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FOREIGN AGENCIES These Agencies are in a geographical arrangement, beginning with Latin America.
WEST INDIES In the West Indies Agency, as a whole, there has been a somewhat decreased circulation. In Cuba there has been a marked increase, but in Porto Rico there is a decrease, which in a degree may be said to be intentional. The whole island had been so vigorously canvassed for the two previous years that for the past year the same vigorous effort was not maintained. Santo Domingo, Haiti, and especially Guadeloupe, have received a larger measure of our attention. The circulation, as a whole, has reached the figure of 59,070 copies—no mean figure, though not quite so large as that of last year. The Rev. W. F. Jordan is now withdrawn from Porto Rico and has been during this year stationed in Brooklyn, N. Y., where he has been able to communicate more readily with the various islands than he could from any one of them as a base. The Rev. Mr. Neblett during a part of the year has continued his superintendence of our work in Cuba, and on his retire. ment the Rev. David Cole, after a training as colporteur in the West Indies, took his place. The Rev. W. W. Williams has visited Santo Domingo, with the aid of the Rev. Paul Delattre of St. Marc, and in Haiti we have had the aid of resident French missionaries in securing the circulation of some 4,000 copies. Mr. Henri Ruga and Mr. Louis J. Ger. maine have been busy and successful colporteurs in Guadeloupe.
MEXICO Mrs. F. S. Hamilton has continued in charge of our Mexico Agency. There have been employed in Bible distribution 30 persons.
In spite of the unprecedented difficulties created by the revolution, they have visited 911 towns and villages and circulated 23,369 volumes, 5,087 Bibles, 5,198 New Testaments, and 13,084 Scripture portions. This is a slight advance over the preceding year, which is remarkable under the conditions.
CENTRAL AMERICA AND COLOMBIA The Rev. Mr. Hayter has been absent on furlough in Europe during a considerable portion of the year, yet has been serving the Society during this period by visiting the work of the British and Foreign Bible Society at Port Said, with a view, by his observations, to handling better the Bible distribution soon to begin at the Panama Canal. In his absence the superintendents in the various republics of Central America have distributed 40,500 books, a considerable advance over last year, 10,000 of these being distributed in the Canal Zone, and 8,154 in Colombia. The diversity of operations required in Central America tests the ingenuity as well as the faithfulness of those responsible for these results.
VENEZUELA In Venezuela Mr. Bailly has been absent on furlough during most of the year. The Rev. Fred R. Bullen, one of his confreres in mission work, has cared for the work of the Agency, and under his guidance a total of 3,947 copies has been reached. This, though somewhat smaller than last year, is a good record, and the Society is much indebted to Mr. Bullen.
LA PLATA The La Plata Agency, with its headquarters at Buenos Ayres, Argentina, covers all of South America except Venezuela, Colombia, and Brazil. The Rev. F. G. Penzotti has continued in the charge of this field. He reports a circulation of 76,941 volumes, of which 16,793 are Bibles, 15,309 New Testaments, and 44,839 Scripture portions. This is an increase of 12,242 over the circulation of the preceding year. 1,517 towns and villages in this region have been visited. This is the Jubilee Year of this Agency, which was established in 1864.
BRAZIL The Rev. Mr. Tucker has also been absent from his field for part of the year at the World's Sunday School Convention at Zurich, but the work of the Agency has gone on without interruption and has reached a circulation
of 47,622, which is a good figure, though falling somewhat behind that of last year. At the close of the year the country is passing through a rather severe financial crisis, and our Bible work feels the effects of it. The population of the Republic of Brazil has now reached 22,000,000. Education and general enlightenment are continually increasing. Increased activity in the circulation of the Scriptures and the enlarged provision for it are necessary to meet this situation.
LEVANT The Rev. Marcellus Bowen, D.D., reports for the Levant Agency, which covers all the countries on the eastern end of the Mediterranean, including Egypt and the Soudan. Throughout all these fields, save Egypt and the Soudan, “Grim War” has dealt a staggering blow to social progress. In spite of this, however, there has been a circulation of 156,926 volumes, of which 19,564 are Bibles, 32,770 New Testaments, and 104,592 Scripture portions.
83 persons have been employed in this work of Bible distribution, and they have visited 6,730 towns and villages.
SIAM In Siam the Rev. Robert Irwin has fully entered into the labors of Dr. Carrington, and building upon his foundation, pushed on rapidly to a much larger distribution than ever has been reached in any previous year, namely, 161,057. In order to accomplish this a rapid and vigorous reorganization and forward movement was made into northern Siam, where hitherto comparatively little had been accomplished. Mr. Irwin has made several fruitful tours into the regions beyond, and the story of them is full of inspiration. His motto for the year seems to have been “ fresh fields and pastures new.”
CHINA Changing and developing China, the wonder of the modern world, still lays a heavy burden on the Chinese Agency. To keep pace with the forward march of events seems like an effort to achieve the impossible. Figures show, however, that the labor of the year has been thoroughly successful. In spite of the inevitable uncertainties
which attend such an enterprise at such a time, our colporteurs and their superintendents, a force of two hundred and fifteen, under the management of Dr. John R. Hykes at Shanghai, have accomplished the largest distribution ever attained in a single year, reaching a total of 1,653,965 copies.
JAPAN The Japan Agency, covering the southern half of the Empire of Japan, has been throughout the year under the care of Herbert W. Schwartz, M.D. His record is one of conspicuous advance. A total of 291,101 volumes has been circulated through his colporteurs and correspondents, of which 6,109 are Bibles, 71,113 are New Testaments, and 213,879 are Scripture portions. This is an advance over the preceding year of 158,046 volumes, more than doubling the circulation.
KOREA The Rev. S. A. Beck has administered the Korean Agency during the year, and again reports an advance in the circulation of Scriptures in that country. The circulation has reached a total of 176,880 volumes-1,089 Bibles and Old Testaments, 9,377 New Testaments, and 166,414 portions, an advance of 88,646 volumes, which makes the circulation more than double that of the preceding year.
PHILPPINE ISLANDS The Rev. J. L. McLaughlin returned to the care of the Philippine Agency toward the end of the year, so that the report for the year is largely that of work under the supervision of the Rev. Harry Farmer. The distribution for the year reaches a total of 55,816 volumes, of which 3,518 are Bibles, 11,893 New Testaments, and 40,405 Scripture portions, an advance of 2, 144 for the year. In all 79 persons have been employed in this work, 10 as colporteurs, 65 as correspondents, and 4 in the Lecture Bureau, an unusual method which has proven particularly successful in the Philippines.
The following list gives the names of the Agents now serving the Society in other lands by appointment of the
Board, whose whole time is devoted to its interests, with the dates of the establishment of the Agencies and their appointments : Agonoy
1836, Rev. MarcellusBowen, D.D., Constan'ple, 1888 La Plata,
1864, Rev. Francis G.Penzotti, Buenos Ayres, * 1907 Japan,
1876, Herbert W. Schwartz, M. D., Yoko.
. 1911 China,
1876, Rev. John R. Hykes, D.D., Shanghai, 1898 Brazil, 1876, Rev. H. C. Tucker, Rio de Janeiro,
1878, Mrs. H. P. Hamilton, Mexico City, . 1905 Korea,
1882, Rev. S. A. Beck, Seoul, West Indies,
1882, Rev. W. F. Jordan, Brooklyn, NY 1908 Venezuela,
1888, Rev. Gerard A. Bailly, Caracas, t . 1908 Siam,
1890, Rev. Robert Irwin, Bangkok, . 1912 Central America and Panama,
1892, Rev. James Hayter, Guatemala, . 1907 Philippines, .
1899, Rev. J. L. McLaughlin, Manila, . 1906 Under the oversight of these Agents, and of other correspondents of the Society in foreign lands, eight hundred and twenty-five (825) persons (667 colporteurs and 158 others) are reported to have been employed during the year in distributing Scriptures, the average time of actual service being about six months. If we add to these the four hundred and eighty-two (482) reported for the Home Agencies, a total of one thousand three hundred and seven (1,307) persons (915 colporteurs and 392 others) have been directly employed by the Society in distributing the Scriptures during the year.
TRANSLATION AND REVISION Continuous with all this work of circulation, the Society, co-operating with the Missionary Societies of the world, or acting independently, is undertaking the fundamental task of translating and revising the Scriptures in the following languages :
In co-operation with the Board of Home Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A., a competent translator and a native helper have been occupied during the larger part of the year in the translation of considerable portions of the New Testament into the language of the
Appointed to Central America, 1892. + Acting Agent.