In the face of personal tragedy, J. N. Andrews carries the light of the gospel to Europe.


Angeline Andrews

Charles Andrews

John N. Andrews

Mary Andrews

Sarah Andrews

William Andrews

George I. Butler

Uriah Smith

Ademar Vuilleumier

James White

A Physician

A Railway Conductor


            Scene 1 opens in Rochester, New York, where the Andrews family has a visitor. Ademar Vuilleumier is one of a small company of Swiss Sabbath-keepers converted to Adventism by an ex-Catholic priest, M. B. Czechowski, a somewhat controversial character. Vuilleumier has come to America to increase his own knowledge of the Adventist doctrines, and to plead for the church to send an official worker to Switzerland. Vuilleumier meets the four members of the Andrews family – Elder John Andrews, his wife Angeline, and their children Charles and Mary. Elder Andrews supports the concept of sending a missionary to Switzerland. But who will go?

            The Second Scene is set four years later at the 1874 General Conference Session where the church's first foreign missionary appointment is made: John Andrews will go to Switzerland. We join three church leaders – James White, George Butler, and Uriah Smith – as they discuss the new appointment and Andrews' fitness for the task. Elder White tells of tragedy that has three times struck Elder Andrews – the death of two of his children in infancy, and the recent loss of his wife, Angeline. Andrews and his two surviving children face a difficult assignment without the presence of a wife and mother. But he is enthusiastic about the call, and arrangements are made for them to sail for Europe within four weeks.

            In Scene 3 we visit the home of John Andrews' aging mother, Sarah, at Waukon, Iowa, when the mail brings a letter from her granddaughter, Mary. We hear of the family's adjustments to a new language and culture, of plans to publish a paper, and of an amazing incident in Germany. Mother Andrews rejoices in her son's energy in the work, but fears he is jeopardizing his own health and the welfare of his family.

            Sarah's fears seem well-founded as, in Scene 4, we are taken to Andrews' apartment in Basel sometime in the early part of 1878. The pantry is nearly empty, and Mary lies ill with fever. It turns out to be the dreaded consumption (tuberculosis). But Elder Andrews grasps the hope of taking Mary back to America and placing her in the Battle Creek Sanitarium while he attends a General Conference Session.

            The Fifth Scene is set one year later, in Elder White's office in Battle C reek, Michigan. Here George Butler, Uriah Smith and James White discuss recent events. We learn of Mary Andrews' untimely death, and the deep sorrow this has brought to her father. Andrews himself is in deteriorating health, but is anxious to return to Switzerland. En route he plans a visit with one of his early evangelistic converts, John Loughborough, who is now a missionary in England. Severe illness nearly prostrates Andrews during the voyage back to Europe, and the final Scene depicts his arrival at Basel, sick with fever, yet determined to give all of his remaining strength to the expanding work of the church in central Europe.

Historical Background

            In its formative years, the Adventist Church could not conceive of reaching the whole world with its doctrinal message. Its membership was too small, the sense of imminence of the Second Advent too strong. Yet by the late 1860's and early 1870's the growing church began to accept its mission to "every nation, kindred, tongue and people."

            By 1868 a company of Sabbath-keepers had been raised up in Switzerland by an ex-Catholic priest, M. B. Czechowski, who had accepted the Seventh-day Adventist doctrines while in America. For several reasons, the church was unwilling to sponsor Czechowski as its first foreign missionary to Europe, so he went with the support of the Sunday-keeping Adventists. Once in Europe, however, he began teaching the seventh-day Sabbath and other distinctive S.D.A. doctrines, and was soon baptizing converts in Italy and Switzerland.

            The new Sabbath-keeping converts in Switzerland learned of the existence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church by accident, and in 1869 they sent James Erzberger, a Germany-speaking Swiss, to North America to make contact with the church. He returned to Switzerland the following year as an ordained minister. However, most of the Sabbath believers in Switzerland were French-speaking, so in 1870 Ademar Vuilleumier came to America to persuade the church to send a supported worker to Switzerland. The church responded four years later by sending Elder John Andrews as its first official foreign missionary.

            When Andrews sailed in September 1874, he took with him a son, Charles, and daughter, Mary. Two other children had died in infancy, and his wife Angeline passed away in 1872. Andrews himself was a scholar and writer as well as a public preacher, and he soon concluded that the best evangelistic approach in Switzerland was to publish a paper in the French language. This he commenced to do as soon as he had a good grasp of the language. During the first four years, new Swiss converts were made with difficulty, but a solid basis for th future work of the church was laid.

            Tragedy, however, again struck the Andrews family. Partly as a result of poor diet and damp living conditions, Mary contracted tuberculosis ("consumption" in those days) and died during a visit home to America for the General Conference Session of 1878. The death of his daughter was a grievous loss to Andrews, himself suffering from ill health. In the summer of 1879 he returned to Europe, but was forced through major illness to spend three months in England with the missionary Loughborough family. On arrival in Basel, he was too sick to resume his work and spent several weeks in bed. Although he recovered sufficiently to lead the work again, and travel to various localities, he too succumbed to tuberculosis. His mother, Sarah Andrews, traveled to Switzerland in the summer of 1883 and she remained with him until his death in October of that year. John N. Andrews was in every way a true missionary, and by the time of his death in 1883 the Seventh-day Adventist Church was developing in more than a dozen countries of the world.

List of Sources:

Graybill, Ron. "John N. Andrews: the Family Man." Adventist Heritage, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1984, pp. 9-23.

Historical Sketches of the Foreign Missions of the Seventh-day Adventists. Basel, Switzerland: Imprimerie Polyglotte, 1886.

Leonard, Harry. Ed. J. N. Andrews, the Man and the Mission. Andrews University Press, 1985.

Maxwell, C. Mervyn. Tell It to the World. Pacific Press Publishing Association, 1976.

Robinson, Virgil. John Nevins Andrews: Flame for the Lord. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1975.

Spalding, Arthur Whitefield. Origin and History of Seventh-day Adventists. Vol. 2. Review and Herald Publishing Association, 1962.

Zurcher, Jean. "John N. Andrews: the Christopher Columbus of Adventists." Adventist Heritage, Vol. 9, No. 1, 1984, pp. 25-46.



Angeline Andrews      Wife of John Andrews. She died in 1872.


Charles Andrews        Son of John and Angeline. He was seventeen when he accompanied his father to Europe. In Switzerland, he assisted his father in the printing work.


John N. Andrews        Born in 1828 at Poland, Maine, John Andrews became a Millerite and later a Seventh-day Adventist. As a young minister, he traveled extensively throughout the northeastern States, preaching and writing for The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. He was the third President of the General Conference, from 1867 to 1869. He married Angeline Stevens, and although four children were born to the marriage, only two survived infancy. Angeline herself died in 1872, and two years later Andrews went to Switzerland as the church's first supported foreign missionary. He spent eight years there until his life was cut short by tuberculosis in 1883.


Mary Andrews            Daughter of John and Angeline. She was twelve years of age when she accompanied her father to Switzerland in 1874. She was a valuable helper in the publishing work until she contracted tuberculosis and died in 1878.


Sarah Andrews           Mother of John Andrews. In 1883 at Ellen White’s insistence, she traveled to Switzerland to be near her son until his death late in the same year.


William Andrews       Crippled brother of John Andrews. He died in Iowa in 1878. His widow, Martha, accompanied Sarah Andrews to Switzerland in the summer of 1883.


George Butler             Butler was General Conference President at the 1874 Session when the decision was made to send J. N. Andrews to Switzerland. His place was then taken by James White, but he again led the church from 1880 to 1888.


Uriah Smith                Editor of The Review and Herald for most of the first fifty years of its publication, Uriah Smith was a very influential voice int eh Adventist Church. He lost one leg when a youth, and managed with a wooden leg for the rest of his life. Uriah Smith was also a brother-in-law of J. N. Andrews, having married Harriet Stevens, the sister of Angeline (Stevens) Andrews.


Ademar Vuilleumier   A French-speaking Swiss Sabbath-keeper who came to America in 1870, and pled for the church to send a missionary to his homeland. He remained in America for four years, returning to Switzerland with Andrews in 1874.


James White               Husband of Ellen White, and a prominent leader of the Seventh-day Adventist Church until his death in 1881. James White was President of the General Conference during most of the years that Andrews was in Switzerland.


Imaginary                   A Physician in Basel, Switzerland

Characters                  A Railway Conductor


SCENE 1. The Andrews' home in Rochester, New York. The date is around July 1870. Sitting in the parlor of the house are John Andrews and a newly arrived visitor from Switzerland, Ademar Vuilleumier.


Andrews:        Brother Vuilleumier, it must have come as something of a surprise to the Swiss Sabbath-keepers to discover that there was such a thing as the Seventh-day Adventist Church.


Vuilleumier:   It was a wonderful surprise indeed, Brother Andrews! When Brother Czechowski shared the Sabbath truth with us, he said nothing that would lead us to believe there were Sabbath-keepers anywhere else. He simply studied the Bible with us, and printed a little paper on a press he owned.


Andrews:        So how did you find out about Seventh-day Adventists?


Vuilleumier:   Once when Czechowski was away on a journey, we found among some of his papers a copy of The Review and Herald. It was a great discovery, and my cousin, Albert, wrote to the address in Battle Creek to tell them that we were Sabbath-keepers too!


Andrews:        Amazing! Czechowski has certainly proved to be a noble-hearted man. God has used him to plant the truth in Switzerland. Now we must take advantage of this opportunity and send a worker there.


Vuilleumier:   That is the prayer of our Swiss believers, Elder Andrews. That is also why we sent Brother Erzberger to America last year, to study the whole message.


Andrews:        Brother Erzberger was certainly a wonderful ambassador for Switzerland. After he spoke at our camp meeting in Ohio last summer, the believers took up an offering to assist the work in Europe. He has now returned as an ordained minister to labor among the Swiss.


Vuilleumier:   Erzberger is a German-speaking Adventist, whereas most of our Swiss believers are French speaking, like myself. It is my plan also to return to work for my Swiss brethren.

                        (Enter Angeline Andrews, Charles and Mary.)


Andrews:        Brother Vuilleumier, you have not met my dear wife.


Vuilleumier:   It is a great pleasure to meet you, Sister Andrews.


Andrews:        And our two children, Charles and Mary.


Vuilleumier:   (They shake hands.) What a beautiful family you are. (All now seated.)


Angeline:        Brother Vuilleumier, we have looked forward to your arrival in America. It must have been a long voyage for you, and costly too.


Vuilleumier:   That is true, Sister Andrews. It is also true that most of our Sabbath believers in Switzerland are poor, and suffering much hardship because of their faith.


Angeline:        How is that?


Vuilleumier:   Well, many of them have lost their jobs because of their desire to observe the true Sabbath.


Andrews:        I wish we could help them in some way.


Angeline:        What type of work do they do? Are they employed in larger factories?


Vuilleumier:   No, Sister, most of our industries in Switzerland are small. Several of our believers, including my cousin Albert, are watch-makers, but they cannot sell their watches any more because the people will have nothing to do with them.


Angeline:        If only they could sell their watches here in America!


Andrews:        Wait a minute! Angeline, that may be something we can do to assist our Swiss believers. Why couldn't we be the importing and selling agents for their watches? The Swiss brethren could send their watches to us. We could easily market them to the stores, and send the money on to the believers!


Vuilleumier:   That is a wonderful idea, Elder Andrews! It could save some of our families from near starvation.


Andrews:        We will do it then. And, more importantly, we will try to persuade the brethren to send a missionary to Europe. The light of the third angel's message must be taken to all of those countries. There surely must be someone who is willing to go.


Mary:              Could we go to Switzerland, Father?


Andrews:        (Laughs) Maybe we will some day, Mary.

SCENE 2. Inside a camp meeting tent at Battle Creek. Sitting around the supper table are James White, Uriah Smith, and George Butler. The date is August, 1874, the occasion a combined camp meeting and General Conference session.


Butler:            We are having a good camp meeting, brethren. I don't believe we have ever seen so many Sabbath-keepers together at one time. On Sabbath there were some 1,300 in attendance.


Smith:             This has been a landmark conference in more than one way. I believe our decision to send Elder Andrews to Switzerland will go down in the records as a landmark in the onward progress of the message.


White:             Amen, Brother Smith! It is an action we should have taken ten years ago!


Butler:            Ten years ago? Why do you say that, Brother White?


White:             Well, Brother Butler, it was exactly ten years ago in 1864 when Czechowski asked us to send him as our missionary to Europe. Mind you, brethren, I believe we were wise in turning down his request at that time.


Smith:             In those days, as I recall, some of us were not at all certain that the gospel commission really meant sending missionaries into all the world. We didn't think time would last long enough for us to attempt that.


Butler:            I remember an editorial that you once published in the Review, Brother Smith. It put forward the idea that perhaps Christ's command to preach the gospel to peoples and tongues could be fulfilled right here in North America. You pointed out that we have immigrants from practically every nation on earth.


Smith:             Yes, I recall that editorial. It seemed to me that we were putting off the Second Coming when we talked about preaching the message worldwide.


White:             Well, brethren, whatever reservations we had about Brother Czechowski, the Lord has used him to bring the Sabbath truth to Europe. But we have been slow to respond to the call of the Swiss believers. When Brother Vuilleumier came here four years ago, we promised him that we would send a worker to Switzerland. It has taken us four years to fulfil that promise!


Smith:             Yes, we have dragged our feet on this matter. Perhaps we would not even have acted now, if it hadn’t been for Sister White's vision in California last April. She warned us that we were entertaining too limited ideas of the work. "Your house is the world!" she said.


Butler:            She was right. Our faith has been too small, too limited. But in Brother Andrews I believe we have selected the right man to take the light of truth beyond America.


White:             I just wish he was going out there with a companion. The death of his wife, Angeline, over two years ago was a tragedy for Brother Andrews and the two children. He will need a wife in Switzerland, and his children will need a mother.


Smith:             Yes, it will be a great challenge for him to take charge of the work, as well as to look after Mary and Charles. Though, mind you, Charles is now seventeen, and a very capable lad. He may be a valuable help to his father. Mary is about twelve I think.


White:             Brother Andrews’ life has been darkened by many shadows. There were two other children who died in infancy, you know. Yes, Brother Andrews leaves half his family in the silent grave.


Butler:            He himself is not a robust man. I hope he will care for himself, and eat healthfully. (Looks around.) I say, here comes Brother Andrews now. And Brother Vuilleumier is with him.

                        (Enter John Andrews and Ademar Vuilleumier.)


White:             Brethren, come and join us. (They pull chairs up to the table and sit down.)


Smith:             We have just been talking about Switzerland, and the decision to send you there as our first supported missionary.


Andrews:        (Greets each one.) We can visit for just a moment or two. I believe we already have our travel arrangements in hand.


Butler:            Travel arrangements already?


Andrews:        Yes, we can get a passage on the Cunard liner, Atlas, sailing from New York on September 15. That's exactly one month from today.


Vuilleumier:   And I will return to Switzerland with Elder Andrews and the two children. I will begin giving them French lessons as soon as the voyage begins.


White:             it is a long time since you left your homeland, Brother Vuilleumier.


Vuilleumier:   Four years, Elder White. I am eager to return.


Butler:            Brother Andrews, our General Conference Committee has discussed how we may best support you in Switzerland. We know so little about the cost of living there. The wage you get here may prove either too little or too much. So we propose to send you contributions from time to time to assist with your mission work, as well as your living expenses. Does that meet your mind?


Andrews:        That is fine with me, Brother Butler. This will be a new experiment for our church in many respects.


White:             Indeed it will. Brother Andrews, how is your dear mother? I hope you will have opportunity to visit her out in Iowa before you leave. She is a wonderful saint.


Andrews:        Yes, I plan to take a few days to travel out to Iowa and spend a little time with her. (Pause) Well, brethren, we must be on our way. We have some matters to attend to before the evening meeting begins.


Smith:             (Rising from table.) I guess we all have things to do before the meeting. Goodbye, brethren.

                        (All leave.)

SCENE 3. Living room of Sarah Andrews' home at Waukon, Iowa. Sarah Andrews sits in a rocker, knitting. Her son William, who is crippled, comes in carrying an armful of letters.


William:         Hello, mother. The mail has come in from Chicago, and I see there is a letter from Switzerland for you. Must be from John.


Sarah:             Thank you for brining my mail, William. Let's see (Opens letter.) Oh, this is from Mary. (Reads)

                        Dear Grandmother:


Thank you for your last letter to all of us. But we couldn't read your letter as soon as it arrived. That was because Father has made a new rule that we can only use English for one hour every day, and that is our supper hour. In fact, we even had to sign a pledge that we would do this. Sometimes it seems harsh, but I guess it is necessary if we are to learn this language. French is certainly challenging. We walk around the house all day with our French dictionaries. Sometimes we make funny mistakes. Yesterday I asked brother how he was feeling and he looked at the clock and answered, "a quarter past two." He had a good laugh over that.


Everything is so different here in Basel. You don't shop for milk and bread here. A farmer brings his cow by in the morning and you run outside with a pail and he milks the cow for you right there in the street. Bread also is brought to the house by the local baker. It is crusty and white. Father wishes it were whole wheat but the baker just shakes his head whenever Father mentions it. They don't seem to know about health reform here.


The work here in Switzerland is slow and difficult. Father cannot get permission ton conduct public meetings, so he plans to start printing a paper just as soon as his French is good enough. Today, though, Father has just returned from a trip north to Prussia with exciting news. I will tell you the story.


One day, about six weeks ago, a German-speaking man came begging at Mr. Erzberger's home. He wanted food and a bed for the night. Mrs. Erzberger invited him inside, and after the meal, they began to talk to their visitor about the Adventist truth. It seemed a good opportunity to witness.


When they talked about the Sabbath, the man expressed surprise, and said there was a whole company of people keeping the seventh-day in his home town of Elberfeld in Prussia. Mr. Erzberger could hardly believe his ears, and the very next day he told Father about the beggar's visit.


Anyway, Father and Mr. Erzberger decided to travel up to Elberfeld to find these Sabbath-keepers. When they got there, they found a group of about fifty people who thought that they were the only Sabbath-keepers in the world! Father stayed with them for about five weeks, preaching to them. Father says it must be the work of the Holy Spirit who is opening up the way for the Advent message throughout Europe. Isn't that wonderful!


Well, there is more I could tell you, but I am writing this during my daily "English hour" and my time is almost up.


Thank you, Grandmother, for your love and prayers. We hope we will see you again soon. Perhaps you might even be able to come and see us here. Father is too busy to write to you just now, but he and Charles send their love. Our regards to Uncle William and Aunt Martha also.


                        Your granddaughter, Mary.


Sarah:             What a nice letter!


William:         Yes it is. It is a good thing that Mary enjoys writing letters or you may not hear from them very often. (Pause) So when are you planning to visit them in Switzerland?


Sarah:             Me? Go to Europe? I would rather save the money and send it to John to help with his mission. (Pause) I just hope they are eating well and looking after themselves! I have a suspicion that John will use every penny he has in the work, and not keep enough for their food and clothing.

SCENE 4. A room in the Andrews' apartment in Basel, Switzerland. The date is sometime early in 1878. Mary is lying on a small couch, ill. John Andrews sits by her, writing an article for his paper, Signs des Temps. Soon Charles enters.


Andrews:        (Looks up as Charles enters.) Hello, son, have you finished the typesetting already?


Charles:          Yes, father. How is Mary?


Andrews:        No different, as much as I can tell. Sister Ings has gone to fetch a doctor. (Pause) Have you had something to eat?


Charles:          No, father. There is nothing much in the pantry except potatoes and some white bread.


Andrews:        I know, son, I know. (Sighs) Perhaps tomorrow you should take what little money we have and buy some fruit. The Lord knows we have spent almost everything to pay for printing this month. (There is a knock at the door.)


Charles:          This must be the doctor. (Goes to door; doctor enters.) Bon jour, Doctor, come in.


Doctor:           Bon jour. (Comes in.) You have a sick child? (Sees Mary on couch and goes over.)


Andrews:        She has a high fever, Doctor. She is unable to keep any food down.


Doctor:           I will examine her. (Goes to Mary's bedside. John Andrews and Charles stand some distance away.)


Charles:          Father, have you finished translating the article on the image of Daniel Two?


Andrews:        It is nearly completed, son. I had many interruptions today on account of Mary being ill. I will try to finish it tonight, then you can set the type tomorrow.


Charles:          That means we can get it to the printer by Friday.

                        (At this point, the Doctor comes forward.)


Doctor:           I have bad news for you, Monsieur Andrews.


Andrews:        Yes?


Doctor:           Your daughter has consumption.


Andrews:        Consumption!


Doctor:           I am afraid so. She may live perhaps one year. I would advise you to stay away from her bedside as much as possible. Consumption is a contagious disease, you know. (Pause, then shakes hands.) I am sorry, Monsieur. I will send someone with medication for your daughter. Au revoir. (He leaves.)


Charles:          Mary has consumption?


Andrews:        That is what he said, Charles. (Long pause as he looks toward Mary.) But stay away from her bedside? That is something I cannot do! Mary came willingly to Europe with me, without a mother. She has stood by me loyally these last four difficult years. I will not let her down. (Returns to her bedside.)


Charles:          Father, remember you have an invitation to attend the General Conference in America just a few weeks from now. Will you still go?


Andrews:        (Ponders a moment.) Yes, Charles, I will go. I will write to the brethren, and ask if I may take Mary with me. There is a newly enlarged sanitarium in Battle Creek under the direction of Dr. Kellogg. Mary will receive the best treatment there. Son, we must hope and pray.


Charles:          We will, father. We will.


(Andrew remains with bowed head at Mary's bedside as Charles softly leaves the room.)

SCENE 5. Office of the General Conference President at Battle Creek. The date is June 1879. James White (President), George Butler, and Uriah Smith enter together.


White:             Well, brethren, it is good to be home here in Battle Creek after camp-meetings in the west – though Ellen and I will be moving west again for more meetings in jsut a few days. I am sorry that we were not able to come for the dedication of the new Tabernacle here in Battle Creek.


Smith:             We miss you, Brother White. It was a high day for Battle Creek, and Brother Andrews preached a most wonderful sermon.


Butler:            Yes, it was a sermon from the heart.


White:             That man has endured os much sadness, yet he is thoroughly committed to finishing the work.


Butler:            The death of Mary last November was a severe blow to him. She had been such a blessing to him since his wife passed away. I believe she was his main source of editorial help with the French paper.


White:             It was a severe blow. He has not yet recovered from it.


Butler:            But he is determined to return to Switzerland. His heart is there. He sees the work opening up in so many places in Europe. He tells of believers in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, France, and Italy – even in Egypt.


Smith:             I am afraid for his health. Brother Andrews arrived here last summer looking half-dead. I am not sure that he looks much better now that he is getting ready to return.


White:             I can remember when several of us were in that condition about fifteen years ago. Half dead men! I think Brother Bates was the only healthy man in our cause. Then Ellen was given the vision about health reform, and we realized that our style of living had to change.


Butler:            The problem with Brother Andrews is that he is so busy, he forgets to eat.


Smith:             The problem with Brother Andrews is that he doesn’t have a wife to look after him!


White:             You have hit the nail on the head, Brother Smith! Ellen has urged him strongly to re-marry before he returns to Switzerland.


Smith:             What was his response to her counsel?


White:             The poor man loved Angeline so much that seven years after her death he still cannot bring himself to look for another. He could only write and thank Ellen for her interest in him and his happiness.


Butler:            That is Brother Andrews' decision, and we must respect it. In less than a month he sails again for Europe to try to take up his work where he left it nearly a year ago. Brethren, may God go with him, and may the work in Europe continue to grow and expand until the Lord comes. (Amens)


White:             Brother Andrews plans to spend a few days in England with the Loughboroughs on his way to Basel. John Loughborough was one of his early converts from back in the fifties, you know. I think the visit will bring encouragement to both of them.

SCENE 6. The interior of a railway carriage, en route to Basel, Switzerland. There are two adjoining seats facing the audience. Andrews occupies one of them, his suitcase standing beside him. The other seat is empty. Andrews is wearing a heavy overcoat, and is asleep as the scene opens.


Andrews:        (Rouses from sleep, feeling hot. Wipes his forehead, removes his coat. Attempts to settle down again, then wipes his forehead again. Then he lapses into sleep. Soon he begins to talk with eyes closed most of the time. His speech is puctuated by many pauses. He has a severe fever.)


Seems hot in here. (Pause) You need help with the typesetting, son. We must find extra help. How can you run a publishing house this way? Tell the brethren we need our own printing press. They must understand. Write to the brethren. Tell the brethren. (Pause)


Mary can't help us anymore, son. Why is my life so much in shadow? (Sighs) "Brother Andrews, you must keep your hand firmly in the hand of God." I will, Brother White, I will. But it seems that my hand is numb. My hand is numb. Where is He leading me?


Brother Loughborough, we haven't had such a good visit for nearly twenty years. That's a long time. Angeline was with us then. And Mary. We were conducting an evangelistic campaign in Rochester. And you came along, Brother Loughborough. You came with a list of Bible texts which proved the Sabbath was changed to Sunday. Remember that?

"Yes, Brother Andrews, I remember that night. You preached on the Sabbath. And you used every one of my texts to prove that the Sabbath was not changed. By the end of the sermon I had crossed them all off my list." You became a Seventh-day Adventist in one night, Brother Loughborough. I must preach like that again. Brother Loughborough – my spiritual son. You call me your spiritual father.


(Suddenly wakes up cold and shivering. Reaches for his coat and pulls it over him. Then back into fitful sleep.)


Son, how are you coping with the typesetting? You need help with it. I must find more help. We need our own printing press. Must write to the brethren, and ask for our own publishing house. Tell the brethren. "You tell them, father." Yes, son, I'll tell them. We'll both tell them.


"Brother Andrews. They say you have the whole Bible memorized." The whole Bible? That's not quite right, Sister Loughborough. If you destroyed the New Testament, I could rewrite it again, word for word. But not the Old Testament. Not yet, sister. But the New Testament, yes. "That's marvelous, Brother Andrews."

                        (Again wakes up hot. Casts off coat.)


"You didn't bring Mary home with you, Father." Andrews, you must keep your hand firmly in God's hand." I will, Brother White, I will. But it seems my hand is numb. Holding onto God with a numb hand.


I'll preach again, Brother White. Just like the night Brother Loughborough came. I'm his spiritual father. The New Testament, yes. I could rewrite it, word for word. But not the Old Testament. Not yet, Sister Loughborough. But the New Testament, yes. Tell the brethren.


I'll preach again, Brother White. I must work while it is day. The night comes, when no man can work. The night comes. (Pause while he sleeps. Suddenly a uniformed officer enters, and shakes him.)


Officer:           Excuse me, sir. This is Basel. You are leaving the train here, sir?


Andrews:        (Wakes suddenly.) Basel! Yes!

                        (Grabs coat, picks up case, then almost collapses.)


Officer:           Let me carry your case, Monsieur. This way.


Andrews:        Thank you, sir.

                        (Both exit.)


Voice:             (Music fades in, then out to voice.)


Elder Andrews arrived at Basel on August 11, 1879, sick with fever. He spent several weeks in bed, making a slow recovery. During the next three years he tried to resume his intensive program of writing, editing, preaching, and traveling. But his health deteriorated progressively, as symptoms of the dreaded consumption began to appear in his body.


In 1882 his close friend, Elder John Loughborough, traveled over from England to anoint him. His health continued to worsen, and in the summer of 1883 his elderly mother, Sarah Andrews, came to Switzerland to be with him. He died at sunset on Sunday, October 21, 1883, at the age of 54 years. He spent a total of eight years in Switzerland as the first Seventh-day Adventist foreign missionary.


A suggested program contains the following:


            1. Cover

            2. Historical background

            3. Character sketches

            4. Synopsis: very brief synopsis of each scene, giving setting and action in two sentences.

            5. List of cast members.

            6. Illustrations: Pictures of Mary, Charles, and John Andrews


            In August 1874, the General Conference Committee reluctantly voted to send a missionary to Switzerland. Some Adventist leaders had felt that the work was to be finished in America alone before the coming of Christ. Others believed the workers were too few to even consider establishing an overseas mission. But in spite of these obstacles, on September 15, 1874, John Nevins Andrews, along with his children, Charles and Mary, and a friend, Ademar Vuilleumier, departed from Boston Harbor in a ship bound for Liverpool.

            It was no easy task for John Andrews to establish the work in Europe. He dedicated his time, talents, and money to spreading the gospel. Andrews was a true soldier for Christ.

            As a result of the missionary work begun by John Andrews, the Seventh-day Adventist Church today has nearly six million members, most of them outside North America. Adventists presently have their work organized in 185 countries (the United Nations has defined the world as consisting of 218 nations). The church works in 650 languages and publishes in 180 languages. Each year more than 400 missionaries are sent out to the world field. In 1986 world mission funds received were over forty-five million dollars.

            John Andrews died on October 21, 1883, but the work he started still goes on.