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Christian service was at the heart of Ellen White’s ministry, and this kitchen is the site of some of her most unrecognised, but appreciated works. Here she and her helpers always created a bounty of food so none would go hungry at her table. The stove and bread onions were always in use. Mrs White’s letters, and the testimony of those who knew her, shed light on some of her local service.
On this very stove Mrs White perfected a vegetarian soup. She had heard of a family who had all become sick, and she had determined to cook for them. She gathered the pot and journeyed to the family’s home where she was greeted at the door by the father who took one look at her soup and claimed, “my family won’t eat that stuff, there’s no meat!”
Without complaint, Mrs White took the soup home and added chicken to it. Going a second time she was able to hand over the soup to the thankful family and returned to Sunnyside knowing she had been able to help during their crisis.
While she had been strong about the consumption of meat in her writings, and didn’t believe in the practice herself, she didn’t hesitate to provide this family with a gift they could use.
Further stories tell of food being given to families on the brink, and when asked who had sent it, she had instructed her helpers to reply, “the Lord”. Such unselfish service, bringing glory to God, was her legacy in the hearts of those who received her gifts, and what she encouraged all around her to do.
Even a place so ordinary as a kitchen could be a ministry.
Reflecting on her life, she wrote, “I should not want to live unless I could live to do some good to others.”