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Deaconesses in Europe and their Lessons for Americ

70 Mildmay Deaconesses and their Work


There

are regular Bible-classes held by different clergymen, and once a fortnight there are lectures on the history of missionary work. There are classes in Hindustani, drawing, and singing, and for those whose education is defective, elementary classes in arithmetic, geometry, and short-hand. The probationers are also given training in the duties of the store-room, and the order and method that they are taught in caring for the minutest details must certainly form valuable habits in all those who have any desire to profit by the instruction they receive.

For those who are destined for medical work among the women of India there is a special course of medical training, both theoretical and practical.

The age requirement is not so strictly maintained at Mildmay as at many other deaconess houses, but, as a rule, ladies from about twenty to thirty years of age are preferred as students in the training-school. The sum of three hundred dollars is charged for the year's expenses at the training-school, medical students paying one hundred dollars additional.

Our study of the Mildmay Institutions has been somewhat extensive. As was said at the beginning of the chapter, the great freedom and simplicity of the Mildmay methods, as well as the happy faculty that its directors possess of utilizing all varieties of individual talent, make this deaconess establishment one that is full of valuable

suggestions to the similar institutions that are now arising in American Methodism. No working force is wasted; if a deaconess possess a special talent, she is given a field in which to exercise it; and if exceptional conditions arise workers are found ready to meet them. This training provides well-equipped missionaries for the foreign field, and equally well-prepared missionaries for the great field of the present hour--the home mission work in the crowded wards of great cities.

The annual expenses of the Mildmay Institutions vary from one hundred and ten thousand to one hundred and twenty thousand dollars. Sixty thousand dollars are received in voluntary contributions, and the remaining sum is generally obtained from friends who are immediately concerned in the work.

It is certainly a marvelous tribute to Christian faith, although it is never heralded as such, that an establishment of the extent and magnitude of Mildmay has been maintained for years with no permanent endowment to fall back upon, and that annually the renewed self-denial of constant friends has to supply the large amount of money needed to meet the entire expenses. Besides those outward and visible services which it renders "for the love of Christ, and in his name" Mildmay furnishes a constant testimony to the fidelity of the Christian faith in the hearts of many believers.

[65] _Life and Letters of the Rev. W. Pennefather_, p. 279. [66] _Ibid._, p. 305. [67] _Life and Letters of the Rev. W. Pennefather_, p. 435. [68] _Life and Letters of the Rev. W. Pennefather_, p. 471. [69] _Life and Letters of the Rev. W. Pennefather_, p. 471. [70] _Mildmay Deaconesses and their Work_, p. 7. [71] _Mildmay Deaconesses and their Work_, p. 6. [72] _A Retrospect of Mildmay Work During the Year 1887._ [73] _Mildmay Deaconesses and their Work_, p. 13. [74] _A Light in a Dark Place_, p. 21.

CHAPTER XII.

DEACONESSES IN SCOTLAND.


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