Letters and Manuscripts — Volume 11 (1896)

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Lt 3, 1896

Blombery, S.

Sunnyside, Cooranbong, Australia

December 29, 1896

Previously unpublished.

Dear Sister:

We received your letter in due time. When I wrote you in regard to coming to Sydney, Brother Semmens had a nice house and was giving treatment. There was not sufficient room to accommodate the patients, yet he was doing well. But the landlord sold the house, and Brother Semmens had to break up at the time of the Ashfield Conference, in November last. He was compelled to take a small house while looking for a larger home. He did not succeed in finding a suitable place until about ten days ago. Now he has secured a house in a good healthy locality, but he has to be done up before he can establish himself and accommodate the patients. 11LtMs, Lt 3, 1896, par. 1

We cannot read the future, but we decided to make a movement to obtain a standing for a Health Home. But this is just a beginning. We are limited for means, and all have to work on small wages. No one can specify that they will do a certain line of work and have their wish granted. Everything is new, and all who engage in this work will have to do their best in whatever capacity they can serve the interests of the institution best. 11LtMs, Lt 3, 1896, par. 2

There will not be a special necessity for a matron until the institution gets on its feet. We can expect no favors from outside parties. They say, “Here are our hospitals. The sick can be treated there.” 11LtMs, Lt 3, 1896, par. 3

Sister Semmens has received her education in giving treatment to the sick without administering drugs. She gives massage and other hygienic treatment. Once that this Health Home is on its feet, it will recommend itself; but we have to move out cautiously, for we have no surplus of means. I am loaning money to Brother Semmens to make a start. He works for very small wages, and puts all he possibly can into facilities for treatment. He has the electric bath, which he uses in connection with his other treatment. 11LtMs, Lt 3, 1896, par. 4

We cannot hold out many inducements now. We can move only as fast as our means will let us. We are bound about on every hand. By your letters we see that you desire a prescribed work, merely to act as matron. At present the institution cannot sustain a matron. It must have some one who will be able and willing to work interestedly in any line, as doing service for the Lord. This all who are connected with the institution are doing. 11LtMs, Lt 3, 1896, par. 5

Brother Semmens has no ready means, but he has been at work receiving patients, and has had excellent success. He has but few facilities, and has to purchase everything to furnish the house, so that the greatest economy must be studied. To serve as a matron in this institution may embrace more than you are willing to subscribe to. Now, just now, everyone will have to do their very best in whatever place that they can accomplish the most good. We must have someone to act as cook. But to give you a specified line of work, as you have had in a hospital, where everything is in running order and there is abundance of help to work in any where [needed], would not be possible at present. If you can come to us as a missionary, to act a missionary’s part, uniting with Brother and Sister Semmens, engaging in any line of work necessary, we would be very glad to have you come and take hold to help to give character to the institution, feeling that you are a part of it. 11LtMs, Lt 3, 1896, par. 6

I thought best to tell you how we had been burdened for a suitable place. We have to pay £130 a year for the house and premises alone. This is quite a large sum. Brother and Sister Semmens, in order to help in this emergency, rent two rooms, and keep themselves. They pay 10/-[shillings] rent per week. I have rented one room, and will furnish it, so that when I go to Sydney to speak I can have a place of my own to occupy, and board myself. This will lay no burden on the family. The family now consist of Brother and Sister Semmens and her sister. Brother and Sister Semmens have each received a medical education. Sister Semmens’ sister Mary helps in the cooking and also in giving treatment. 11LtMs, Lt 3, 1896, par. 7

At present I am not able to speak in regard to your daughter. I was pleased with her appearance when I met her in Adelaide, and wished that she would take her position for the truth. Then we could better consider in regard to her being connected with the institution. But at present we cannot decide this question. 11LtMs, Lt 3, 1896, par. 8

We are moving forward in faith, trusting that God will open the way before us. Now, I have laid the matter before you, and you may consider it. If you decide to come, we cannot, with the present state of things, assure you more than 16/- [shillings] per week, and this on condition that you throw your whole interest into the institution in harmony with Brother and Sister Semmens, lifting wherever you can for its prosperity. Can you, under the circumstances, do this? 11LtMs, Lt 3, 1896, par. 9