KidsView  | The Adventist Review for kids and those who always will be kids at heart | January 2016

When an Adventist Review was Used as a GPS

By Chantal Klingbeil

In 1869 a young man stepped off the train in Battle Creek, Michigan, looking a little lost. So he decided to use his own kind of GPS. The young man approached a well-dressed gentleman on the train platform, caught his eye, and smiled. Then he showed him a cover of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald (Adventist Review), pointing to the address that was printed under the logo. The gentleman pointed the young man in the right direction. 

Unfortunately, the young man, Jakob (also spelled Jacob) Erzberger, didn’t understand any of the instructions. He didn’t speak English. Jakob had traveled all the way from Europe by simply showing people on the steamship and the railroad his copy of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald. Eventually Jacob arrived at James and Ellen White’s home, where he got good food, a place to stay, and intensive English lessons. 

Fifty Sabbathkeepers in Switzerland were responsible for Jakob’s voyage to the United States. They had learned about the Sabbath from a man named Michael Czechowski. Czechowski was a Seventh-day Adventist from the United States who was doing his own mission trip to Europe. Although he preached about the Sabbath and the second coming of Jesus, he never told anyone about the Adventist Church. After Czechowski left, someone found a copy of the Advent Review and Sabbath Herald in his room. The group was surprised to learn there were other people in the United States who kept the Sabbath. They decided to send Jakob to America find out more. 

James and Ellen White found two excellent English teachers to help Jakob learn English: their 14-year-old son, Willie, and 17-year-old John Harvey Kellogg. In only four weeks Jakob was able to speak in English at the Ohio camp meeting. 

Jakob when on to become a minister. He spoke German, French, and now English. He used these language skills to translate for Ellen White when she visited Europe many years later. Over the years Jakob went on to travel extensively, preaching the gospel in many places. 

Do you think he kept an Advent Review and Sabbath Herald with him just in case he got lost?