KidsView  | The Adventist Review for kids and those who always will be kids at heart | December 2017

A Special Christmas Gift

By Chantal J. Klingbeil

The year 1865 had not been a very good one for the White family. James White had been working very hard for a long time, and in August of that year he had a stroke. Now it was already December, and James and Ellen were far away from their friends in a special hospital. But he didn’t seem to be getting much better. 

Ellen began to think of their little home back in Michigan, and how wonderful it would be to be able to be with their friends and church family again. Maybe this would help James get better. So, even though the weather was cold and wet, they decided to at least begin the trip. 

They made it as far as the city of Rochester, New York. They hadn’t made it all the way back home to Battle Creek, Michigan, but at least they could be with their friends, the Lamsons. 

Soon several other friends came to be with the White family and help. For 10 days everyone prayed for James. One day he would seem to be getting better, but the next day he would be very sick again. 

Christmas came, but no one felt like celebrating. But on Christmas evening, as the little group of friends were praying for James, something wonderful happened. Ellen said: “The light of heaven seemed to shine upon us, and I was rapt in a vision of God’s glory. It seemed that I was borne quickly from earth to heaven, where all was health, beauty, and glory.”

In that Christmas vision Ellen was shown many things. God showed her that the church was to build its own hospital where they could help sick people get well, and also help them learn how they could stay healthy. 

She also realized that James had been given a very special gift. His friends that had come to pray with them for the past 10 days had done much more than they had realized. Satan wanted to make sure that James wouldn’t get better, but those praying friends had helped to break Satan’s power. 

Encouraged by this vision, Ellen and James were soon back in their home in Battle Creek. They carried with them the very special gift of praying friends. 


—You can read more about this story in Testimonies for the Church, vol. 1, pp. 485-489.