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Presbyterian Missionaries 
at Work Among the 
Lepers of the World 

BY 

W. M. DANNER 









Presbyterian Missionaries at 
Work Among the Lepers 
of the World 


BY 

W. M. DANNER 



CULION LEPER COLONY—PHILIPPINE ISLANDS 








PRESBYTERIAN MISSIONARIES AT WORK 
AMONG THE LEPERS OF THE WORLD 

W. M. DANNER, Secretary U. S. A. Committee 

The Mission To Lepers, Cambridge, Mass. 

Before the organization of the Mission to Lepers, the 
needs and sorrows of these sufferers, the lepers, had indeed 
appealed to a few humane hearts, and a limited number of 
local attempts had been made to relieve them. 

At Sabathu, twenty miles from Simla and at a height of 
nearly five thousand feet above the sea level, is an Asylum 
for Lepers, which may be said to date from 1868. This 
Asylum is well known all over India, and must ever be asso¬ 
ciated with the name of Dr. John Newton, of the American 
Presbyterian Mission. When Dr. Newton reached India 
in 1868, he found a few lepers in a very poor house, and to 
these his instincts as a medical missionary permitted him to 
give special attention. In one of his letters, written at this 
time, Dr. Newton says, “There is no class of the people in 
India who have so moved my pity as the lepers in these 
hills. They are very numerous in this region. I think I 
might say that at least one-half of the families in the vil¬ 
lages have one or more members infected with this dreadful 
disease.” 

The appeal of Dr. Newton met with a generous response. 
His and other individual efforts illustrated the value of help¬ 
ing the unfortunate leper people, the horrors of whose 
homeless, diseased, and destitute condition imagination it¬ 
self could scarcely exaggerate. That it was high time for 
the cry of these neglected ones to reach the ear of the 
Church, no one can question. 

It is of interest to Christians everywhere, and especially 
to members of the Presbyterian Church, to know that it fell 
to the lot of Mr. Wellesley C. Bailey, a representative of 

3 


the American Presbyterian Mission, together with his good 
wife as constant counsellor and colleague, to plead the 
cause of the lepers, not only in the United Kingdom, but in 
various parts of the world on the many missionary journeys 
they have taken together. 

It was at Ambala, in the Punjab, in 1869 that Dr. J. H. 
Morrison, another well known Presbyterian missionary, in¬ 
troduced Mr. Bailey to the conditions confronting the lepers, 
and from his first introduction, he was fascinated with the 
opportunity to go among these sufferers and give them the 
consolation of the Gospel. 

Mr. Bailey was then a young man, and had just joined 
the American Presbyterian Mission. Dr. Morrison wit¬ 
nessed his special interest and attraction for the work, and 
delegated him to take special charge at Ambala. Realizing 
how much the lepers were aided in spirit, mind and body, 
as well as appreciating the relief to the public generally by 
removing from their sight such pitiable objects, he was fur¬ 
ther impressed with the value of segregation as a means of 
checking the spread of the disease from contagion. 

During Mr. Bailey’s furlough in 1874 the Mission to 
lepers was founded. His description of the pitiful condi¬ 
tion of these sufferers as he had seen them at Ambala and 
elsewhere stirred the sympathy of those to whom, in a quite 
informal way, he had spoken of his desire to help them on 
his return. The modest ambition of Mr. Bailey and his 
friends was at first to raise a small sum annually to enable 
him on his return to India to relieve a few sufferers at his 
own Station, in addition to his ordinary work. Thirty 
pounds was considered a fair objective, but from the very 
outset, a general response was made, and before the end of 
his furlough year, not only thirty pounds, but twenty times 
thirty had been received. 

In deciding how to use to the best advantage the funds 
entrusted to Mr. Bailey, he consulted Dr. Newton, propos¬ 
ing that additional inmates be admitted to the Sabathu 
Asylum. Immediately came the response, “If you can help 
me with funds, the number of lepers in the Sabathu poor- 

4 


house will certainly be trebled or quadrupled within the 
first two or three months after it has become known that it 
is possible to secure admission.” The reply to this letter 
from Dr. Newton was to authorize the immediate reception 
of these urgent cases; and this was the first definite result 
of the new Mission instituted by a representative of the 
American Presbyterian Mission, in co-operation with Dr. 
John Newton, the veteran representative of the same Mis¬ 
sion. 

It is typical of the Christ-like work, the beginning of 
which it represents, that the first leper woman to be defi¬ 
nitely supported by the Mission should have begged her way 
for ninety miles from the Himalayas with her two little chil¬ 
dren. It is also noteworthy that of the first five patients to 
be supported by the Mission, two were untainted children 
of lepers. From this it will be noticed that at the very be¬ 
ginning the work embraced, not only the lepers, but their 
healthy offspring. 

This was only the first installment of much needed help 
for the Sabathu Station. By 1878 ten more houses had been 
constructed by the Mission. That this work was as much 
needed as it was appreciated, we learn from a letter of Dr. 
Newton in 1878, in which he tells of lepers coming from all 
quarters, craving admission to the Asylum. 

The substantial help, both in building and maintenance, 
which contributed so largely to the success of the Sabathu 
Asylum, has been continued ever since. And now, in 1915, 
the Mission to Lepers, organized in 1874, under the direct 
leading of representatives of the American Presbyterian 
Church, has extended its operations for lepers and their 
untainted children until the work includes ninety stations 
scattered throughout the earth in which missionaries of all 
the Protestant churches are directly interested. 

The work is still under the supervision of the founder, 
and the interest of the Presbyterian Church is evident by 
the number of stations organized and supervised by the 
representatives or missionaries of this branch of the Protest¬ 
ant Church. 


5 


The basis of operation of the Mission to Lepers is al¬ 
ways to work through denominational missionaries of what¬ 
ever Church. The plan of work includes finding food, 
clothing and shelter and Christian teaching and sympathy 
for the lepers. That there are now thousands of baptized 
Christians in these Stations brings clear evidence of the 
fact that missionaries are really preaching the Gospel to the 
whole congregation. And not only are the Orientals in large 
numbers being encouraged to look with favor on the “Jesus 
Religion” that provides for the leper, but people in the home¬ 
land, who have hitherto doubted the utility of Foreign 
Missions, are coming to the conclusion that any religion 
that makes provision for suffering outcast humanity must 
be a religion that is worth while. 

Presbyterian representatives have led in organizing and 
directing the work of the Mission to Lepers from its foun¬ 
dation. Representatives of this Church are justly delighted 
by the reports of work accomplished in more than a dozen 
special Stations. To speak in detail of each of these would 
be to duplicate somewhat the story. We will, however, set 
out the work of some well known stations as samples of 
what Presbyterian missionaries are gladly and joyously do¬ 
ing in behalf of the lepers. 

INDIA. 

Lepers were first cared for at Allahabad 
NAINl ASYLUM by Presbyterian missionaries at their 

own expense. Later, a local charitable 
association assumed their support and built an asylum at 
Naini, two miles from the city, across the river Jumna. 
For fifteen years the Mission to Lepers helped to support 
this work, and in 1895 took it entirely in charge. The old, 
dilapidated mud huts, which harbored vermin and whose 
thatched roofs often concealed scorpions, centipedes, and 
even cobra snakes, were all superseded by sanitary buildings 
of brick and iron. The Government also built an Asylum 
next to the Mission Asylum, later giving it to the Mission, 

6 


and now the two are managed as one. The addition of the 
Government Asylum makes segregation of the sexes possible. 

The first new building erected was the hospital, which 
has three wards, with accommodations for twenty. None 
but the most helpless are placed there. The last building 
to go up in the Asylum was the Church, a beautiful struc¬ 
ture, which has great wire screens instead of doors and win¬ 
dows, and here the people come for their daily services, and 
for the preaching and Sunday School on the Lord’s Day. 



UNTAINTED CHILDREN OF LEPERS—INDIA 

Both Hindoo and Mohammedan in India regard leprosy 
as an affliction for committing some unpardonable sin 
against a God, whose wrath will not be appeased. The 
leper, therefore, is an enemy of God, and it is dangerous 
to aid those under the divine ban. 

Mr. Higginbottom of Naini says: 

“As I got to know the leper, I found he was altogether 
such as I am. My likes and dislikes were his. His loves 
and hatreds were mine. I found the idle leper to be a mis- 

7 






chief-brewing individual. My problem then was to get 
something for him to do and, after much study, gardening 
was selected. This has proved of inestimable value in giv¬ 
ing him occupation and something to show for what he 
does.” 

Let Mr. Higginbottom tell in his own language of the fun 
of gardening and money spending: 

“I take good care that the little plot of ground is well 
watered, and always have seed to give out. I have tried to 
give to each a plot of ground with a fruit tree. Imagine a 
fellow with a banana shoot. He plants it, waters it, cares 
for it. It is not long till it is up ten or twelve feet and the 
beautiful purple flower appears; as each petal drops off, out 
comes a little green-fingered banana. Soon after a large 
beautiful bunch of bananas is formed. 

“About that time the owner brings his bed and camps 
out by it, for his friends and neighbors are evincing so much 
interest in that bunch of bananas that if he wishes any for 
himself he must stay by it. This he does in spite of the fact 
that the leper is the greatest traveler in India. From one 
shrine to another, from one holy man to another he goes 
in an unceasing quest for healing. But it does not much 
matter what a priest a thousand miles away says about lep¬ 
rosy. This chap says, ‘I planted that banana and cared 
for it, and before I leave I want to taste the fruit thereof.’ 

“I found also that the leper liked to spend money. Under 
the Mission to Lepers, I am allowed twenty-five dollars a 
year for each leper. All their wants must be supplied 
out of this. I built a little store, where they could buy all 
the necessities and luxuries; the pulses and spices, red pep¬ 
pers and chilies, that are to be found in any North India 
village store. A great many of the men cannot do their own 
cooking—no hands left to knead their bread—and for such 1 
employ other lepers. The cook’s pay is seven cents per month 
for cooking for another leper. Then I found that I could 
give each man eight cents a week, and he goes to the little 
store and buys whatever his fancy craves—and that can 
be bought at the rate of a cent a day!” 

In the Naini Asylum there is an orchestra of native in- 

8 


struments for the church service, and while the music may 
be weird to American ears, it is very sweet to the Indian. 
On Communion Sundays, the wine is passed by the pastor, 
who is not a leper. He takes it from the cup with a tea¬ 
spoon, and where the leper has sufficient hand left to hold 
the wine, it is poured into his palm and he drinks it; but 
if he has not sufficient hand left, he opens his mouth and a 
teaspoonful of wine is given. 

Every Sunday in the Naini Leper Church a collection is 
taken to spread Christ’s Kingdom. When the Church was 
finished they said, “We have been praying for this Church 
and saving for it, so that now we want to have a part in it.” 
They bought the Bible, and a clock, because they did not 
like to be late for services. The Church is now the center 
of the life of the Asylum, with quite three hundred members. 

When we consider that these gifts come out of those eight 
cents a week, we see what real sacrifice is involved on the 
part of these poor people. Can any gift be more precious 
in the sight of God than the expression of love from these 
afflicted people, who think so much of the Gospel of Christ 
that they are happy to contribute from their little for its 
spread ? 


AMBALA 

ASYLUM. 


The Asylum at Ambala, where the Mis¬ 
sion to Lepers was really started, is man¬ 
aged by the American Presbyterian Mis¬ 
sion. There is a chapel called the Wellesley Bailey Chapel. 
The steady work maintained here has given many indications 
showing that the cheerfulness and submission and patience 
of the lepers is really wonderful. In Mr. Jackson’s book, 
“Lepers,” we read of the manifestation of the fruit of the 
Spirit in the case of Illahi Bakhsh, an old man, whose sight 
had been destroyed by leprosy, and who for many years bore 
his heavy burden with marvelous patience. He was one of 
the first to embrace Christianity, and he became a leader 
and teacher in this Asylum. His faith was always bright and 
strong, and by his faith and his realization of the Saviour’s 
presence, he was lifted from the plane of suffering and sad¬ 
ness to an experience of hope and peace that many people 


9 


with health and eyesight might envy. When a visitor once 
condoled with him on his condition, he replied, “Since I 
trusted Christ, nineteen years ago, I have known neither 
pain of body nor of mind.” For some years, Illahi Bakhsh 
was the leader of the singing at the Asylum, and was in ad¬ 
dition the composer of many of the most beautiful of the 
hymns used. Nor was it only by his songs that this good 
man helped his fellow sufferers. Although they received in¬ 
struction regularly from an appointed teacher, an Annual 
Report closes with these words, “Whatever the Ambala 
lepers seem to know and understand best, they say they have 
learned from Illahi Bakhsh, who goes over and over with 
them the many Bible truths he has stored away in his 
memory.” 


BABA LAKAN 
ASYLUM. 


The Baba Lakhan Asylum was taken 
over by the Mission to Lepers in 1891, 
and has been managed ever since by the 
missionaries of the American United Presbyterian Mission. 
It began under the supervision of the district authorities. 

When Rev. J. W. Ballantyne was leaving the Baba Lak¬ 
han Asylum, he gave this testimony: “I must say that I 
have enjoyed the work among the lepers, and am pleased 
to note the decided change for the better which has come 
over them. In place of the original complaining, quarrel¬ 
ing spirit manifested, they are now usually friendly and 
contented.” 


Dehra is really a local charity, but under 
DEHRA ASYLUM. Government supervision, and the Chris¬ 
tian teaching is provided on behalf of 
the Mission to Lepers by the Reformed Presbyterian Mis¬ 
sion. In his plea for help for the Dehra work, Rev. David 
Herron reported that he had spiritual charge of seventy 
inmates. 

It was in this Asylum that Padiya was converted and be¬ 
came one of the early responsible native Christian teachers 
in the Mission. Although under Government supervision, 
this Asylum received gifts from the Mission to Lepers and 

10 


its largest blessing was in the personal touch of the Presby¬ 
terian missionary, Rev. David Herron. 


The Asylum at Miraj is the property of 
Ml RAJ ASYLUM, the Mission to Lepers, and is managed 

by the American Presbyterian Mission. 
There is a small church. Dr. W. J. Wanless, the Presby¬ 
terian Medical Missionary, presented the lepers’ plea in 1896, 
showing how nothing had been done for them, how a small 
Government asylum had been planned and the foundation 
stone laid, but the building never undertaken, while the 
lepers were left to perish, until practical Christianity applied 
its remedy to their sad case. In 1900 upwards of 100 
famine workers found employment in quarrying the stone 
and preparing the site for the new asylum. The asylum 
has demonstrated its right to be regarded as a useful ad¬ 
junct to the splendid hospital under Dr. Wanless’ care, 
which has done so much to commend Christian faith in the 
Miraj district. The regular diet, medicines, and good 
housing and cleanliness, all combine to check the disease. 
Many take a deep interest in Bible study, and some take the 
Sunday School Scripture examinations with good results. 
They take pride in their gardens and their trees about the 
place, keeping them well watered and tended. They are 
very grateful for anything done for them, and thank the 
good people at home whose contributions make their Asy¬ 
lum possible. Dr. Wanless and Mr. Richardson write that 
some of the inmates have come to realize that it is the love 
of the true and living God which prompts the people to pro¬ 
vide such homes for the outcast. Many have realized more 
than this, and have come to know Jesus Christ, the friend 
of lepers, as their Saviour from sin. 


SAHARAN PUR Two asylums at Saharanpur give needed 
ASYLUM segregation of the sexes. The manage¬ 

ment is by the American Presbyterian 
Mission on behalf of the Mission to Lepers. The place 
lacked the touch of Christian kindness until it was brought 
under the care of the Mission through the efforts of the 


11 


Rev. David Herron. In 1892 two native Christian teachers 
for the men’s and two for the women’s asylum were ap¬ 
pointed, and in 1893 further help was given in the form of 
a special grant for enlargements and improvements in both 
the asylums. The funds for these enlargements were pro¬ 
vided by the Pittsburgh and Allegheny Auxiliary of the 
Mission to Lepers. The Asylum is located north of the 
city, and is surrounded by thick mango groves. Both the 
men and the women here, as in the other asylums, are 
deeply interested in the celebration of the sacrament of the 
Lord’s Supper, and they are extremely thorough in their 
preparation for an examination before the Session of the 
Church. 


SABATHU 

ASYLUM. 


The Sabathu (Punjab) Asylum, already 
mentioned in this paper, is located on a 
site provided by the Punjab Government 
in co-operation with the Mission to Lepers. It is managed 
by the American Presbyterian Mission. There is a small 
home for European lepers, and a home for untainted chil¬ 
dren. This work has somewhat recently been taken in 
charge by the New Zealand Presbyterian church. 


RAWAL PINDI 
ASYLUM. 


Rawal Pindi Asylum was originally 
owned and operated by the Government. 
It has been turned over to the care of 
the Mission to Lepers by the Punjab Government, and is 
now managed on behalf of The Mission by the American 
United Presbyterian missionaries. The buildings are fine. 
When Rev. David Herron first began his visits to the lepers 
in this station, he found them in a dreadfully neglected 
and unsanitary condition. Through his urgent appeal, a na¬ 
tive doctor was provided, a new dispensary erected, and a 
complete change effected. Separate wards were erected for 
men and women, and the co-operation of the Punjab Gov¬ 
ernment and the unflagging energy of the superintendent of 
the Asylum, Mr. Nichol of the American United Presby¬ 
terian Mission, made a remarkable transformation. 


12 


SIAM. 


CHI ENG MAI 
ASYLUM. 


In all centuries the leper in Siam has 
been an outcast, hated, feared, and be¬ 
yond the sound of the Gospel. Tragic, 
indeed are these figures, dragging their weary bodies from 
place to place, begging for food and clothing. Owing to 
deformities of various kinds, they are unable to earn a com¬ 
plete livelihood even were they not outcasts. 

According to the Buddhist belief, they are suffering for 



BETHESDA COTTAGE FOR LEPER WOMEN—CHIENG MAI, SIAM 


sins in a previous existence and have no hope or “merit” 
for the future. Dr. McKean says : “On more than one occa¬ 
sion have I found these poor outcasts lying dead in the pub¬ 
lic rest houses where they had gone for the night. Their 
needs touched me greatly. No helping hand was stretched 
out to them until some six years ago when a way was opened 
providentially for bringing relief to this unfortunate class. 

“Half an island in the river, five miles south of Chieng 
Mai, was the overgrown jungle used as a playground for 


13 








the Governor’s pet elephant. His father, the late Laos king, 
had presented him with this ‘Good Luck’ elephant when he 
came of age. In spite of the fact that he was a pet, he was 
a wilful, vicious creature. If hungry for rice, he would tear 
down a granary and help himself. He even demolished na¬ 
tive houses to get baskets of rice he knew were there. Un¬ 
able to endure his raids, the people fled, leaving the elephant 
‘monarch of all he surveyed.’ ” 

Of course, no one could kill a “Good Luck” elephant. 
But when the elephant died, Dr. J. W. McKean hastened to 
ask the late Governor to devote this island to a higher use; 
and as a result, half the island, 160 acres of land, were do¬ 
nated, on which to establish the first Leper Asylum in the 
kingdom; and the gift was confirmed by royal authority in 
Bangkok. 

Even the Siamese began to be interested. One Trading 
Company made a generous donation of teak logs; another 
merchant furnished the use of his elephants for hauling; a 
friend contributed office and photographic help; a girls’ 
school in Chieng Mai made fifty garments for the use of the 
first patients. Through the aid given by The Mission to 
Lepers and good personal friends in the U. S. A., Dr. Mc¬ 
Kean joyfully wrote: “On June 11, 1913, we were rejoiced 
to formally open the Chieng Mai Leper Asylum, with one 
hundred patients.” 

Over one thousand guests were present at the dedication, 
including many Siamese officials, native princes, commis¬ 
sioners, governors, generals and foreign ministers. Touched 
by what they saw, these gentlemen each made a contribution, 
and the military band present gave their day’s compensation 
to the Asylum. 

The buildings comprise seven brick cottages, each costing 
nearly two thousand dollars and built to accommodate twen¬ 
ty persons, with fireplace and sleeping and cooking accom¬ 
modations, and all sanitary, so that by hose and concrete 
drain the house can be thoroughly cleansed. In addition, 
there is a Superintendent’s house, a brick water tower, with 
pumping engine, and a temporary thatched chapel. 

14 


Of the one hundred patients in the Asylum on opening 
day, sixty-five were men. The ages vary from 20 to 40 
years. There are five untainted children of leper parents. 
The dread of the disease renders it difficult to place the chil¬ 
dren in the homes of the people, and a home for untainted 
children has been established on the island, where they are 
kept free from contagion, and are yet near enough to their 
parents for occasional visits. 

The keeper, Loong Peang, and wife, Pa Kam, who are 
not lepers, have two leper children in the Asylum. (Loong 
means uncle and Pa means aunt.) 

Receiving about forty cents each per week to buy rice, 
fish and other food, they make a weekly gift to the Lord. 
Their first gift was six dollars for evangelistic work in the 
plains, and as a result ten families, totaling forty persons, be¬ 
came Christians, to the joy of the lepers. The second gift 
was four dollars to purchase three thousand Scripture por¬ 
tions, to be distributed in country districts; the third gift 
of nine dollars, “to help suffering fellow-lepers in other 
lands.” 

One little girl offered a very significant prayer: “Oh, 
God, do bless Dr. McKean and help him to find a good 
medicine that will cure all of the lepers.” 

It is known to all that material benefits have come to 
Siam with the advent of the missionary, and they have very 
greatly commended Christianity to the nation. And we have 
a right to hope that once the practical benefits of an Asylum 
are seen by the Siamese, the Government will take up segre¬ 
gation of the leper on its own account, and Siam may be the 
first of Oriental nations to rid herself of the scourge. 

It has been said that leprosy begets selfishness and discon¬ 
tent. It, therefore, is gratifying to note a spirit of helpful¬ 
ness among these lepers. A woman—a former slave—has 
often been found ministering to the more needy women 
and praying for them in their extremity. The head teacher, 
himself a leper, takes a special interest in visiting and car¬ 
ing for the helpless men. The more one knows these poor 
sufferers the more he appreciates that behind their repul- 

15 


sive appearance there lie the good qualities of heart that 
attract and win one’s interest and sympathy. Their ages 
range from five to seventy years. The great majority are 
between twenty and forty. 

In December of last year in the Asylum there came at 
one time a family of eight lepers. Had the first victim 
been placed apart, there is every reason to believe that none 
of the others would have become afflicted. 

In the Asylum family there are lepers from Yunnan and 
from the British Shan States. It is now possible to supply 
them with medicines and an abundance of good food and 
clothing, so that in spite of their terrible sufferings and 
their hopeless prospects for the future, they are measurably 
happy. The death rate is approximately ten per cent each 
year. All bodies of patients dying with leprosy are cre¬ 
mated. 

Nine lepers came over the mountains not long ago, travel¬ 
ing through uninhabited jungles for thirteen days, destitute 
of money and almost destitute of food. They were a sad 
and weary company when they came to the Asylum gate in 
the evening, so glad to find a place of refuge. Within an¬ 
other month, eight more came from the same province, hav¬ 
ing traveled 12 days. A grandmother brought three leper 
grandchildren a journey of ten nights. The fiftieth leper 
came to the Asylum from a village thirteen days distant. 
It took him a month of travel. There is one family of five 
in the Asylum. Two of this family died as lepers before 
the coming of the rest to Chieng Mai. There have been in 
this Asylum other families consisting of four persons each, 
and several cases where two members of the same family 
are lepers. 

When the work began at Chieng Mai, Dr. and Mrs. Mc¬ 
Kean committed to God the future of the Asylum and 
asked all contributors to its support and all Christian friends 
everywhere to pray that every leper who should ever come 
to this Asylum might become a true child of God. These 
prayers have been answered in a most wonderful manner, 
for of the 274 lepers who have found refuge there all have 

16 


become Christians except one, who came in a dying con¬ 
dition. 

On the 22nd of June, 1913, a committee of Presbytery 
organized the Christian lepers into a church. This church 
holds services not only on the Sabbath, but practically every 
day of the year, except when hindered by storms or over¬ 
powering heat. Out of their scant weekly allowance, they 
make willing offerings toward the work, their special de¬ 
light knowing no bounds in what they are trying to do for 
evangelistic work and for Scripture distribution. It was 
while they were in the Asylum, all living in bamboo huts and 
waiting for the permanent buildings, that they first asked 
to have a chapel. This was built of bamboo, better and finer 
than their huts, but was by no means a comfortable place. 
From that day until the close of 1914, the bamboo chapel 
was the center of life—religious and social— in the com¬ 
munity. Religion is the most talked-of subject in the Asy¬ 
lum, and the daily hour for study and worship is the 
pleasantest of the whole day. It is no wonder, therefore, 
that in praying for the chapel the lepers were acting on the 
prompting of their fervent hearts’ desire. At one time, the 
Chieng Mai lepers, hearing of their needy brothers in Per¬ 
sia, made a generous contribution and were delighted to re¬ 
ceive an acknowledgment of their gifts. 

In 1914 there was a voluntary contribution by the Chieng 
Mai lepers to the American Bible Society. This gift 
was forwarded to the Bible Society with a letter in the 
following language: “We, the elders and members of the 
Leper Church at Chieng Mai, with one heart and mind, have 
great gladness in sending our small offering to the Ameri¬ 
can Bible Society, and we beg that our gift of twenty-five 
rupees ($8.09) may be graciously received by you and used 
for the distribution of the holy Scriptures. To have a share 
in this good work will give us very great happiness. 

“(Signed) Elders—Peang, Toon, Gnok.” 

Dr. Robert E. Speer says: 

“The morning that we were at the Chieng Mai, Siam, 
Leper Asylum, twenty lepers were baptized and wel- 

17 


corned to the Lord’s table. I think the highest honor I have 
ever had in my life was to be allowed to hold the baptismal 
bowl out of which these lepers were baptized. I am taking 
it home as a priceless memorial. Of their own accord, the 
lepers brought to this communion service a gift of 36 rupees, 
given out of their poverty and meager earnings to help lepers 
in other lands who might be more unfortunate than they. 

“We came away from Chieng Mai with grateful and re¬ 
joicing hearts. A mighty work of God has been done here 
by men of God and the noble succession of the past has not 
failed. We can only transmit to the church at home the 
closing words of a letter which the three ordained Lao 
ministers gave us as we came away: ‘The fields are very 
broad and the grain is yellow. We beg that the Christians 
of America may work together with us in order that the 
grain may be garnered quickly. Please do not forget us. 
We beg that the members of the great Foreign Board will 
carry this message to you Christians in America. May the 
love of Jehovah dwell in your hearts unceasingly.’ ” 

(From the Continent.) 

A recent letter from Dr. McKean tells how a Buddhist 
friend voluntarily contributes fifty baskets of rice for the 
lepers every year; and the Governor of Siam is very friendly 
to the work and has fallen in with the idea of asking native 
friends throughout the country to contribute rice for their 
support. The Governor will not only acquiesce in this plan, 
but will do everything he can to encourage generosity toward 
the lepers. 


CHOSEN (KOREA) 

k w a no 111 The Kwangju, Chosen, Leper Home, 

ASYLUM over which Dr - R - M - Wilson of the 

Southern Presbyterian Mission presides, 
was the unexpected outgrowth of a rather novel experience. 

Dr. W. H. Forsythe, a Presbyterian missionary, was rid¬ 
ing one day toward Kwangju, when he heard a strange noise 
by the roadside. Dismounting, he found in the bushes a 
poor leper woman almost dead. Knowing she would die 


18 


if he left her, he put her on his own horse and took her to 
Kwangju. Then this modern Good Samaritan realized that 
no inn would receive her, neither could any home. With 
other missionaries, he arranged an unused tile kiln suitably, 
and fed and taught this poor creature. She welcomed the 
comfort of the Gospel and accepted the Saviour. 

In the meantime, the missionaries among themselves gave 
funds to build a small three-room house, and here five or 
six other patients who had heard of the Christian treatment 
of a leper, were cared for. It was now imperative that 
larger provision be made, and through The Mission to 
Lepers and the prayers of friends, this Macedonian call was 
answered, and the present Asylum was created. 

Dr. Wilson, the missionary in charge, says: “Donors 
can never regret their gifts, if they stop to think what a 
Home like ours means to the lepers. A welcome (the first 
shock), a warm bath (the second shock), clean clothes, a 
nice Korean room, plenty of bedding, food for each meal, 
the best medical treatment for their disease, work to do if 
able, books to read, teaching, the Gospel Story lovingly told, 
and finally, a Christian burial. 

“November 15, 1912, was a happy day when we dedicated 
the Kwangju Leper Home to the Lord. On opening day, 
twenty-one half-clad, shivering lepers gathered at our dis¬ 
pensary, and when welcomed to this new home, their worn, 
haggard faces actually changed to happy-looking coun¬ 
tenances. At 3 P. M. all the missionaries and many native 
Christians gathered, and with songs of praise, prayers of 
thanksgiving, Scripture readings, and addresses, the Kwang¬ 
ju Leper Home was opened in the name of Him who said 
‘Cleanse the lepers.’ 

“The main building has a dispensary and church in the 
center, and two wings, one for men and one for women. 
There is also a superintendent’s house, a well, a wash house, 
and the ‘Soul Rooms,’ which is the name the lepers them¬ 
selves give to the small houses for those about to die. The 


19 


location is the southern side of a beautiful hill about a mile 
from town, where we are planting trees, grapevines, berries 
and flowers.” 

The native superintendent, Mr. Chloe, is well fitted for 
the work. He was assistant in the regular hospital for four 
years, and is an elder in the Presbyterian Church. He can 
care for other diseases the lepers may develop, while he 
carries on his research work in the leper field. He also 
seeks to make the farm self-supporting. 

One year after dedication, Mr. and Mrs. Wellesley C. 
Bailey visited the Kwangju Asylum. The lepers had been 
given a calf which they raised as a pet. They decided to 
kill this “fatted calf” in honor of the expected guests; and 
so they did, the day before their arrival. As the Baileys 
did not even see it, it is difficult to see what part they had 
in the calf! 

They have a daily program of medicine, prayers, meals, 
study, work, singing, gardening and poultry raising. It was 
difficult for the women to sew with their stubs of fingers. 
For this reason a sewing machine sent by friends in Virginia, 
brought great rejoicing. 

When all have behaved and attended to things well 
through the week they are given some meat for their Sab¬ 
bath meal; and a Korean will do almost anything for meat. 
Ten men have done so well with the farm work that it has 
been necessary to employ but one farmer. 

Words of strongest commendation come from business 
men who have studied Korean conditions, saying that “the 
best investment is money spent in the Leper Home.” In 
addition, these outcasts have their first opportunity to hear 
the Gospel. 

Dr. Wilson says: “A very touching thing during the 
services on Sunday is to see how they help each other when 
the number of the song or reference to Scripture is read; 
many without fingers have the pages turned and place found 

20 


by those who have fingers. Every one wants the place 
found in his own book. 

“Last year when the Sunday School was organized, one 
of the lepers, who is a most earnest Christian, was elected 
superintendent, and he is very busy indeed, for it seems that 
this has made him general manager of everything about the 
place. He is so gentle and kind to them all that he is gen¬ 
erally known as the ‘Grace Man,’ for he rarely ever utters 
a sentence without saying ‘Through the grace and love of 
our Father.’ ” 



LEPER ASPLUM AT FUSAN, KOREA 

The Fusan Feper Asylum is the property 
FUSAN ASYLUM. Q f The Mission to Lepers. For many 

years the good work was under the skil¬ 
ful care of Dr. C. H. Irvin, of the American Presbyterian 
Church. Owing to a division of territory between the 
denominations, this work has now passed into the hands 
of representatives of the Australian Presbyterian Church. 

21 





When future chapters of work for lepers 
Taiku ASYLUM, in Korea shall be written, there will 

be a very attractive paragraph included, 
covering the work at Taiku where Dr. Fletcher of the 
American Presbyterian Mission is leading in the plans for 
providing an Asylum. The fund required to erect the first 
buildings came in one sum in answer to prayer and from an 
unknown donor. 


JAPAN 

OSAKA AND The Osaka Asylum receives regular vis- 

OSHIMA its on behalf of The Mission to Lepers 

ASYLUMS. from the American Presbyterian mis¬ 

sionaries, and most remarkable services were held last 
Christmas time. There were nine baptisms, so that the 
number of Christians now in this Asylum has reached forty- 
eight, and this is the result of work extending over a little 
more than a year. Visits are also made by Southern Pres¬ 
byterian missionaries to the Government Asylum at Oshima. 


CHINA 

The Canton Leper Settlement and Chil- 
CANTON. dren’s Home carried on by the American 

Presbyterian Mission, and aided by The 
Mission to Lepers for so many years has now been trans¬ 
ferred to the Rhenish Missionary Society. 

PERSIA 

The work for Tabriz lepers is hung up, 
TABRIZ LEPERS, owing to the war. Christian teaching 

and small allotments of food and other 
gifts have been provided through Dr. and Mrs. W. S. Van- 
neman and other representatives of the American Presby¬ 
terian Mission, but the war conditions have made it impos¬ 
sible to go ahead with projected buildings, even if the funds 

22 


had all been in hand. A missionary writes: “I shall take 
great pleasure in telling the lepers of their unknown friends. 
They understand it is for the love of Christ they receive 
from us the help, and I am sure that others will be touched 
to know that fellow-lepers have found Jesus Christ so pre¬ 
cious.” 


THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS 


MANILA 

ASYLUM. 


The Asylum at Manila is a Government 
Asylum, in which Christian teaching is 
also given by the American Presbyterian 
Mission on behalf of The Mission to Lepers. This, in later 
years, has become rather a receiving station for the large 
colony located at Culion. The appeal for Christian teaching 
for the lepers in the rich and fertile Philippine Islands first 
came in 1907. At first, an evangelist was supported, later, 
regular visits were made by the missionaries of the Ameri¬ 
can Presbyterian Station, the lepers always expressing heart¬ 
iest thanks and gratitude; but in this Station the problem 
has always been extremely delicate for the reason that so 
many are nominal Romanists, and the missionaries have 
carefully tried to preach a religion of Bible faith and con¬ 
sistent work. 


CULION LEPER The Culion Station is the largest leper 
COLONY :olony in the world. It is a beautiful island 

in the Philippine group and was selected 
by the United States Government as the place in which all 
the known lepers of the Philippines are now segregated and 
supported. In this Station all the food and clothing, and 
comfortable shelter, are provided by the Government. A 
Presbyterian missionary, Dr. G. W. Wright, living in Ma¬ 
nila, though not able to visit this Station regularly, is none the 
less actively supervising the work and keeping in touch 
with the leper congregation through visits and correspond¬ 
ence. There is only one boat going from Manila to Culion. 
The Mission’s Bible Woman, Sra. Juana Coronel, followed 

23 


the visit of two theological students who used their Christ¬ 
mas vacation to make an evangelistic tour to the colony. 
The Bible woman, as the missionaries say in Manila, is 
anywhere and everywhere a host in herself. She knows 
what to do and how to do it. Pastor Garchalian, who was 
trained in the Theological Seminary, is not only an excellent 
pastor, but a man of warm heart and sympathy. He, too, 
has visited the lepers, spending some time among them, per¬ 
forming the functions of a pastor and doing much good by 
his visit. Dr. Wright made a very remarkable visit at the 
end of the year, preaching in a “Watch Night” service, a 
Christmas sermon, and another on New Year’s morning, 
and conducted Communion and received new members in 
the afternoon. The regular Christmas exercises were held 
by the congregation at the usual time, distributing the sup¬ 
plies that had been sent on in advance. 

The work in the colony is all done by the lepers with the 
exception of the construction of the buildings. There is 
even a leper police force. These police, the butcher, the 
baker, as well as the teachers, receive special compensation. 
The colonists have their own shops with which the Govern¬ 
ment does not interfere. 

In 1911, Dr. J. B. Rogers of the Presbyterian Mission, 
encouraged by the fact that a number of the men and wom¬ 
en were received into communion and due to the presence 
of a native minister, who had contracted leprosy, advised 
the organization of a church. The number of lepers pro¬ 
fessing the Protestant faith is, of course, very small, as the 
Catholics are notably numerous. 

It would not be fair to conclude this 
U. S. A. LEPERS, article without giving credit to Presby¬ 
terian Christian workers interested in the 
lepers in our own country. Rev. J. W. Caldwell of New 
Orleans presided at the dedication of the Protestant chapel 
erected in the Louisiana Leper Colony, the 14th of last 
June. Under his chairmanship a wonderful service was held 
during which the congregation voted to make their motto, 

24 


“Brighten up the corner where you are.” This was done on 
a show of hands, many of which indicated the serious dis¬ 
comfort caused by leprosy in their own bodies; but shall we 
not take courage from their cheerful attitude toward life 
under the most adverse circumstances and join with them 
in a living demonstration of effort to “Brighten the corner 
where you are.” 

We have seen how the Presbyterian missionaries in co¬ 
operation with The Mission to Lepers are working in “Leper 
Lands” in the preaching of the Gospel to the whole congre¬ 
gation. This is an illustration of Evangelical Alliance in 
which the Presbyterian missionaries lead all other denomin¬ 
ations. 

Dr. Arthur J. Brown, Secretary, Board of Foreign Mis¬ 
sions of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A., says: 
“Two visits to Asia have deeply impressed me with the for¬ 
lorn and pathetic condition of that afflicted class. Your 
Mission is doing a work among them which must be very 
close to the heart of the Great Physician, and it ought to ap¬ 
peal to all who love Christ and are interested in those to 
whom He ministered when on earth.” 

Dr. A. W. Halsey, Secretary, Board of Foreign Missions 
of the Presbyterian Church in the U. S. A., says: “I wish 
to assure you of the cordial co-operation of our Board in 
this important work. For many years The Mission to 
Lepers has aided various leper institutions in connection 
with our Missions. Our Board has only the highest ap¬ 
preciation of the work which The Mission to Lepers is do¬ 
ing.” 

Dr. C. R. Watson, Secretary of the Board of Foreign 
Missions of the United Presbyterian Church of North 
America, says: “The Mission to Lepers is doing an admir¬ 
able work. Our missionaries are in touch with this work 
in India, and I have always heard the heartiest commenda¬ 
tion of the work done by this Mission.” 

The Continent in editorial mention has said: “There are 
not many Foreign Mission objects outside denominational 
lines, to which responsible missionary leaders of the Presby- 

25 


terian Church are entirely willing to see Presbyterians con¬ 
tribute ; but one big and notable exception is The Mission 
to Lepers, which the Foreign Board endorses with utmost 
cordiality. This good will springs from the fact that The 
Leper Mission works in closest harmony with denomina¬ 
tional Mission Societies and practically all its money is 
spent under supervision of denominational missionaries. 

1915. 


Note.—The denominational Boards do not receive or disburse funds 
for leper work, though in hearty sympathy with the interdenomina¬ 
tional society, “The Mission to Lepers,’’ of which W. M. Danner. 105 
Raymond St., Cambridge, Mass., is Secretary. The missionaries of all 
Boards give a portion of their time to work in the leper stations. 



26 









THE WOMAN’S FOREIGN MISSIONARY SOCIETY 
OF THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH 

501 Witherspoon Building, Philadelphia 


Price, Five Cents