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work, and ordered it destroyed, but the interest steadily grew. In 1913 six of the Indian brethren were put in jail; but investigation by the government resulted in greater favor and less bitter local prejudice.
In the same year mission headquarters and school and dispensary buildings were completed at Plateria, the natives taking hold with a will. The school had to be closed temporarily, however, because the teacher, Bartoleme Rojas, who had come from Argentina, had no Peruvian certificate. He passed his examinations, however, and in 1914 the school was reopened with
eighty-three students, the first school ever conducted for these Indians. The schoolroom had to be doubled in size to accommodate the growing number of pupils, and the Indian brethren cheerfully did the work gratis, transporting lumber and other materials on their donkeys from Puno, the railway station, over twenty miles distant.
The educational work thus well begun at Plateria grew by leaps and bounds. In 1918 there were nineteen mission schools; by the end of 1919 there were forty-six primary schools in operation, forty-five of which were taught by Indian teachers trained at Plateria.
This work in behalf of the Inca Indians, founded by F. A. Stahl, has attracted wide attention. Bishop Oldham, of the Methodist Church, referred to it in the Missionary Review of the World as the most remarkable thing that he had seen in South America. A mining man said he couldn't understand what had got hold of these Indians, but added, "I do know that they are better Indians than before. They do not quarrel and fight, and are more industrious, and look cleaner and happier." Members of the Peruvian Senate have strongly commended the
work, and expressed their desire for its extension into all parts of Peru as soon as possible.
Elder Stahl remained in the Indian work around Lake Titicaca until his health became so impaired by the high altitude that he was compelled to leave that field. But instead of accepting honorable retirement, he urged before the Mission Board that he be permitted to open a new work, that for the Chuncho Indians, a savage tribe on the Perene River, one of the tributaries of the Amazon. Here at a lower altitude he has made a
beginning that bids fair to develop into a no less successful work than that done among the Aymara and Quichua Indians in the Titicaca region.
The Inca Union Mission
In recent years the republics of Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia have been grouped together to form the Inca Union Mission. The chief interest in this union naturally centers in the work in behalf of the Indians, which has been dealt with briefly in the preceding pages. The reported membership of the entire union in 1917 was 1,128. At the close of 1921 it had risen to 3,716, as reported by the superintendent, E. F. Peterson. In the Lake Titicaca region alone 2,693 have received baptism in these four years, nearly a thousand of them in 1921. There is one church with a membership of 700, and another with over 500. The union has eleven church buildings. It is not an uncommon thing on special occasions to have an audience of a
thousand or more. In 1923, Superintendent H. U. Stevens reported a membership of 4,427. Of this number 3,736 were in the Lake Titicaca Mission.
From the beginning, the medical missionary work has been a prominent feature. There is one physician and surgeon, and practically all the workers have had training as nurses.
THE growth of our work abroad, which has occupied the attention in the foregoing chapters, was accompanied by a corresponding growth in the home conferences, and in the various institutions of the denomination. The organization of the American Health and Temperance Association, briefly referred to in the closing paragraphs of the chapter on Health and Temperance, met with general approval, and many responded enthusiastically to the calls it made upon their time and energies.
The society circulated three pledges, one calling for abstention from alcoholic drinks, the second excluding tobacco in all forms, and the third, tea, coffee, and other narcotics. Most of the members signed the third, known as the teetotal pledge.
The work of propaganda was carried on by means of lectures and institutes and the circulation of health literature, including the monthly magazine Good Health, books, pamphlets, and