Letters - 1898.10.19 to Mr. Baring-Gould


Keng Tau
Oct. 19, 1898

Dear Mr. Baring-Gould,

I am on my way to a village near on an itinerating tour. I only intended to stay in this house one night but the weather has changed and it is very wet and windy and I cannot get to Mau to go with my load to Hong and so must stay here until tomorrow as I could not do without proper bedding, etc. I am delighted to find that in our absence the dear station class women—five of them live in Keng Tau—have been so earnest in leading others to go to church and hear about God. One Malay woman has been here to see me and I questioned her as to what she had done for Jesus in my absence. She has been the means of leading 5 families to renounce their idols and worship God. All five families now attend church regularly. She, this woman, has just repeated some of our Lord’s parables and explained them quite clearly and she says the people often ask her to come and see them to tell them the stories from the Bible. The story they like best she says is that about Nebuchadnezzar and the golden image. I do thank God for the work of the station class women. I do wish I could see you and talk to you. I am having a very hard time now that the Archdeacon [Wolfe] is back but if I were to write it I could not make you understand. My only course is to do as quietly as possible the work God gives to do and to pray and trust for the “love that beareth all things.” I have come to the conclusion that what wears one out in China is not so much climatic influences as those sorrows and trials which God alone can be told about.

I am so happy to be amongst the people once more and I pray for the grace and wisdom and strength to be able to stay in my district until we have permanent dwelling once more. I had an interview with Dr. Rennie on Saturday and he gave full and unqualified permission for me to come down here and itinerate. Even if our house were not condemned we could not at present live in it because in the last typhoon one side of it was so badly injured that workmen are engaged to take the east wall down and rebuild it. The last typhoon did a great deal of damage and hundreds of Chinese lost their lives in the storm. Miss Oatway is itinerating just now. She was on her way to Hok-Chiang City yesterday. She will probably be here for a day or two next week. If I can manage it I want to live at Hong and I mean [to] return there each evening but work in these villages round. Praise God the field is white unto harvest. It is an ever increasing task to go amongst these dear people teaching and preaching. I must soon bring in my annual letter. The past has been full of blessing—

With kind regards
I am, dear Mr. Baring-Gould
Yours faithfully
Margaret E. Barber.
I am now in better health than for more than a year past.


In the same week that Miss Barber wrote a letter to Mr. Lloyd with Misses Oatway and Suttor regarding their housing, Mr. Baring-Gould sent to her a letter on May 2, 1898. That letter is now illegible, but as there is no record of Miss Barber writing a reply during the summer, the above letter from October may be the earliest reply to his letter.

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