took me to the front after a meeting in southern California, where Ellen White had spoken. As mother introduced us, her friend put her hand on my shoulder, saying, “So this is Phoebe Chapman’s little girl.”

    As I read those letters again, now yellow with age, that were written to my grandmother after the loss of her husband and mother, the message comes through just as it did almost 100 years ago: We should not sorrow as those who have no hope. Whatever our trials and sor- rows, we have a Comforter. The only change is that we are now that much nearer the return of our Saviour, when all tears shall be wiped away.

    When the Petaluma farm was sold, Mary Chapman bought a home in Oakland, near her son Edwin, where she lived with Phoebe and Lucy, and could continue friendship with church leaders, including Ellen White.

    Letters tell another story

    Elliott Chapman, the third son, was a printer by trade. He married Cora Peoples, whose family was among those to join the little Petaluma church in its early days. Elliott and Cora sailed to Tahiti on the second trip of the Pitcairn, where Elliott was soon busy printing tracts and pamphlets for Tahiti and the surrounding islands. An- other stack of faded letters in my possession tells of those early days in the South Pacific.

    Phoebe was a beautiful, popular young woman in Adventist social circles in Oakland. A man who desired to win her favor informed her that he had named the first Adventist missionary vessel for the South Seas the Phoebe Chapman. But Phoebe, with a toss of her pretty head, replied, “I hope it sinks!” All her life my mother regretted those foolish words, avoiding any mention of that ill-fated ship, which was lost at sea with never a word as to the passengers and crew… ”

    http://www.adventistarchives.org/docs/RH/RH1980-09/index.djvu?djvuopts&page=13