« PreviousContinue »
UR stations in densely-populated Bengal have chiefly filled the unusually large space given in this Number to despatches from abroad. Bollobhpur is the headquarters of our Bengal Village Mission, which was described in our last Number, p. 122; Krishnagur, a sacred city, and resort of Hindu pilgrims, is the capital of the district of that name; the same can be said of Bhagulpur, in the province of Behar. Jabalpur is in the Central Provinces. We very much regret that want of space has obliged us to hold over Miss Daeuble's account of her work at Bhagulpur.
NUDDEA VILLAGE MISSION.
CANNOT express my thankful-
Christian congregations are urgently needed, while there are hundreds of heathen villages still untouched, and many, indeed most of the remainder, visited only at one season of the year.
The town of Kooshtea with its remarkable openings for work, and that of Meherpur not yet attempted, might fully occupy our time. The C.M.S. missionaries in one direction beg for more frequent visits to the non-Christian women in their part of the district, while another urges that all our
time should be given to the Christians; and I have frequently had occasion to wish I could be in a dozen places at one and the same time. Will not some now at home come to our 'assistance? And will not others, who cannot come themselves, send a sub`stitute, like the friend who has provided one valued fellow-worker? It is the Master calling-shall He call in vain?
years, to the out-stations for work among the Christian women, but in and around Bollobhpur, including Ratnapur, Bhobapara, Taranagur, Hidaipur, Nazarikoni, Juggenathpur, and Horirampur, they have been visited more frequently and regularly than ever before by Miss Brown; she has done most valuable work among them by her visits, classes, mothers' meeting, leading evangelistic bands to heathen villages, and, in Bollobhpur, superintendence of the Sunday-school, together with a preparation class for the teachers. In the coming year, now that she has passed her second examination in the language, I look forward to her help in visiting the out-stations. An examination for the Bible-women and school-teachers of the district was held in June, and the most successful candidates received a small prize. Another will be held in the spring (D.V.), and the Bible-women acknowledge the benefit to themselves and their work that results from it.
The chief event of the year now drawing to a close has been the opening of the dispensary at Bollobhpur, and by Miss Owles giving daily some hours of her time to it, in addition to studying the language the chief work of a missionary in her first year,-we have been enabled to carry on the work there without a break, till it had to be closed while we took our needed holiday. But not Bollobhpur only has benefited; the patients have come from many villages far and near, and we were able, in an adjoining cottage, to take a few in-patients from distant places. The recovery of one of these made a great impression on the whole neighbourhood, being regarded as little less marvellous than a rising from the dead, so hopeless did the case at first appear. We have been greatly cheered, too, by the attention paid to the teaching of our Bible-woman. There is every reason to hope that spiritual as well as bodily healing will be given by Him Who is recognised by all who come to us as the Great Physician.
My own serious illness has prevented my going, as in previous
The converts baptized last year have been going on very satisfactorily. Shoshi continues under the kind care and teaching of Miss Adams and Mrs. Ghose at Chupra, while Ujjala helps us in our dispensary, and little Martha is a great pet at the Girls' Boardingschool in Krishnagur. We now have with us an inquirer from the same village from which Shoshi came, and we hope she may prove herself a sincere and worthy candidate for baptism. Her name is Horimoni,
and we would ask the prayers of all our readers for her; also for our ayah and her husband, the former of whom has only been with us a few months, but in that time seems to have taken in with child-like faith the truth that Christ died for her, and is her Saviour.
Turning to the work among nonChristians in the north of the district, I need say nothing here of our tour last cold season, when I was accompanied for the first time by Miss Monro and Miss Brown, as an account of it by Miss Monro has already appeared in INDIA'S WOMEN (Vol. xiii. 221). We hope to go over the same ground again this winter, and to find that the seed then sown has been watered by the Holy Spirit. But how we long for the time when there shall no longer be a year's interval between our visits! What would be thought at home of the use of a Bible-class held once a year in a village where there was no other means of grace, if such a thing can be imagined?
Miss Brown and I had paid a visit to Kooshtea in December, 1892, and this year Miss Monro and I went there in May for a fortnight. The leading gentlemen of the place welcome us cordially to their homes, and are anxious that we should undertake permanent work there, though they well know that our only object is to lead the women to Christ. "My wife is often asking when you are coming ;" "You are always welcome;" "My
diughter will be so sorry she was away when you came," are the remarks frequently made.
I had looked forward to a good time of work there this winter with Miss Brown, Miss Owles, and our Bible-women, hoping we should be able to divide into bands and work the town and neighbouring villages thoroughly. I went first for a week alone, and then we all went together; but after two or three days, I got a letter from our Native pastor telling me that cholera had broken out in Bollobhpur, so I hastened back to the aid of our people, and am writing in the intervals between attending to the cholera cases, so if it is very disconnected I hope I shall be forgiven. Two years ago there was a similar outbreak, and now Bollobhpur is again suffering severely. There have been so far nineteen deaths, but, through God's mercy and His blessing on the remedies used, a great many recoveries.
At such a time, with death so very near, how precious are the promises of our covenant-keeping God! He does give His own perfect peace. I am greatly upheld by the knowledge
that many prayers are going up on our behalf. To add to the anxiety, I get news from Kooshtea that Miss Brown is ill, and must be taken to Calcutta. But though our plans of work are thus upset, we know our Captain makes no mistakes, and we trust Him fully."
A Deserted Child.
On Sunday morning, the day before
I left Kooshtea, we had just had our little service together, and I was waiting for breakfast, when a man came in hurriedly, telling me that a child was lying on the road near our bungalow, evidently left to die. We at once went to the spot, and found a girl of about eight years of age, in a filthy state, and apparently starving as well as ill, lying all alone on the roadside. Some men working in the fields near said they had seen a man with a baby in his arms come along the road with this child, and he had gone on and left her there.
We fed and then washed her, and, wrapping her in a blanket, carried her to the dispensary of the town, and the doctor there kindly promised to attend to her till my return from Bollobhpur. As I was leaving the next morning, I wrote to the Inspector of Police and asked him to make inquiries, but nothing has been discovered, and the magistrate has given an order that the child shall be handed over to us. She is now recovering, and we cannot but feel that it was ordered by God that she should be left so near our house, as otherwise she probably would have died.
Thanks for the Past and Hopes for the Future.
The Christinas Day service at Bollobhpur was well attended, every seat being filled; the collection was
Next year I hope to be able to tell of more villages reached in the rains (when our roads get impassable) by means of a boat, which the kindness of friends will enable me to purchase. The boxes with sale work and prizes have reached us, and great has been our thankfulness in opening them to see how constantly our friends think of and work for us. Truly our boxes were not disappointing! Christmas time is looked forward to eagerly by all the children, and others, too, while the sum realised by the sale of work is a most welcome and needed addition to our funds. We hope to write to all the friends who have been working so kindly for us. I should like to say, too, how greatly cheered and helped we have been by receiving letters assuring us of prayer and sympathy. For these and for papers and magazines so thoughtfully sent, and so welcome in our out-of-the-way corner of the field, I would most heartily thank all our friends, and assure them that such tokens of loving remembrance are a real help to us. Bollobhpur, Dec., 1893.
Intelligence of Miss Brown's dangerous illness, and subsequent progress towards recovery, has anticipated Miss Dawe's letter, written in the midst of anxiety. A more recent letter from Miss Dawe gives a happy sequel to the story, in which she touches lightly on the trial of being alone, as far as Europeans were concerned, in the midst of the sick and dying. On January 4th, she writes of a glad Christmas time when the scourge of cholera had abated :--
larger than ever before, though the people are not at all well off.
Many of them gave large thank
offerings for life spared in the cholera outbreak.
With anxiety and sorrow, we have much to make us glad.
On January 22nd, Miss Dawe writes :In Camp, Nuddea. Will you kindly put a note in INDIA'S WOMEN that the child mentioned in my report as having been picked up on the roadside at Kooshtea,
I sympathise fully with those of our sisters who are inclined to do a "big grumble" when reminded that it is time to write the Annual Report; yet I do feel the great responsibility of the task imposed upon us.
How many of the Lord's people in England, having sent us forth in faith, are waiting beyond the ocean to hear our report of the land, what it is"whether it be good or bad-the people that dwelleth therein, whether they be strong or weak, few or many, and what cities they be that they dwell in "?
Amongst Sick and Needy.
God grant that with Caleb and Joshua of old, we may give a faithful report in the ears of His people. Having had but one year's experience of the country and its people, I will leave it to those more capable of judging to expatiate on what are indeed the chief obstacles in the way of possession, and which of the numerous strongholds of the Enemy are the most inaccessible. I can speak as to the reality of walled cities," and giants and opposing forces, but I cannot attempt to describe the
has since died? We hoped she might have recovered, and been brought up as a Christian, but God has willed it otherwise, and taken the poor little forsaken girl to Himself.
A year has passed since my arrival in Bengal, the first three months of which were spent in Krishnagur in the (to me) uninteresting occupation of disentangling impossible letters, and of acquiring the rudiments of the Bengali language. The monotony was relieved by a visit to the Krishnagur dispensary, where, by the kind and efficient help of Miss Phailbus, I was able to gain much useful experience for future need. In March, Miss Dawe and Miss Brown returned from the winter's itineration, and warmly welcomed me to this field of my hopes and prayers-Bollobhpur.
Those accustomed to live in cities,