Letters - 1896.09.14 to Mr. Baring-Gould
Sept 14. 1896.
Dear Mr. Baring Gould,
I am sure you will rejoice with me that my way is open now to go into the country. Miss Wolfe has arranged to take Miss Andrews and Miss Harrison down on Wednesday next & then to come back for us the following week. However Miss Harrison has a bad foot & the doctor thinks a week of rest will be good for it - it is nothing serious - so I shall accompany Miss Wolfe on Wednesday & Miss Harrison will follow with Miss Oatway a little later. We shall go to Miss Wolfe’s house & stay there a few weeks & then when we are initiated into country ways shall go on to Keng Tau. God willing. Judges xviii. 6. is such a rest to me just now So many funny difficulties confront us in China! And how glorious it is that in each one, one triumphs in abundance of grace. Miss Oatway is at Sharp Peak for a week. Koliang [Kuliang] did not prove as beneficial to her as to me! She is quite well however. I shall be so thankful when we are settled in Hokchiang. I know enough Chinese now to enjoy being with the people. We are so thankful for the good news in our C. M. S. periodicals. God is answering prayer for our beloved Society. I hope Mr. and Miss Baring Gould are well. I suppose as I am writing that you are returning from your much needed holiday. I hope it was a real rest in every way.
Our home at Keng Tau is not yet quite ready for us. When we do settle there I will try to send you a long letter about our doings. Miss Little & Miss Clemson have gone up country. Miss Leybourn and Miss Brooks are still at Koliang [Kuliang]. Miss Andrews is at the Archdeacon’s & Miss Harrison is still at the hospital, but I expect they all keep you in touch with their movements. I have received the invoice of a lovely little organ my old Bible Class are sending me. It is so welcome.
With kind regards
Margaret. E. Barber
Mr. Baring-Gould sent a letter to Miss Barber on October 14, 1896. Unfortunately, the ink has bled and the letter is illegible. It is unclear if the letter is a reply to the above or to her earlier letter sent on March 6, 1896. From the Mission Precise book, it is apparent that letters take on average four to six weeks to be received.
What is notable about this letter from Mr. Baring-Gould is that, on the fourth page, there appears to be many references to Bible verses with underlines, quotations, and exclamation marks. This implies to us that Mr. Baring-Gould was filling the end of his letter with encouragements and exhortations to guide the young missionary in her service in the field. This element of pastoral care is touching, especially considering the vast number of missionaries Mr. Baring-Gould corresponded with. Very few of his replies to Miss Barber’s letters are legible, but it is likely that this kind of encouragement and edification is typical of Mr. Baring-Gould’s mentoring towards Miss Barber, with the exception being brief rebukes such as in 1897 and 1898.