Letters - 1905.09.06 to Mr. Baring-Gould
Sept 6: 1905
Dear Mr. Baring-Gould,
A word about the present condition of the Fukien Church as I see it, may not be out of place just now when so many are specially praying for this province. By the Fukien Church I mean those who are gathered to Christ out of heathenism into our C. E. fold & into the American Board & A. Methodist folds. I have just spent 6 wks amongst my fellow missionaries on the hill & it will cheer you to know that there has never been such a spirit of prayer amongst us as there is just now. All the summer we had one daily prayer meeting for the special object of prayer for the outpouring of the Holy Ghost upon this province, & during the meetings amongst the natives which occupied a week, prayer meetings were held at 4 different centers during the time of the meetings to pray that the message given might be owned of God. In addition to prayer meetings & Bible Readings we also had Reports of the work in the province from different missionaries: & these reports were so stimulating that we all feel that the blessing received are but the droppings of the storm which is about to fall on this Province. Some of our meetings took the form of Conference together over some burning questions one of which is just now ever before us — “the attitude of the missionary toward his native brethren”. The unrest and great dissatisfaction at present in our churches as evidenced by the trouble amongst native helpers & catechists in Foochow & Long Ngnong [illegible] was felt to have its only cure in the coming of the Holy Ghost upon us all making to realise our oneness in Christ & helping us to find ourselves with that humility which will serve the Church in the Spirit of the Master. Altogether considered, our meeting together in the past weeks have stimulated us to greater exertion & given us a more vivid realisation of our real unity in Christ. “All one Body, we” is to us more than a motto & I think I voice the feelings of the majority of the Fukien Missionaries & of our own Section of the Church in this promising province.
We hope that all who are praying for Fukien will pray in the spirit of glad expectations for that God is a font 1 to visit us here, in this part of His Vineyard, we do not doubt.
As to my own personal work in the School I can only say that I am where Lord has placed me, where He keeps me, & praise His Holy Name, where He uses me.
I am in good health & have never felt better than I do as I now end my holiday & I hope in the coming term to do good work for Christ in that school; of better still may He do it through me!
It is a great grief to us to have lost Miss Lambert altho’ we trust it is only for a very few months: meanwhile God reigns & all is well & what He wants done will be done undoubtedly —
We open school again Sept 14 — & expect our complement of 240 girls —
Margaret E. Barber
1 - “a receptacle in a church for the water used in baptism”