NOT QUITE FREE.
In the November MISSIONARY of last year, the financial statement bore the simple and joyous heading “FREE.” This year we are compelled to prefix two qualifying words. Our books closed September 30, with a balance of $5,641.21 on the wrong side. While we regret that there should be any debt, we rejoice that it is no larger.
The receipts applicable to current expenses fell off somewhat during the year, while the expenditures, owing to general growth and some special demands were greater than last year. The first of September, therefore, found us confronting an impending debt. The appeal which we felt constrained to make for September, and which was made under some special disadvantages as compared with last year, was met with so hearty a response in gifts and in expressions of interest in our work, as to move us to gratitude to God and thankfulness to our friends. A few of the donors gave $1,000 each, but the larger share of the responses contained remittances of less than $100. Many of the sums were quite small, and some of them indicated great self-sacrifice on the part of the donors. A few brief extracts, all that our limited space will allow, from a small portion of the letters received, will be found below.
We thank God and take courage. We believe that our friends who remembered us in the past will not forget us in the future, and that our wants in October, and in all the following months, will not be forgotten because they were so well remembered in September. One thousand dollars a day represents our needs for carrying on the work in its present development.
Encouraging Responses to our Appeal.
“I would like to send you more, but I send you the last dollar I have ($71.00,) and must trust the Lord for means to support us until my next month’s payment, and for means to go to the meeting of the A.B.C.F.M., in case I attend.”
“Twenty-five cents of this money was from a woman 82 years old. She is almost helpless. The family in which she lives is very poor. She has not a penny that she calls her own. She said to me, ’Here is the widow’s mite. I prayed that the Lord would send me something to give away. You please take it and send it where it will do the most good.’ I send it to you trusting that with her prayers of faith, it may be useful.”
The writer of a letter enclosing a donation of $10 adds in a postscript in regard to the donor: “Mrs. A—— was born May 5th, 1787, and is an old contributor.”
“I have expended all my appropriation for charitable purposes this present year, yet I can, perhaps, curtail in some directions and so remit to you $20 as a small tributary to swell the stream for meeting indebtedness. I hope your appeal will accomplish the results desired.
“Through abounding grace, my wife and I are once more permitted the joyful privilege of sending for the general work of the American Missionary Association, $100 enclosed herewith in draft to your order. (Their third contribution this year. Ed.) Say to the dear brethren in the work of the Master: ’Be of good courage, fear not, for I am with you’; His own words enduring forever.”