The Women’s Group met on Wednesday, 25th May and the speaker was Pat Burrow. Pat gave us an interesting insight to her great grandfather Samuel Bacon Fairbank’s missionary life in India.
In the year 1846, at the age of 24, he made an epic journey (which only took 4 months on a sailing ship whose main cargo was ice from the New England ponds). He joined the American Marathi Mission in Bombay where he learned the language and took charge of the mission press. In 1857 he and his second wife, Mary Ballantine, moved 260 km inland to Ahmednagar by oxcart. He moved out from there 46 km to the village of Vadala where he was treated coolly, and told to camp under a tamarind tree which was known to be haunted by evil spirits. When his family survived the night, after singing hymns and praying, the village elders were impressed and welcomed them.
He worked in this area for the rest of his life travelling to small villages and starting churches, hospitals, schools (educating both men and women), and promoting industrial education and modern farming methods. He died in India in 1898 and six of his ten surviving children also worked as missionaries there.
Pat spent a week in India re-tracing her great grandfather’s footsteps last winter and understanding the immense positive impact her great grandfather’s missionary work had in that region, especially in relation to education and farming.
The following quote from a recent article in the International Bulletin of Missionary Research beautifully summarises Samuel Fairbank’s life:- “By all accounts, he conducted his life with good humor, honesty, equanimity and great sensitivity to the people among whom he ministered.”
There will be no meeting in June as Margaret Keeble is hosting a fund raising Garden party on Friday, 24th June which will be well attended by most of the ladies.
However to bridge the gap until September, the Women’s Group will be hosting a coffee morning from 10:30 am – 12:30 pm on Thursday, 28th July at the Ayios Neophytos Monastery Café in Tala. All are welcome to come and enjoy a drink in a cool, relaxing atmosphere.