Ferdinand, Ranchi 1874 I've only just returned on one of my tours, visiting all the churches in the Ranchi parish. This is only my third tour. How wondrous it is to get out into strangely different country. I traveled a distance of 6-7 German miles round trip up around the Lohardaga area, visiting villages by horseback. I am accompanied by a catechist, a Christian, as interpreters (still I have much to learn of all languages) and to explain customs and how people think. Along with the catechist I travel with a whole entourage. First, it is necessary to have a servant, usually a Hindu, to run along with the horse. Next there is a cook, a Mussulman. At last another eight Oraons carry the tent, bed, table, chair, pots, plate, mugs, and food, drink and dress shoes (all but the house yard.) These porters are from Nagpur (a big city nearly a week’s journey away) and have only come to Singbhum (our district) to earn some money. Four different religions travel with me, and how many more we meet on the road. All speak a different dialect. At night a little tent is set up for me, but everyone else sleep outside under the open sky of God upon the earth under a tree on straw, with a suggestive pieces of cotton covering them. In the forest a big fire is made to warm themselves, partly, partly from fear of Tigers. But this fear, even to people familiar with God is not necessary, it is rare to see an animal in the wild. It seems by now almost every village has heard of Christianity. The few Christians scattered here and there are desperate for some teaching, having no pastor. I do not rely so heavily on tracts, as do some of the other missionaries. Wilhelm in fact relies so heavily on the tracks that he built his own printing press in Chaibassa. There may be someone who can read the tract in the village, but I prefer just talking. Typically I listen to stories, and ask questions about the words that they use and their customs. In return I am always asked to tell the stories from the Bible. I don’t know if anyone has converted due to my preaching, and most of us missionaries cannot tell how many are truly Christian. At least when someone gets sick they call Christians to pray over them.
Create your own unique website with customizable templates.