Wonderful piece of first-hand history covering events and culture in China as well as missionary progress from 1926 forward to 1930.
116 page, handwritten manuscript diary / journal of Miss Myrtle M. Lefever, signed in English and Mandarin. She was missionary with the United Methodist Church in China for 45 years serving at Miller Seminary [founded 1909] and as an Evangelist in surrounding areas.
Extensive content on Chinese culture, the personal and religious lives of young Chinese, governmental actions and policies, etc., Superb, unpublished content during one of the most fascinating times in Chinese history. Of specific interest is content on wives, concubines, treatment of concubines and their children, etc.,
“Sueto Mooi’s Family: Her father married her mother when she was 15 years old. Suet Mooi born quickly, then Mr. Ng left for P. G. Here he became sick and was nursed back to health by a Japanese Christian nurse. He loved her and asked her to marry him; told her he had no wife. They were married 5 years & had several children when he took her to Canton with him to his home. When she discovere he had a wife she was very much grieved. Now as children are born to her, they send them back to the Chinese wife to raise.”
“How Sun Wing’s mother died. Father has 2 other concubines. Third has a daughter. Hence now Sun Wing and her sister are not loved and cared for.”
“Each nation considers itself superior and takes itself very seriously. Jews prayed, “O God, Thou hast made us for Thyself; as for the rest of the Nations they are but spittle.” And each day the Pious Jew thanked God he was not born a leper, a woman, or a Gentile. To the Greeks everyone who was not a Greek was of a different species. A Barbarian. The Romans despised the nations over which they ruled, felt very superior to the Britains. The Shah of Persia has a title “The Center of the Universe.” Chinese call their country, “The Middle Kingdom” They call us foreign devils. Japanese believe they have descended from Heaven and are a Heavenly race. Hottentots of Africa call themselves “The complete people.” And the Esuimaux call themselves “The men of men.” The people of U.S.A. call their country, “God’s own Country.” Etc.,”
“If a person during his life time takes good medicine and then dies, perhaps later his coffin will be dug up to find the bones – well, if mushrooms are growing inside, they are considered precious. They must be divided between the grave digger and the owner. They are very expensive, are made into medicine to cure T.B. & other diseases. Placenta at birth of a child must be kept and not thrown away, or the child will die Sometimes it is boiled for medicine.”
“More than half of our teachers and students have chilblains because of the cold. Chinese wear lots of clothes on upper part of body, but wear thin trousers. Teachers & students wear cotton stockings. Temperature is about 40.”
“January 5. Big fire in Suo Lam burned 8 stores. Mrs. Chung, member of the church, moved her things, but no one would taker her in. People believe the person who seeks refuge from the fire, takes the God of the fire to them.”
“This year, Chinese Government ordered everyone to observe the New Calendar.”
“April 24, 1930 “Between She Kei and Siu Lam, a boat with several hundred people went down in the river. It was bombed by pirates. Mrs. Lau’s brother, with 20 others, escaped death. They jumped in the river and were captured by the robbers. This one man put on the robber’s clothes and escaped through the roof. He is a good man but is not a Christian. One time he cut off a piece of his own flesh & cooked it for his mother, believing that such a sacrifice would save her life when she was ill.”
“Leung Chi Kwong said her grandfather killed his baby girl by throwing her down. He had grabbed her by the hand & thus bent it back. The next child was a girl with crippled hands & feet. So he did not dare to kill her for fear her spirit would return in the next child. Chinese believe that should a woman have several children that die young, that it is the same spirit returning in each child to cheat them for food. The spirit cheats them because it is not willing to stay. Hence the dead child sometimes marked with a knife or with black on the face so that it will be recognized should it appear again.”
“Satan invented the Chinese language to keep the Gospel from ¼ of the people of the globe. John Wesley”
Etc. Etc. Etc.