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COORG MISSION. 215
Gabriel's sisters, Mary and Martha, to accompany their brother, and thus there was a good opportunity for Shiauwa to emigrate to the coast. She took care of the children on the journey. At Mangalore Mrs. Greiner kindly took charge of her, and employed her as servant in the girl's boarding school. Also at Mangalore she bore a good character, and after some time, I trusted, she would be baptized. But what to do for her afterwards? Was she to live single for ever? Being turned away by her husband lawfully, as she herself acknowledged, had she a right to marry again? Was there no possibility of reconciliation 1 It was a difficult case. The solution came most unexpectedly. A fortnight ago Stephanas brought a Coorg man to me, who introduced himself as B6pu, of the Biddanrfa family at Karfiyettinariu, the husband of Shiauwa. He told me, that he came to seek his wife. "I was in the Malavalam," he said, "two years ago, when two of the women in our house, who hated both me and my wife, contrived to disgrace her. My poor wife at once acknowledged the charge, and was turned out of house and caste, because the man, who had seduced her, was a Pale (a caste below the Coorgs). I could do nothing for her. But I know, she has been ruined by a scheme of enemies. I forgive her, and have come to join her. I know, that I lose caste and everything by receiving her as my wife; but I prefer her to my family and my caste." I told him, his wife was at Mangalore and would be baptized soon, I hoped. He answered, if my wife becomes a Christian, I shall follow her example. I told him, that I heartily wished he would act upon these professions, and advised him to go to Mangalore forthwith. He said, "I shall go to-morrow morning, if you give me a certificate, that you send me, which I may show there. For the sooner I go the better, otherwise my relatives will find me out and hinder me from going." The man was as good as his word. On the following morning he started for Mangalore, and I have since heard, that he has arrived there. May God he gracious to these poor souls, and bring them into the fold of the good shepherd.
I could add to this report a few more interesting particulars, which I have communicated to you privately, but fear lest the birds carry my news to wrong ears. Safely, however, I may say, that I hope the gospel will have great success among the Coorgs. How soon greater progress may be made, it is not for me to know or to say, but my heart's desire is, that Christ's name may be greatly and speedily glorified among this people, and in all India.
To return to the account of my buildings, with which I have commenced, the Church, a neat structure, 40 by 22 ft. with walls 14 ft. high above the foundation, and of two feet thickness, stands in the centre of a level spot, which crowns the slope of the cleared jungle ground, on which I have settled, and is situated due North. At a short distance, a neighbour's jungle nearly intercepts the view northward. Towards the East, the road from Mercara to Virarajendrapett passes and almost touches the Mission ground. Towards the South, we see the Perambarfi hills. Towards the West, there is a magnificent view across some low hills, bordering rice valleys, of the western range of the ghatts, from Perambadi to Talakaven. The mountains rise to a height little less than 6000 feet above the sea, and carry the fancy of the spectator along their green slopes and wooden glens up into the blue heavens whose clouds and sunshines ever play round their majestic brows.
In a line twenty feet behind the Church, to the southwest and southeast, my own house and its match, in which the Catechists' lodgings, the kitchen and the godown are placed, stand at a distance of about forty
feet from each other. These houses are also 22 feet broad and about 40 feet long. The Church has three high and narrow windows in the eastern and western walls, and corresponding doors on the north and south sides. Narrow verandas, edged with green turf, run round the buildings. Every thing looks to me most pleasant. Others perhaps may not find Almanda so very lovely a place. Yet I am delighted with it, and thank God for this tabernacle in the wilderness, and trust that it will be made a gate of heaven to many a forlorn and wayworn soul. But I must not forget to express my gratitude to the kind and liberal friends, who have so steadily supported the new Mission, though I have not teased them much, I trust, with begging. Since the beginning of September 1853, I have spent upon the Almanda buildings, including the cutting down of the jungle, a few rupees less than Rupees 1,700. The rest of the expenditure of the Coorg Mission during nine months has amounted to upwards of 1,200 Rupees; yet I have received all I wanted, when it was wanted. The whole of the Coorg Mission account, receipts and disbursements, will appear in the next report of the German Evangelical Mission.
This leads me to the communication of another piece of good news, that by the good pleasure of the Lord, I trust, my connexion with the Basle Mission has been restored. Our Committee have given me the choice of returning at once under the general rules and regulations of their Indian Missions, or of conducting the Coorg Mission, for the present, as a kind of non-regulation branch of the Mission, corresponding directly with the Home Committee, and supporting the Mission by special contributions for Coorg, without being connected with the conferences of the older stations, or the general Indian treasury. I have chosen the latter alternative joyfully and gratefully. A new Mission seldom thrives well under regulations unadapted to its own peculiar circumstances and requirements, and I have courage enough to trust in the continuance of such a measure of contributions as may be necessary for the unembarrassed prosecution of the work.
Though considerably impeded by the superintendence of the building-work—and building is a peculiarly tedious business in Coorg — yet I have been enabled to travel all over Coorg, and to preach in all its quarters during the past year. I have visited the great places of Coorg pilgrimage, at Talakaveri and Subrahmanya, during the season of the, annual festivals. At Mercara and Virarajendrapett I have preached almost on every weekly market-day since last new years day, i. e. once a week at Mercara, twice a week at Virarajendrapett. I have generally had good audiences, sometimes many and attentive hearers. The Lord has enabled me to do the work of an Evangelist among the Coorgs joyfully, with few exceptions, and hopefully; and I believe, that the number of those people, who are now and then visited by thoughts of a change, is not small. To day I learnt the untimely end of a poor man of Nalkanadu, who had been with me several times, and had talked of joining the Mission. He was too proud to give up caste. Yet he returned again and again, perhaps under some presentiment of his fate. His elder brother had long quarrelled with him, and, I suppose, domestic misery had first induced him to think of making my acquaintance. A few weeks ago I saw the young man for the last time. He fell sick soon after. While he lay helpless on his bed, his elder brother murdered him a few days ago. Poor soul! Had he trusted in Christ, he would row be alive and safe. May the Lord have had mercy upon him! Next season I hope to lay myself out much more COORG MISSION. 219
in public preaching, and in travelling through the length and breadth of the province. My Catechist, whose health has improved a little, and who has been married to a truly good wife, will take charge of the little Almanda congregation, while I proclaim a gracious year of the Lord. My health, God be thanked, has much improved. In fact, I have ceased to consider myself an invalid at all. Abundance of exercise in the open air, and in the open air of Coorg, is one of the best medicines. I have not ridden less than two thousand miles last year, on a moderate computation, and hope to travel yet more diligently during the next fair season, if the Lord give me health and strength. I must not tire the kind readers of the Madras Christian Herald with my Mission report, and conclude therefore with the hearty wish and prayer, that the Lord may abundantly bless all the dear Brethren and Friends, who have so nobly assisted a new Mission, commenced eighteen months ago without any letter of credit, but under the firm persuasion, that Christian Love would not let Christian Faith be disappointed, and with the prayer, that all our supplications for the salvation of Coorg may be graciously heard and mercifully answered to the glory of Hi3 name, whose we are and whom we serve.
And now I must bid you good bye. I am astonished at the length of this paper and the speed with which my time has past, while I have been employed in writing it. Give to the Herald, whatever you may approve of, and use the censorial scissors freely. God bless you and
Yours very affectionately,