King's Business - 1913-10

4&8 shore of the lake. Before the railroad reached the town five converts were bap­ tized. This beginning was due to a rail­ road foreman, who was a Christian and a former member of the Presbyterian church in Tondo, Manila. A missionary was sent for. When the missionary arrived with nine helpers meetings were held Saturday night, Sunday and Sunday night, and large crowds attended. The whole community seemed eager to hear about the Gospel. There was little opposition, but one man gathered a group about him after one of the meetings; and harangued them some­ thing after this fashion : . “Who are these evangelicals? If you join them you turn your back on your liberty. They prohibit gambling. They prohibit cock fighting. There is no freedom in their way.” The parish priest also tried to keep his people away from the Protestant services, telling the people from his church pulpit that the devil .had come down and that thé strang­ ers’ meetings should not be attended The situation in Angola, in Africa, is thus described by Winston Churchill: “They lack everything and want nothing.” Yet this people, so greatly in need from our point of view, are evincing, a willing­ ness to hear the Gospel that they never have done before. The governmental at­ titude now is helpful rather than obstruc­ tive ; Moslem influence is practically nil, certainly not serious in any section ; slavery is nominally absent, ànd hence the slave raider is not to be feared. ‘While animis­ tic religion fills men with dread and holds them in awful bondage, they are by so much the more ready to heed the glad evangel of the loving Jesus. Surely now is the day of opportunity in Angola. A hundred more missionaries at the very least are needed for the emancipation of its ap­ pealing, attractive peoples. Commerce and capital regard Angola as the profitable gateway to the Katanga hinterland, with its wealth of tin, iron and copper. Chris­ tians should look upon it with the eyes of Prince Henry, the navigator, who, when ships returned to Portugal laden with gold


and slaves, brought from Western Africa nearly five centuries ago, received them coldly, telling his captains that he sought for knowledge, not for gold, and then pas­ sionately exclaimed: “Plant the cross on some new headland! That is what I want.” We are not to suppose that this turning to God (in Angola, Africa) is universal. ,It is but the beginning of a better day and is well described by the phrase of a native helper, “The light is sparkling around the people.” So strong is the ani­ mistic heathenism in its hold on the masses, and so constant is the temptation to im­ moral living, that missionary conversation is full of the dangers of their constituency, A school girl reportsto her teacher, “Mother says I must not come any more to the school, becausewhen I get sick I cannot go tothe witch-doctor, and that would cause me to die.” Another girl ex­ plains her withdrawal by saying, “We have the spirit of divination in our family, and if I come here I will lose it; and my people want me to divine and take care of the family goods when I grow up.” A young student who had been converted and given up his' charms to be burned, and whose faith stood firm even when his fam­ ily beat him on the head with sticks, was later turned aside by his father, who of­ fered him two girls as wives. Though he temporarily fell, like Peter he quickly re­ covered his character and is now living an upright life.- Even young native helpers are drawn aside, unless they h'eed the warning ,of a worker named Jacob, who said of two young teachers about to be plunged into the temptations of an immoral village, “If any of you go over there and don’t go often out into the grass to pray, you will surely fall into great sin.” A successful native missionary to the can­ nibals, in describing his Christian falls and present strong life, remarked: “Even now I know that if I fail to take care and to think of the strength of the Lord Jesus, 1 may lose the way ; for I am not able to keep myself, but the strength is with Him." Concluded on page 499

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