Ellen G. White: The Australian Years: 1891-1900 (vol. 4)


The Need of Competent Leaders

But the great need was for competent men to lead out in the work at Cooranbong. To S. N. Haskell, a seasoned minister of long experience who had recently come from Africa and was in New Zealand, Ellen White in her weariness wrote of the progress of the work and the needs: 4BIO 290.4

You inquire about school buildings. (Dropped asleep.) The first building is progressing well. We have heard of no trouble. The roof is on, and everything moves satisfactorily.... I cannot carry the heavy load of writing, and also of speaking. I must not put in so much labor.... I want your help here in New South Wales. What a dearth there is!—Letter 70, 1897. 4BIO 290.5

On a Monday in early February a letter came from Haskell, who had just arrived in Sydney. He urged Ellen White to hasten to the city so they could counsel together. She dropped everything and, with Sara, within three hours was “speeding to the train with” their “fastest team, conjecturing all the four miles and a half whether or not we would be able to catch the train to Sydney” (Letter 82a, 1897). They did, and at 11:00 P.M. were at the Health Home at Summer Hill, where he was staying. There they joined in planning. To help keep the Health Home afloat financially, Haskell rented and furnished one room. If the home proved a success he would be paid back from earnings. Ellen White rented one room for $1 a week. She and Sara bought furniture in Sydney for this room so that she might have a place to stay when she was in the city. It could also be used by other workers as they passed through the city. Elder and Mrs. Baker took two rooms, for which they paid ten shillings a week (Letter 82, 1897; Letter 171, 1897). After explaining these steps to help get the enterprise going, Mrs. White noted, “I hope this Health Home will prove a success, but it is an experiment.”—Letter 171, 1897. And to W. C. White she wrote on the same day: 4BIO 290.6

In regard to the Health Home, I cannot see anything very flattering in patients as yet. But it is no use to look on the discouraging side. We must walk by faith. We must talk faith and act faith and live faith.—Letter 188, 1897. 4BIO 291.1

Dr. Kellogg had sent from Battle Creek a shipment of the newly developed health foods, apparently as a donation to the enterprise, and Ellen White reported to him: 4BIO 291.2

I have learned that Brother Semmens is doing well selling the health foods.... We feel thankful that you could give them this timely assistance. They appreciate it very much, for they have been in most straightened circumstances. 4BIO 291.3

In mid-February the mail brought £50 from Peter Wessels. As Ellen White acknowledged the gift she declared: 4BIO 291.4

It came exactly at the right time. We were at the Health Home, trying to get means to furnish some rooms in the humblest style.... When our means gave out, we had to wait; and when that money came, we rejoiced, and were glad. Now we can finish furnishing the rooms.—Letter 130, 1897. 4BIO 291.5

The enterprise did succeed. By advertisements in each issue of the Bible Echo and in other media, the public was informed that at the Health Home they were prepared to “treat by the most approved rational methods paralysis, rheumatism, sciatica, neuralgia, and other disorders of the nervous system, also all manner of stomach and bowel disorders.” 4BIO 291.6

These diseases will be treated by the most approved methods of hygiene, hydrotherapy, electrotherapy, massage, manual Swedish movement, diet, et cetera. Electric baths, electric vapour baths, sitz baths, salt glows, hot packs, wet sheet packs, massage, et cetera, can be had.—The Bible Echo, January 11, 1897, and throughout the year. 4BIO 292.1

After some months the Bible Echo on November 15 carried a back-page note to effect that “the Sydney Health Home is having a good patronage at present—about all it can do.” 4BIO 292.2