Letters - 1901.07.11 on Furlough to Mr. Baring-Gould from Harlesden
12 Hazeldean Rd.
Dear Mr. Baring-Gould,
In the event of my not being appointed to either Lieng Kong or Foochow where there are schools for women and where ladies will be required to fill places left vacant by those going away on furlough, would you be willing for me to offer to lend myself to the Zenana Society for work perhaps at Long Ngnong, or to the T. C. D. for work at Fuh Ning? I don’t know if Fuh Ning can accept, or will accept, such a loan as I propose but they, F[uh]. N[ing]., will want a worker for the Women’s School & if you are willing I might make the suggestion. I am, as I have explained, physically unable for the work of an itinerating missionary & these places will be open for some one. Thank you very, very much for your kind consideration & help. I am sorry to take so much of your time.
M. E. Barber
Address after today—59 St. Martin’s Lane, Norwich
A couple items are noteworthy.
Firstly, we do not know where Miss Barber has been since her week in Liverpool, as mentioned in the previous letter. That was in January and, here, we are in July. The previous letter also does not mention her next mailing address. There must therefore be some correspondence in between that we do not have.
Secondly, the apologetic tone at the end of the letter hints that she may be wrapped up with the fate of her next assignment. Perhaps, since she is near London, she has had another meeting with the Committee, which may explain why her considerations are so detailed. While her tone reads as if she is comfortable being honest with Baring-Gould, she does not have an air of trusting this matter to the Lord within this letter. One might say there is a taste of a zealous worker here that the Lord would look to slow down under a few crosses.
Gone also is the sentiment, such as in her 1898 letter of October 19, where she states, “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.” Now, only a few years older, she has made it clear that she needs some change from the rigor of this work.