NEGenWeb Project
Resource Center



LetterEARS have passed since the baptism and as I look over those years I am filled with wonder and praise to God. Since then I have not had any agony or spiritual struggle. I have felt all these twelve years that I belonged to Him who bought me.

     I can't see that I have been especially holy more than many others, but I have had a deep and settled rest. My case is in the hands of God and I am satisfied.

      Again, I have had the indwelling presence of the spirit of God and consciously I have known that He was with me and approved of me. I have talked with Him as I would with a friend.

      During these twelve years I have not kneeled in prayer much; I don't pray that way. I don't spend very much time in prayer. I am believing, doing, working. I don't have to persuade God to help me; He is with me; He does help me. He carries every burden; He fights every battle and He always wins.

      Now I am asked about the fulfillment of those promises, that I should be blessed in temporal things. That has come true.

      At the time of the baptism I had no home; now I have one paid for worth $7,000.00. Mrs. Savidge's mother has given her a good property, which she rents, making my wife feel somewhat independent.

      I don't believe that God wants His people to be absolutely destitute. I don't believe poverty is a sign necessarily of the Lord's favor.

      Again, I had no church at the time of the baptism. I now have a little church paid for, worth about $7,000.00. At that time I had expended no money for the aged and



helpless people. I think since then I have expended for their benefit something like $35,000.00 and I believe I shall spend much more.

      It wouldn't do for me to tell such an uncommon and remarkable experience if there had been nothing come of it, but no intelligent person can look over the last twelve years of my life and what has been accomplished and doubt God has been my helper. It has not been me; it has been He. He has never left me in the lurch.

      He has given me an inspiration, will and determination to go through life that has not been of myself.

      I have been opposed by my friends frequently, discouraged by my family and found fault with by the world, but I have gone on and victory has come. The promises that Jesus made me when the billows of life and fire were rolling over me have so far been fulfilled and the future I believe has much more in store.

      The baptism of fire is a big thing--get it!



LetterHORTLY after I graduated from the University of Minnesota I spent the following Sabbath day with one of my friends in St. Paul and he asked me to go to church with him to hear the well-known minister, Dr. Breed of the House of Hope Church.

      We heard a sermon that I will never forget, on "Zeal for God." The text was, "It is good to be zealously affected always in a good thing."

      I was greatly interested in the name of the church, the House of Hope, and when naming my charity for the aged people I called it by that name, the House of Hope.

      Strange to say, for a great many years I had been greatly interested in the matter of doing good to my fellow men in temporal matters.

      I had read many books concerning men and women whom God had used along these lines.

      George Muller, of Bristol, England, in his life and labors was as familiar to me as the spelling book.

      I read his life and the way God led him, and I was perfectly charmed with his whole career. I did not know at that time why I should take any such interest in it, but God knew.

      Dorothea Trudel, of Manedorff, Switzerland, was also a character that had great attraction for me. She cultivated flowers and then became a great healer of the sick through the power of God. She supported her house by prayer and faith in God.

      Pastor Blumhart, of Germany, was another servant of God of whom I read; how he filled a great house with the sick and suffering, and was enabled by the power of




God to supply the needs of those people, both for their bodies and souls.

      I had seen a number of people who had personally met Dr. Cullis, of Boston, who was enabled to cast out devils and heal the sick by the power of Christ.

      I knew that God had heard these men and women, and I believed that He would hear me. I made up my mind that when opportunity offered that I would try God; that is to say, that I would prove Him.

      In the spring of 1906 an old lady came to me and asked me if I would not take care of her. Her husband was dead; he had been a preacher of the Gospel and a good man. Her adopted children had forsaken her and she was in great need.

     After I had considered her case I told her we would assist her. We furnished a room in the church and boarded her at the next house. From that small beginning we have gone on to this day.

      On the 25th day of May, 1906, we were offered a little cottage at 1713 California Street. The price was $2,000.00.

      Before I stepped out in this matter I said to God, "I have no desire to enter on this work except You plainly point the way." And I was conscious that was the real thought of my heart.

      The cash price to be paid down on the property was $250.00 Some of my friends heard I was making a small beginning in this way and they sent me $300.00. We furnished the cottage, filled it with old people and began the work.

      A few months later we bought the cottage adjoining and made payments on these properties from month to month.

      I supposed that all the aged people that I attempted to help in this way would strive to be good people, but that is where I was mistaken. They frequently quarreled among themselves and pulled each other's hair and fought. While some would even swear, drink and steal.

      They did another thing: They found fault with me, in the way I took care of them. They gave me pointers.



This was a great surprise to me, but I had put my hand to the plow and I would not look back.

      On the 1st day of June, 1908, we signed a contract to buy the Dexter-Thomas mansion at 958 North Twenty-seventh Avenue.

      This was a very fine place and had originally been built at a cost of, $25,000.00 and was now in good repair.

      It had twenty rooms, was finished in oak and stood on a plot of ground 125 feet square, with a substantial stone wall in front of the property.

      I was not groping in the dark, but I was acting under divine orders and I knew it.

      On the 1st day of July we took possession of the property and paid over in cash $1,500.00.

      At this time I took three days for prayer, seeking for divine instruction. I received an answer from God which was out of the ordinary. Mr. George A. Hoagland invited me to bring my trustees down to his office. He made a short but pointed address to the officers; he told them we needed about $8,000.00, all told, to place the House of Hope property in good shape, and he went on to say further that if the gentlemen present would take hold of this matter he, himself, would write a check for $2,000.00 to make the last payment on the property.

      Before we went out of this office we had $4,000.00 and I then spared no time or labor until we had the entire sum in cash in bank and every debt was paid.

      There was one incident at this time worth mentioning. We desired to sell the two little cottages on California Street, they being now vacant and being of no further use to us after the purchase of the big house.

      The trustees instructed me to sell for $4,000.00, but strange to say, a wealthy gentleman who lived near that property voluntarily offered me $4,500.00 in cash and I took it.

      I have not the least doubt but that the hand of God was in this whole transaction. The fact is, God is not straightened.

      In His dealings with His children, He has a plenty and to spare.



      I hope all my readers will read and remember that middle verse in the Bible, Psalms, 118:8: "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man."

      And the next verse is most precious, Psalms, 118:9: "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes."

      When this property was paid for it was deeded to the House of Hope corporation. It has sometimes been stated and, indeed, is believed by a large number of people that these properties that I have bought are deeded to myself; in short, that they are my property and will descend to my family after my death.

      Nothing is more utterly false than this. I do not own a single foot of ground that I have purchased for the House of Hope.


      The maintenance or the upkeep of the House of Hope is very vital. We find people asking continually, "How is the House of Hope maintained?" The maintenance of the House of Hope has been turned over by the trustees entirely to me. This was done by an action of the trustees some years ago, namely, on April 4th, 1911. And when this action was taken by the board it was with the distinct understanding that no debts of any nature or description should be chargeable to the property of the corporation. They gave over the responsibility of this matter solely to myself.


      One-third of the inmates of the home residents in this city are cared for for nothing and are buried in death without cost to them or their friends. These are people who have lived for years in our city and who have maintained a good character, but who through misfortune have been left penniless and are without living relatives.

      The next third are charged a small price, such as two or three dollars a week, which they or their friends are able to pay.



      The last third are charged four or five dollars a week because they or their friends have the money and are able to do it.

      The invalids we charge about a dollar a day, because they require the care of servants and in most cases are very glad to give us such compensation.

      We pray to God to enable us to meet these expenses from month to month. And we also ask the kind-hearted and benevolent people to give us their assistance in times of need.

      So far we have been able to meet all claims promptly.

      At first the care and expense of this charity was a great burden, but it is not so now.

      God is our friend and "He does turn the hearts of the people as rivers of water," as He said He would.

      Our accounts are carefully kept by my bookkeeper, Mr. Arvid Anderson, and reports are made to the board of trustees and the public through our city papers twice a year.


      There are four reasons which in the aggregate make a new House of Hope inevitable.

      In the first place the heating facilities are inadequate in our present building and it seems qnie (sic) impossible to remedy this difficulty. Our old people suffer from the cold in the winter.

      Secondly, the stairways of our present house are narrow and difficult of ascent; it is almost impossible to get the people to take the third-floor rooms. They are old and crippled, and the danger of falling is great.

      Thirdly, such room as the house affords is poorly arranged for our purpose. If you would have old people content you must give them a room by themselves, be it ever so small. This is a physical impossibility under the present circumstances.

      Fourth, there is not enough room in our present quarters. We have turned away scores of applicants because we have no place to keep them. I estimate there



are more than one hundred a year that we are forced to turn away.

      Hence, for the past two years we have been taking steps leading to a large, permanent house.

      On April 17th, 1911, we bought nearly two acres of ground at Florence, located at First and Washington Streets. The ground spoken of lies on the bank, with a fine view of the river. It has a cottage, barn and well on the premises.

      We contemplated erecting here some cottages for our invalids. But the next summer I called to my aid Mr. George H. Payne, an expert in lands and buildings, and he advised me to sell that location when I was able to do so and buy in a location more easy of access and where our work could be seen to much better advantage.

      He said with much emphasis, "You believe the Bible, and do you not remember that the Bible says, in substance, that we should not put our light under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that it may give light to all who are in the house?" I replied, "Yes; I remember that." Then he said, "Let us act on it."

      Mr. Payne took the time to aid me in selecting the most available site, and on September 14th, 1912, we purchased two and one-half acres of land on Thirtieth Street between Omaha and Florence. The location of the ground is ideal in every respect. On the north part of this platted ground there are a large number of beautiful shade trees and, indeed, the whole piece is beautiful and highly satisfactory.

      We went forward at once to secure subscriptions to pay for this beautiful property, but on the 23d of March, 1913, our city was struck by a frightful and disastrous cyclone which almost paralyzed business for a time and worked financial ruin to many.

      As is my custom under such circumstances I did not despair, but took the matter to God in prayer.

      As the season opened I put in a large garden on this piece of land and then I would go out every morning, even in the hottest of weather, to hoe and to pray. One of my trustees asked me what I was doing out there so

"As the season opened, I put in a large garden on this piece of land, and then I would go out every morning, even in the hottest or weather, to hoe and to pray."

Prior page
Next page

© 2003 for the NEGenWeb Project by Pam Rietsch, Ted & Carole Miller.