Welcoming A Missionary
14 January 1905
The Choral Hall was well filled last night, when Mr C.T.W. Wilson, who has been carrying on missionary work in South America, was given a formal welcome home.
The Rev. Dr Waddell was in the chair, and after singing and prayer he addressed those present. He expressed his sense of the honor done him by requesting him to preside at this meeting. Then he told how, years ago, Mr Wilson was a boy attending the St. Andrew's Church Mission Hall, and said that the man who stood before them that night was a living example of the power of the grace of God.
Mr A.H. Heycock, secretary and treasurer of the Dunedin section of the Australasian South American Mission, said that this undenominational organisation was supported entirely by freewill offerings. The sum of £750 had been sent to South America by the mission, including £150 to Campana and £100 to Bolivia, for the purchase of land. He then read the report of the work of the mission, of which the following are the main points:-We have had very great encouragement in our work. During the year just closed the three candidates mentioned in our last report-viz Mr Alexander and the Misses Blackwell and Lester-have joined the workers in Campana and Bolivia. Miss Lester (now Mrs Pulling) is with her husband in Bolivia, at Cochabamba, while [with?] Mr and Mrs Allan and Miss Blackwell (now Mrs Grimson) is with her husband at Narati, in the Argentine, where with Mr Alexander's assistance they have started a new branch of the work. The last three workers are the only Protestant missionaries in a town of some seven or eight thousand inhabitants. Mr Hotton, who gave up a good position as a dentist in Victoria to go forth to preach Christ in South America, has just left our shores, sailing on December 22 for Buenos Ayres to join the Campana party until his knowledge of the language is perfected. Miss Jackson has now returned, and is in New Zealand, on her way to join Mr and Mrs Cook in Campana, who are anxiously awaiting her assistance in connection with the school work. Two others (Miss Robb, of Dunedin, and Miss Honner, of Australia) are in training to go forward, we trust, in due course. There are therefore twelve accredited workers who have gone forth, all needing our partnership and co-operation in their work. Mr Charles Wilson is with us at last, having been delayed far beyond his expectations in the Old Country superintending the publishing of a book compiled by himself and Mr Will Payne. The book is entitled “Missionary Pioneering in Bolivia, with some Account of Work in Argentina.” Mr Wilson reached his home in Dunedin only just before Christmas. We hope that shortly he will be able to visit friends of the mission and others in the various districts of New Zealand and Australia. May we ask all who are alive to the needs of the distant fields in South America to bear up our brother in his work in these home lands, that he may be instrumental in the Lord's hands of arousing a deeper and fuller interest in the hearts of God's people everywhere concerning what we usually term foreign missions. Turning to the question of financial support accorded to our workers, the revenue and expenditure account will show that we have again abundant cause for thanksgiving. We have been enabled to transmit still larger sums to the field, the supplies having increased proportionately with the numbers and needs of the workers and the work. As regards the work abroad, in the Argentine stations have been opened in Campana and Yarate. In the former place the work is in charge of Mr William Cook, assisted by his wife and Mr Ernest Heycock. These will be joined shortly by Mr Hotton and Miss Jackson. The work mainly consists of day school, Sunday school, house visitation, evening classes, mothers' meetings and evangelist services, which keep our workers' hands very full. In Yarate Mr and Mrs Grimson, with Mr Alexander, are similarly engaged, though, of course, to a more limited extent. From both centres we hear of the Lord's blessing upon their work. In Bolivia Mr and Mrs Allan and Mr and Mrs Pulling are at present together at Cochabamba, their special object being to reach the Quechua Indians. Of these Indians there are some three and a-half millions as yet practically untouched by the Gospel, and it is to these long-neglected and down-trodden people that Mr Wilson purposes devoting himself on his return to South America. This Indian work is one which will need the fullest sympathy and prayer of God's people in the home lands, as our workers will have to face the most strenuous opposition. After 400 years of increasing darkness and distress, it is surely time that we listened once more to the Macedonian cry-“Come over and help us”-and were really up and doing in a practical way. Mr Wilson will be able, as he goes about the country shortly, to make the needs of both branches of the work known, and we can only ask all who love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity to unite with our workers in very definite prayer that the power of the Holy Spirit may be manifest through them to the glory of God and the salvation of many from amongst the varied races of this too-long neglected land.
Mr Wilson the read an address touching on his experiences during his five years of missionary work, and made an earnest appeal to his hearers that some of them should come forward and offer themselves for missionary work.