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Deaconesses in Europe and their Lessons for Americ

Pennefather says in a letter of February 11


There

are also two convalescent homes, one at Barnet and one at Brighton. The home at Brighton is especially designed for the poor patients of the East End mission. The report for the year ending December 31, 1887, says that five hundred and fifty men, women, and children enjoyed its benefits for a fortnight or longer.[74]

Mildmay nurse deaconesses have also charge of the Doncaster General Infirmary, the Nurses' Institute at Malta, and the Medical Mission Hospital at Jaffa, where two hundred and nineteen patients were received the last year, of whom one hundred and seventy-five were Moslems.

There also exists under the supervision of Mildmay workers a railway mission that was begun in 1880 for men on duty at two of the London stations. An organized mission has sprung up from this small beginning that has now extended over three great lines of railroads which employ thousands of men.

The long list of labors given do not exhaust the efforts of Mildmay workers, for, besides special teas for policemen and postmen, and the mission room and day-school at Ball's Pond, there is also an educational branch that is meeting the demand for higher educational advantages for women, under distinctly religious influences, by the Clapton House School.

The questions involuntarily present themselves, when reading the undertakings just enumerated, that involve not only

faithfulness and devotion in service, but disciplined, practiced faculties, "What class of women are these by whom so much has been accomplished? And what is the training that has made them so effective?" It is difficult to answer the first question. The deaconesses are of all classes, many of them being ladies who devote their time, talent, and means to forward the cause. There are a good many daughters of clergymen, who are carrying out the associations of their life at home. Just how many are self-supporting and just how many are maintained by the Institution are facts that are never known; as Mrs. Pennefather says in a letter of February 11, 1889, "There are certain points we deal with as strictly private. While every probationer pays four guineas for her first month, the after monetary arrangements are never known except to myself and the resident lady superintendent."

NOTE.--There is a further department at Mildmay that has never been named, but is certainly an important and busy one; it might be called the "Department of Inquiry," for certainly the personal visits and letters received, inquiring into the details of the institution, must be very large. My obligations to Mrs. Pennefather are great, who, both by letter and printed matter, has placed a great number of facts at my disposal, of which I have availed myself freely in writing this sketch. Mrs. Pennefather's words, "we are glad when we can help any Christian work with the experience God has permitted us to gather," echo the words of the great apostle, "Let him that is taught in the word communicate to him that teacheth in all good things." I remember, too, the gracious patience with which, during one of the crowded days of the last conference, Miss Coventry, the superintendent, spent a long hour with us, answering fully and minutely the many questions which we put when trying to supplement our want of knowledge by her long experience. Indeed, the spirit of Mildmay impressed me as generous and helpful; as has been said, "Over the whole house rules the spirit of love, devotion, and prayer."*


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