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Ellen G. White: The Early Elmshaven Years: 1900-1905 (vol. 5)

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    Moving Forward Under Difficulties

    At that time there were only four Seventh-day Adventist churches in the lower part of southern California, and not much support from the Conference as a whole to start a medical institution. The group at the Sanitarium set about to solicit the support of those churches—San Diego, Paradise Valley (a very small church), San Pasqual, and Escondido, where there were a number of Adventist farmers.5BIO 367.3

    On the Thursday before the breakthrough in the well, W. C. White, E. S. Ballenger, H. E. Osborn, and Mrs. Josephine Gotzian drove twenty miles up to San Pasqual. Friday they visited some families, and Sabbath they held three services in the San Pasqual church. Sunday they went over to Escondido and again held three services, in which the providences of God in the starting of the Paradise Valley Sanitarium (as it was then called) and the needs were placed before the believers. Monday they spent visiting families in Escondido. They were able to raise $1,600 in cash to help carry the enterprise forward. Half that amount they were able to take home with them. They had also solicited material help that the farmers could provide from their land. They were very glad for the cash because in anticipation of a prosperous well Palmer had purchased an engine, pipes, and pumps, and he needed money to pay the overdue bill.5BIO 367.4

    When the party returned from Escondido on Tuesday, they were met by the cheering report that the well diggers had found an abundant flow of pure water. A few days later a four-horse team drawing a large, heavy wagon drove up to the Sanitarium, bringing gifts from the churches of San Pasqual and Escondido. This timely donation included potatoes, squash, and canned fruit. Of special importance, the gift included two fine “Jersey cows” (Ibid., March 16, 1905).5BIO 368.1

    That evening Sara McEnterfer told Sister White that two new “patients” had arrived. Somewhat in surprise Ellen White exclaimed, “‘Where will they put them?’”5BIO 368.2

    To this Sara replied, “‘In the barn, I guess.’”—Letter 319, 1904. Then she explained the nature of the new four-footed guests.5BIO 368.3

    One pump was not able to lower the level of the water in the well and so a second pump was brought in. The two large-capacity pumps were required to empty the well sufficiently to get the tools out and to dig just a little more to provide a reservoir for the water that poured in at a fantastic rate. What a blessing the well was!5BIO 368.4

    While the leading workers of the new institution were discussing whether they should open its doors the last week in November or the first week in December, a Mrs. Julia Ulrich came unannounced on November 23 and insisted on staying. Ellen White noted:5BIO 368.5

    Others came before we were ready, and patients continued to come till there were twenty, and our workers were kept so busy that there has been no time as yet for a formal opening.—The Review and Herald, March 16, 1905.5BIO 368.6

    The class of patients who came to the institution was described by E. S. Ballenger:5BIO 368.7

    A large proportion of them were people of culture and influence. Among them were judges, Senators, civil and army officers. These people are hungry for something they cannot find in the world and there is no better means of reaching them with the message than to gather them into our sanitariums where the Spirit of God prevails, where they may attend family worship, prayer meetings, and Sabbath services.5BIO 368.8

    For the first two months after patients were admitted, all the treatments were given in a small room only about eight by thirteen feet. At times we were so crowded that some of the patients were obliged to wait until ten o'clock at night. These inconveniences were cheerfully endured as long as the guests knew we were unable to provide better, and knowing that we expected to build new bathrooms as soon as we were able.—DF 2a, E. S. Ballenger, “The First Patients at the Paradise Valley Sanitarium.”5BIO 369.1

    As to the organization for handling the business of the newly established Sanitarium, various propositions were made and discussed, and counsel was sought of the conference brethren. It was finally decided to establish a stock company, not for profit but for managing the business and to encourage those who could do so to make an investment in the institution. This plan was followed with some adjustments during the next two or three years until the Southern California Conference was in a position to take over the management and responsibility of the Paradise Valley Sanitarium.5BIO 369.2

    Thus Ellen White, through the insights that came to her through the visions, through her persistence, through her soliciting, the cooperation of those who had confidence that the Lord was speaking through her and through heavy personal financial investment, led out in the establishment of this first Adventist sanitarium in southern California.5BIO 369.3

    During the last three nights of her stay at Paradise Valley, she was given instruction by God in the visions of the night concerning the work in that part of the state:5BIO 369.4

    During the last three nights of my stay at this institution, much instruction was given me regarding the sanitariums which for years have been greatly needed, and which should long ago have been equipped and set in working order. Medical missionary work is to be to the third angel's message as the right hand to the body.5BIO 369.5

    Our sanitariums are one great means of doing medical missionary work. They are to reach the people in their need. The workers connected with our sanitariums are to be sympathetic, kind, and straightforward in their dealings with one another and with the patients. Their words and deeds are to be noble and upright. They are ever to receive from Christ light and grace and love to impart to those in darkness. By their efforts the sick, the sinful, the prodigals who have left the Father's house are to be encouraged to return.5BIO 370.1

    God's word to these workers is, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.” “Fear not, neither be discouraged: for I am thy God.”—Special Testimonies, Series B 14:13.5BIO 370.2

    Ellen White's seventy-seventh birthday came on Sabbath, November 26, when she was still at the Paradise Valley Sanitarium. In her journal she wrote,5BIO 370.3

    I have not been able to sleep after 1:00 A.M. It is Sabbath.... I am this day 77 years old. I have thinking to do and I have reason to thank the Lord that He has spared my life. I am pleased that the Lord has favored me with His encouraging grace.... My labors have been quite taxing and the Lord has greatly blessed me.—Manuscript 147, 1904.5BIO 370.4

    Then she wrote of what had been shown her, prefacing her statement with these words:5BIO 370.5

    During the night season we were in council. After we were planning what we should do, there was One who spoke with clearness and laid out the work.— Ibid.5BIO 370.6

    This Spokesman stressed that Ellen White's special energies and capabilities were to be used in getting out the books that were essential for these last days, and that she was to place herself in the best possible position for health. According to her Instructor:5BIO 370.7

    We must gather every distinct ray of light that will substantiate the truth, bearing aloft the banner for these last days, the third angel's message. The churches need to be set in order, the door of unbelief to be closed. The seducing power of Satan we are told will increase in such proportions that if it is possible he will deceive the very elect.— Ibid.5BIO 370.8

    In sadness she recorded the words:5BIO 371.1

    Some are not making straight paths for their feet, and in consequence the weak will be turned out of the way. Let every soul take the warning....

    There were many words spoken. Some words do not come to my mind until special occasions, then the words of caution and warning come. I shall have these warnings come to my mind with great power and force to rescue souls that are in peril but do not see themselves in any spiritual danger.— Ibid.5BIO 371.2

    A few days later she recorded:5BIO 371.3

    I cannot sleep this morning after twelve o'clock.... I am drawn out in prayer to my heavenly Father for increased strength that I may present to the people the most precious and essential truth for this time and entreat all to preserve the old landmarks that have been searched out and under the demonstration of the Holy Spirit proclaimed to the world.— Ibid.

    Her mind turned back to 1848 when the foundations of the truths proclaimed by Seventh-day Adventists were drawn together in a body of teachings at the Sabbath conferences:5BIO 371.4

    Many wonderful miracles have been worked in the searching for the truth as for hidden treasure, and the golden treasures of the Word have been substantiated by such remarkable demonstration of the Holy Spirit that all who have had an experience in the work of God since the Bible was opened to our understanding would be sinning against the Holy Ghost to deny the truth.— Ibid.5BIO 371.5

    A small army of painters invaded the main building at Paradise Valley to paint the entire interior. Ellen White felt that in the interests of her health she should leave. She decided to spend a few days at the Glendale Sanitarium, which had not yet opened. On her way to Paradise Valley in early November she had spent a weekend in Los Angeles, and while there had visited the new Glendale Sanitarium. She was delighted with what she found.5BIO 371.6

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