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FOR SUPPORT OF YOUNG MISSIONARIES.
From THE AMERICAN Mission ARY Association, by H. W. Hubbard, New York, Treasurer.
Income of the “Avery Fund,” for missionary work in Africa,
ADDITIONAL DONATIONS FOR SPECIAL OBJECTS.
25 co MINNesota. — Minneapolis, Y. P. S.C. E. of
12 50 16 25
Silver Lake Cong. ch.
143 81 4 oo
MINNEsota. — Cannon Falls, Y. P. S. C. F.
KANsAs.--Westmoreland, Mrs. H. A. Cot-
CALI for N1A. - Los Angeles, Mrs. J. T. Ford,
Colorado. —Colorado Springs, 1st Cong.
. S. Smith, 25,
MISSION WORK FOR WOMEN.
For land for Girls' school, Osaka, 1,725 co
Winsor, 2 5o
Wheeler, 3 oo
For chapel, Guadalajara, care of Mr.
From Wom AN's BoARD of Missions of
Mrs. J. B. Leake, Chicago, Illinois,
For Miss Root's services in Köbe
school, 13o oo
For Miss Sarah Bell's housekeeping
8 50-1.85: 25
From Woxi.AN's BoARD of Missioss For THE
Mrs. R. E. Cole, Oakland, California,
For Bible-woman, “Elsie,” care of
For “Medori San,” care of Miss
For Miss Alice E. Harwood, Japan,
5 co 25 on-s: c
Donations received in October, 45.8:45gacies -- x - 14--- ** &c, off is
Total from September 1 to October $2,
1892: Donations, $60,510.09;
For YoUNG PEOPLE.
VILLAGE SCHOOLS IN INDIA.
AMONG the many departments of our mission work, no one is more interesting or, we think, productive of more direct and pleasing results than that of our common, or village, schools. There are more than a hundred of these schools situated in separate villages, or in small native communities, which become centres of gospel light in the thick darkness of surrounding heathenism. The brightness of these lights varies greatly according to circumstances; and I want to tell you of some of the difficulties which we experience in connection with them. The desire for an education is certainly increasing among the people, but
it often happens that, when in response to urgent requests we attempt to establish a school in a village, there are not energy and decision of character enough among the people who wanted the school to overcome the difficulties in their way, and especially the opposition of some of their own number, and so they leave everything for the missionary to do. One of the first things to be considered, in starting a new school, is whether there are any suitable and available places in the village for the teacher to live in and for the school to meet in. I once commenced a school in a village where the teacher lived for several months in a little hut which he built with his own hands out of cornstalks. He gathered the children together under a large tree, where they were taught their letters and some of the first truths of the gospel. The teacher was afterward fond of reminding me that once when I was visiting the school there came a sudden gust of wind and carried off one of the little books so far that it could never be found again. Many of the villages have public “rest-houses,” which are called chowdis, where travelers may stop for the day or the night. They are generally bare rooms or sheds, open on one side, without any furniture whatever, unless it be a grim idol bedaubed with red paint, which often occupies a central and prominent position. The traveler brings his own provisions and cooking-vessels; and building a fire on the earthen floor he cooks his food, and sleeps upon the floor. This is the nearest approach to “hotel accommodations" which one can find in this part of India, outside of the large cities. But it does very well for the natives with their simple habits of life. The picture on the preceding page is of a common village chowdi. It has thick walls of either stone or mud, and the roof is simply a hard kind of earth which rests on a framework of timbers. You will observe that there are five openings between the posts in front. There may be three or seven, but never an even number. This is owing to a native superstition; and you will find this idea in almost all the architecture of India, whether Hindu or Mussulman. The same superstitious fear of the even number is seen in other matters as well. Some years ago an American merchant in Bombay wished to get one of his ships insured for 50,000 rupees. He went to a Hindu insurance agent for that purpose. The agent did not like the look of that round number, but he was willing to insure the vessel for 51,000 at the same rates. In the end the ship was lost, and the agent paid the extra thousand rupees just for his superstition. It often happens that where a school is started in a new village it must be held in the village chowdi, as that is the only available place. The inconvenience of such a place may be seen, with the help of a little imagination, in the illustration. As the building does not belong to us, it is not under our control. It is subject to perpetual intrusions from those who have a “hereditary" and “inalienable” right to its occupation. Every traveler may find his way here, and he spreads out his traps upon the floor and cooks his meal without let or hindrance. Groups of men may be seated here and there talking loudly and angrily, or perhaps smoking or playing cards, while the school-children are crowded into one corner, trying in vain to get their lessons. The buffalo cow and her calf, which are now seen standing quietly outside, may sometimes be found inside the building, and living creatures in the shape of vermin of various sorts usually abound in such places. It is a very difficult thing to transform such a place into a “temple of learning.” Proper order is impossible, and it is a very happy thing for the school and for the village when the missionary is able to erect a plain, nea: building, which he may call his own, and which may be used as a schoolhouse during the week and as a chapel on the Sabbath. Sometimes a teacher's house is added to it, and the whole establishment becomes a civilizing as well as a Christianizing agency in the village where it is located. We still have many schools in chowdis which ought to be provided with better accommodations, and in many places the people are asking for schools where there is not even a decent chowdi in which to gather a school. There is a chance for indefinite enlargement of our work in this direction, and few lines of work promise richer results than that of our village schools. They have been the starting-point from which not a few of our village churches have grown, and
some of our best native Christian workers received their first impressions of Christian truth in these same village schools. These village schools are the feeders of our higher schools. When a boy has attended faithfully for several years, and has reached a certain standard in his studies, if his character is such as to make it seem advisable, he is taken into the