China's church services: standing room only
How much of the work of American and other Christian missionaries survives in China today? As China, moving away from the fanaticism and turmoil of the cultural revolution, pursues its three-year-old policy of economic modernization and renewed contacts with the West, here is the testimony of one missionary-educated Chinese citizen, a retired journalist living in Peking who recently revisited his birthplace, Shanghai.m
Owing to the poverty of my parents' family, I was sent to a missionary school , with tuition favorably reduced, when I was 16 years old. My school was named the Middle School No. 2 of Soochow University, situated at Quiansan Road, Shanghai, and owned by the Methodist Mission.
Besides Chinese teachers, I and about two score of my classmates were taught by serveral American teachers. Mrs. A.P. Parker taught us Shakespeare, Mr. Brinkley taught us English, and Charles W. Rankin taught us American history and ancient history. Dr. A. P. PArker was once the principal of Soochow University. He not only was fluent in the Shanghai dialect but also had talent in writing Chinese. During the Sino-Japanese war, he wrote many articles in Chinese, analyzing why China suffered defeat and faithfully advising the Chinese people and their government to improve and reconstruct China.
There were so many missionary schools, colleges, and universities, opened in Shanghai, Peking, Tientsin, Hankow, Canton -- nearly everywhere in China. There were so many hospitals opened and managed by Americans in so many big Chinese cities. How can the people of China forget such valuable service in education and medical aid so sincerely offered by the American missionaries at a time when they were so cruelly oppressed by tyrannical emperors, high officials, and uncivilized warlords within, so mercilessly aggressed against by gunboats and military invasions by foreign powers without?