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Life Sketches of Ellen G. White

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    After Many Years

    From 1901 to 1909 Prof. C. W. Irwin acted as principal of the Avondale School; and in his report to the General Conference of 1909 he bore witness of the fulfillment of that which had been said would come to pass on the Avondale estate, as follows:LS 376.2

    “As time has gone on, and we have had an opportunity to watch the work develop, we can say most assuredly, from our experience, that God led in the selection of this place. Everything that has been said about the location of the school in this place, has been fulfilled,—everything.”LS 376.3

    Professor Irwin declared further: “The brethren, in counsel with Sister White, had made such broad and liberal plans for the school, that through my eight years’ connection with it I have never yet needed to change a single plan they had laid down. God guided in the establishment of the work there; and all we have endeavored to do during these eight years, has simply been to develop more fully the plans already made. I believe the working out of this has proved that God's instruction was true.LS 376.4

    “It would necessarily follow that in starting a school of that kind, in a field where the constituency was small, and where the people had been passing through serious difficulty financially, there would be a large indebtedness of about $23,000 on the school. It was about this time that the plan of selling the book ‘Christ's Object Lessons’ was launched, and our brethren in that country took hold of this work with an earnest purpose to carry out the instruction regarding it. As a result of their efforts, up to the present time, something over $20,000 has been received from the sale of ‘Christ's Object Lessons’ for the school. The indebtedness being $23,000 when we started, practically all the original indebtedness has been liquidated by the sale of ‘Christ's Object Lessons.’...LS 377.1

    “At the beginning of the ‘Object Lessons’ campaign, the present worth of the Avondale School was about $23,000. The present worth of the school today [1909] is about $67,000. Adding $20,000, the amount that has been received, to the $23,000 present worth, makes $43,000. Subtract this from $67,000, the present worth, and you will notice that the school has made, during the past eight years, about $24,000. This proves that industrial schools can be made to pay.LS 377.2

    “When we began our work at this school, eight years ago, the students were earning about $2,000 a year in the industrial work; that is, they were working sufficient to receive a credit of $2,000 a year. That work has steadily grown from that day to this, until, when our last statement was drawn, September 30, 1908, it was shown that the students, during the preceding year, had earned $20,000 on their education.” [Note.—At the 1913 General Conference, Professor Machlan reported continued prosperity in the industrial departments at Avondale. “The industrial feature of the college,” he declared, “is a most interesting as well as a most valuable one. Last year fifty-five per cent of the students paid their entire expenses in labor, thirty-five per cent paid one half their school fees, while only ten per cent were full-paying students.”] (Church and Sabbath School Bulletin, 1913, 154.)]  ... Since the inauguration of the ‘Christ's Object Lessons’ work, we have never called for a penny of donations from the field. We believe that when the Lord says that an industrial school can be conducted successfully, financially as well as otherwise, the only thing for us to do is to take hold and prove that what He has said is true.LS 377.3

    “I am aware, however, that financial figures are not necessarily the best sign of success in a school. It was said at that time, also, that this school was to prepare missionaries to go out into various fields; and, as you know, we in Australia have a large missionary field, representing many millions of people, ... between sixty-five and seventy millions. Most of these are natives, who must be reached by this present truth. Five years ago we did not have more than two or three from the Avondale School in these mission fields, but today nearly thirty from our school are engaged in active labor in these fields.” The General Conference Bulletin, 1909. [During the year 1915, the number of workers in mission fields outside of Australasia, who received a training at Avondale, reached nearly one hundred.]LS 378.1

    During the 1913 General Conference, Elder J. E. Fulton reported concerning the Avondale School: “Each year, this institution supplies new recruits for our field. Many who in former years were students in this school are now doing successful work both in home and foreign fields.” The General Conference Bulletin, 1913LS 378.2

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