Replies submitted by Miss M. L. Merry, Khirkia R. S., Hoshangabad district, Madhya Pradesh
Hoshangabad district, Madhya Pradesh
1. Figures unknown. One convert only was baptised from scheduled castes (Balahi) since the work began.
2. (No answer given.)
3. Three out of four adult immigrants, representing two families, with their children, now residing in the village.
4. A real conversion is a heart-change matter. Therefore, number known only to God. One convert only has been baptised from scheduled caste (December 1950). Conversion is necessarily an individual matter.
5. He is the head of the family possessing secret faith for many years, as caretaker on the compound. Has proved very weak, harassed by fear.
6. One English missionary lady, with an Indian couple, serving under Central India Baptist Mission of U. S. A. (headquarter at Achalpur). Approach is made both individually and in groups.
7. Generally, Christians of some experience (and training is desirable) from some place where a Christian community has been established. A living wage is given without too much strain being necessary. No rewards.
8. (a) to (g) No.
(h) to (j) Yes. The Lord Jesus Christ is highly extolled, but foreign culture is not. Errors are pointed out. Sometimes, regarding non-Christian deities and sometimes a faithful warning must necessarily be given about the future state of the unsaved. This is part of the Bible Message.
(k) to (m) No
10. Yes. The one convert is illiterate, poor but is fully convinced in his heart (but fears to witness).
12. Yes. In all these places preaching is generally done.
(a) It is the best place for me, personally.
13. This is inevitable. The false resists the truth, as truth resists and exposes error.
14. I am not clear what the words �such language� refer to.
15. In this non-Christian area they are bound to be outsiders, and work as named in No. (12) above.
16. Very variable. The spiritual experience of the Pracharak matters most. No. No.
17. Bible School or Seminary (for degree) training is good, following a heart experience of Christ and the �new birth� He brings. Very, very few who show sufficient zeal, sincerity, and have the necessary ability.
18. Number varies, according to the ability of the Pracharak. Here, hitherto, he has worked alongside the missionary mostly. Increasing love, joy, peace in his own heart and the people�s.
19. Chiefly the Bible, holding forth the Good News (Gospel) concerning Lord Jesus Christ. Very little distribution so far because most contacts, unfortunately, are illiterate.
22. Insufficient personnel, as yet, for this.
23. Very occasionally, exhorting people to support the present Government.
24. Not known to me.
26. The convert is verified of this social boycott experience by his Balabi community (Scheduled Caste). Since a bitter experience in August 1952, he has never been the same. Always �under a cloud�.
27 to 29. No.
30. I suspect a kotwal leads the opposition in the above case, but certain evidence, i.e., definite truth Dot clearly manifest as yet.
31. None known.
32. Yes. This always follows spontaneously from within, if the conversions are genuine, i.e., if a true change of heart has occurred.
33. Yes, in genuine cases. None in merely nominal Christians.
35. (No answer given.)
36. In full sympathy with most efforts, but aware that the world-wide fundamental need is Jesus Christ in the heart.
39. (No answer given.)
40. In the past the caste system in India has driven in this way, i.e., the forming of distinct communal groups. But it is undesirable. True converts will be lovers of all men, and themselves be better, truer, holier, INDIANS, but God first not country.
41. Many old practices disappear.
42. No. Just the reverse.
43. 1918-39 - One missionary widow lady, English, independent, private effort, apart from any organised mission.
1939-42. - Two younger successors, after her deceased, both single ladies, English, private effort, no organisation.
1942-47. - One left alone after decease of co-worker.
1947-Present. - Entrance of this work into-Central India Baptist Mission of U. S. A. (India Branch of �Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society�-but �Conservative� relates to Christian doctrine without the slightest connection with anything political).
44. Not in Khirkia itself as yet, but yes, at Achalpur as headquarters of the Mission and in some places around that area.
45. One tiny bungalow and a few out-houses at Khirkia, and bungalows at the out-stations above, plus leper colony at Kothara and a small new hospital at Achalpur. (Get more information from headquarters.)
46. No Indian missionaries but here at Khirkia, a humble evangelist and his wife. One foreign missionary lady (English). There is a prospect of a nurse (American) coming from Achalpur.
47. Trained teacher. Twelve years� experience in England and four years� in Ceylon. Income has ever been much less as a missionary than a teacher. For 12 years (1935-47) has worked without salary! �A work of faith and a labour of love�.
48 and 49 (Answers not given.)
50. Conservative Baptist Foreign Mission Society. A Mission Board consisting of some of the best clergymen in America.
51. Free will offerings of Christians-individuals and congregations. Yes, regular, annual budgets and statement of accounts. Inquire at headquarters. Each mission station sends quarterly statement to Field Treasurer. He sends annual report to U. S. A.
52. Yes. Auditing Committee appointed annually on the field and special auditors in U. S. A.
53. For Khirkia and district about Rs. 8,000 per annum as average.
55. Very little distribution; working chiefly among illiterates, who, as yet, have too little incentive to become literate.
56. Yes. Each missionary is asked to send eight to twelve brief reports (about 600 words) per year (for praise to God and for prayer).
57. (a) Visiting and preaching the Good News concerning the Saviour in Khirkiyan and among some of the Kurkus.
(b) Very humble dispensary from 1918-45; then medical work declined and touring for preaching increased.
(c) A tiny �Night School� in Balahi (scheduled castes) mohalla, in rainy seasons, to try to encourage Khirkiyan youths to learn to read. (Very hard going! Just a handful attended.)
60. Headquarters at Achalpur. Out-stations at Bhainsdehi, Dharni, Chikalda, Morsi and Khirkia.
61. None here at Khirkia. Tahsildar visits from Harda.
62. Yes. No. Full reports of minutes are sent to Mission Board. (Two or three times a year.)
63. Yes. Not generally.
64. About the same in Khirkia. Increase and intensification are desired, but more personnel needed.
66. No Christian community is here.
67. Voted privately once-last General Elections-supported Congress. Do not keep up with politics-no time.
68. I do not know. All this seems outside the realm of missionary work.
69. One small new hospital at Achalpur since 1951. One Leper Colony at Kothara near Achalpur.
70. It is open to all. No partiality.
71. Preaching and Christian witness occurs. Very, very occasionally conversions occur; no inducements.
72. No. No. One evangelist.
73 to 77. Cannot answer. Inquiry could lie made at Achalpur of Dr. Jack Miner, departing soon for Canada and U. S. A.
79 to 92. I am unable to provide this information; not being in school work.
93 and 94. No.
95. Yes. The highest moral and ethical teaching should be given. Biographies of Great Souls (men, women and children) should be set before the children-not merely national heroes but heroes of all nations, who lived, served, suffered nobly for great causes and for the benefit of others. Children respond quickly to such inspiration and example.
96. Yes. No. No.
97. No. Without the living Christ, in the heart it is difficult to produce the same zeal and enthusiasm.
98. The only basis for such peaceful co-operative coexistence is true patriotism, which is true enough to put love of truth first, even before love of country. A Red Cross nurse, murdered by Nazis during World War II (Edith Cavell) said before she died �Patriotism is not enough�. For this reason the greeting "Jai Hind" somehow hurts me. It savours too much like the �Hail, Hitler� cry in Germany before and during the war. �Jai Ishwar Ki� or �Jai sachchai Ki� would be better. To me, the highest and truest is �Jai, Masih Ki�.
�Blessings abound where�er
The prisoner leaps to loose his chains
The weary find eternal rest.
And all the sons of want are blest.�
99. Would be ready, if required.
MISS M. L. MERRY,
Khirkia R. S.,
Hoshangabad (M. P.).