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


What Made the School Possible

What was not made generally public was how, in the face of adverse financial circumstances and the indifference on the part of a good many, the school actually got under way. Ellen White was to refer to it some months later. In a letter to Harmon Lindsay, the treasurer of the General Conference, she said: 4BIO 44.1

Last winter when we saw that we must have a school to meet the demands of the cause, we were put to our wits’ ends to know where we should obtain the funds.... [Ellen G. White tells of expenses.] Some thought it could not be done; yet we knew that it must be started in 1892. Some thought all that could be done was to hold a short institute for the ministers. 4BIO 44.2

We knew that there were many youth who needed the advantages of the school. While we were in such deep perplexity as to how we should be able to make a beginning, the same plan was suggested to Willie's mind that was suggested to mine, and that ... on the same night. 4BIO 44.3

In the morning when he came to tell me his plan, I asked him to wait until I told him mine, which was that we use the royalty of the foreign books sold in America. 4BIO 44.4

Although in pain, my mind was exercised over this matter, and I prayed earnestly to the Lord for light, and it came. You know that I could not well use the money that is set apart for other purposes. 4BIO 44.5

Of the royalty above referred to, I invested $1,000 to be used when most needed. But $500 must be used as a fund to bring to the school students who cannot and will not come unless they have help. Willie said [that] with this statement to place before the board we shall have their influence to sustain us. Thus our school was begun.—Letter 79, 1893. 4BIO 44.6

As she wrote to another of this, she explained: 4BIO 45.1

They [the students] would never have been able to enjoy the advantages of the school unless someone did help them, and as no one assumed the responsibility, it dropped on me. I carried several through the first term of school, and am paying the expenses of six during the present term, and the number may swell to eight.—Letter 65, 1893.

A month after the school opened she could report joyfully: 4BIO 45.2

The school is certainly doing well. The students are the very best. They are quiet, and are trying to get all the good possible. They all like Elder Rousseau and his wife as teachers. He does not show what there is in him, and there is chance for all to be disappointed by his unpretending ways, but when engaged in his work, he shows he has a store of knowledge and is apt to teach. It is so pleasant to see all the students well pleased. This is indeed a harmonious house—no jealousies, no jangling. It is refreshing.—Letter 54, 1892.

Three months later she could write to Elder Olsen: 4BIO 45.3

The faculty have made few rules, and have not had one case where discipline was required. Peace and harmony have reigned from first to last. The presence of Jesus has been in the school from its beginning, and the Lord has wrought upon the minds of teachers and pupils. Without an exception, all the pupils have responded to the efforts made in their behalf, advancing step by step in obtaining knowledge, by doing their best.—Letter 46, 1892.