This is the fascinating account of the Zenana mission work of Mary Elizabeth Darley [c.1870-1934]. She served in China with the Church of England Zenana Mission Society and was supported by the Ladies’ Auxiliary of the Dublin University Fuh-Kien Mission. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of the book to scan. This title is in the public domain.
Mary Elizabeth Darley [c.1870-1934], The Light of the Morning. The Story of the C.E.Z.M.S. Work in the Kien-Ning Prefecture of the Fuh-Kien Province China. London: Church of England Zenana Missionary Society / Marshall Brothers, 1903. Hbk. pp.251. [Download complete book in PDF]
- First Impressions
- Some Village Christians
- The Story of Golden Sister
- The “Ten-Commandments Inn” Woman
- Summer Sketches
- “They are Waiting Everywhere!”
- An Itinerating Tour
- A Strange Experience
- Shadows Steal Across the Sky
- Clouds Cover the Blue
- “He Maketh the Storm to Cease!”
- A Leper, and Blind
- A Station Class
- Fields Already White
- Binding the Sheaves
- Toil and Sure Reward
One story that caught my wife’s eye as she was looking through this book was the ministry among Buddhist “prayer-women” and the account of the conversion of one of them at the age of 75.
Extract from p.141 onwards
“We have lately come in close contact with old Mrs. Ho, who for the last thirty years has been busily engaged in prayer-chanting. In the third month of last year she came to our house amongst a crowd of forty or fifty other women a tidy, clean old lady, seventy-five years old, very small, and well-behaved. I gave her tea, and she stroked my hand, and said, ‘ I cannot understand what you say with so many visitors here; may I wait till they are gone, and then you can slowly tell me about your religion?’
“Willingly I asked her to wait, and for five hours that old lady sat eagerly listening to what I was saying, and trying to understand. When the rush of visitors was over, I was able to talk to her alone for some time. She was very much interested, and, I think, was convicted of the truth on that first Sunday.
“Every week she came regularly to Church, and we could tell that a real work was going on in her heart. Then a difficulty arose. She was receiving payment for prayers she was saying for several families, and had been prepaid for the next three months. As this payment had been paid in kind, and not in cash, she did not know what to do. [Continue reading]