Action at Avondale

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race. . ."

-Editor of Ministry at the time this article was written

A plaque outside the office of Reginald Ansett, owner of the largest private travel network in the Southern Hemisphere, is a lengthy quotation that someday could well be his epitaph. It reads:

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved, and always will solve, the problems of the human race."

We can't agree entirely with this philosophy, but we can agree with the spirit of the man a spirit that symbolizes the spirit of the Australasian Division laymen and workers. They are a persistent, determined, indomitable group.

Nothing could have made me happier than to take part in another Extension School. To fellowship with eighty-six ministers from various parts of that division is an exhilarating experience. There is a spirit of optimism, victory, devotion, and eagerness that is just plain contagious. I have a number of close friends from that section of God's earth who seem to be above average in knowledge and ability, and believe me they are a challenging people to associate with.

I left a bit earlier than the other teachers and what a farewell they gave me. In a written note addressed to "Dear Brother Bob," they informed me, among other things, that there was an opening for an assistant pastor for the Dora Creek church. (Ellen G. White traveled up Dora Creek in 1894 to locate the land for Avondale College.) I might add that Dora Creek's population is well under fifty thousand more like five hundred! Frankly, nothing would make me happier than to live in the calm atmosphere around Dora Creek.

A word about the school program. Hans K. La Rondelle directed the Andrews University Extension School that convened from December 5, 1972 through January 24, 1973. He also taught a stimulating course in systematic theology titled "Righteousness by Faith." A. P. Salom from Avondale College taught "Exegesis of the Book of Hebrews." Dr. J. Wayne McFarland and I taught "Health Evangelism," which included a daily physical fitness program plus a cooking school and a bit of gardening. A non-credit course on the work of the pastor was also offered.

Scriptural studies combined with the gospel of health offered the students a balanced practical program. New insights were gained in the use of a wholistic evangelistic approach. The three angels' messages were seen in a set ting that touches the mental, spiritual, physical and social spheres of man's existence. One minister remarked, "I never before realized that the redeeming power of the gospel saves the whole man, not just a part of him."

G. F. Clifford, Avondale's academic dean and registrar, efficiently organized the numerous details connected with an extension school. From the Division president, Bob Frame, to the dormitory janitors, we visitors from America were cared for royally.

Weekends were spent in visiting camp meetings and a division-wide youth congress. Our brethren made sure that we earned our salary! We could never accuse them of permitting us to waste any time. But isn't that the way it should be?

Fellowship together during those weeks has left deep impressions on minds and hearts, the influence of which will be felt wherever we go. Our heaven home was brought closer as we contemplated the reality of being together as a group on an eternal basis with our Lord Jesus Christ. Who could ask for anything better?


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-Editor of Ministry at the time this article was written

June 1973

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