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July 1, 1941.
Excerpt from: “China’s Millions”


Miss L. M. Day, Matron,, Preparatory School.

The editor has asked me to write out the address I gave at the Annual Meetings in Melbourne about the Chefoo schools, as he thought you would like to hear something about them. Altogether we have about 300 boys and girls in our schools, but I only spoke about the Preparatory School.

On my return to Chefoo from my last holiday (or what we call furlough) the new Preparatory School for which we had been praying was nearing completion. It was built in such a way that is was possible to have the very young children living separately from those who were a little older. The younger ones, when out of lessons, are under the care of the Matron, who tries to take the place of mother in the lives of these six or seven year old children who have just parted from their parents. The bigger children, from eight to nine years, have different teachers on duty each day of the week. The same teacher being with the little ones all day makes them feel at home more quickly. In getting them up, being with them for Quiet Time, sitting with them in the dining-room, taking them for walks, and putting them to bed, help to make it more like a big family than a school.

The teachers called the division of the preparatory School Junior and Senior Departments, but the children said "Big End" and "Little End," and the children's name has stuck, so, as Matron, I belong to the "Little End."

The hardest part of a missionary's life is separation from their children, especially when their mission station is far away in the interior. Sometimes it may be as long as two or three years or even longer. There are times when the little mites feel this keenly, and then we try to comfort them and to show them that it is separation for Christ's sake.

On Sundays the Little Enders do not join with the Big Enders for prayers, but stay in their own section of the school with the Matron. We sing choruses, or a verse of two of a well-known hymn. They then suggest the things they want to pray for, some run for home letters with the parts already marked that are to be read and prayed about; it may be someone in the Chinese Church from where they have come, or something about one of their little Chinese friends. Some want to pray for mummy and daddy, others for people travelling (they know the dangers of travel in China to-day). One little girl said she wanted to pray, f or those men working so hard on the road she travelled along to school, because they did not know Jesus died on the Cross to save them, so she prayed God to send someone along to tell them of Jesus. They pray for the servants, for the people they saw on the beach, for the little Chinese boys and girls they meet when out walking. Then they all kneel, and one after the other pray. They were praying for months for the conversion of a Russian woman to whom they talked on the beach quite often; when prayer was answered for her, they began to pray for her husband. After his conversion, a weekly meeting for Bible Study and prayer was started in their home; the children always remember to pray for that. Another Russian woman who attended that class also came to know Jesus Christ as her Saviour.

And now I would like to tell you about a lovely answer to prayer. As a result of the Japanese invasion there was a coal shortage. We were informed that it was impossible to get coal which we needed to keep us warm as well as for cooking. The children were told, so everybody, both children and teachers, kept on praying for sufficient coal for the winter. Later what a joy it was to the children to be told of the wonderful answer to prayer, that all the coal we needed had been supplied. In visiting a business woman one day she asked, "How are you managing to keep your poor little children warm without coal?" She was amazed to hear we had plenty. She said, "Why, I ordered coal long before the winter began, and it has not come yet; the only coal I get is by borrowing a little every day, just enough to cook the dinner, and I have none to keep us warm. How did you manage to get yours?" It was a wonderful opportunity to witness for our Lord by saying, "It has all come in answer to prayer."

Later we were told there was to be no more flour imported. Once more the children and staff all began to pray for that which was so much needed. One promise in the Bible says,'- "My God shall supply all your need." Flour was a very real need, there was no doubt about that, so we asked for flour. Can you imagine what a lovely sight it was for the children one day, when we were out for a walk, to see barrow after barrow loaded with bags of flour turning into our Compound! This, they knew, was in answer to prayer, and so that night the children were able to thank God for sending such an abundant supply of flour. We are always having answers to prayer, but I cannot tell you any more just now.