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    CHAPTER V.
  --  A Period of Stern Opposition.   Table of Contents     CHAPTER VII.
  --  Missionary Journeys With Associate Workers.

Broughton, V.W.
Twenty Year's Experience of a Missionary

- CHAPTER VI. -- Virginia's Private Life.

CHAPTER VI.
Virginia's Private Life.


I'm sure all would like to know something of the home life of our missionary, and our story would be incomplete did we not at least introduce you to Virginia's dear ones at home. At the beginning of her missionary work she was comfortably situated in her own home, with other possessions that brought her a small income. Her husband was not a professor of religion at the beginning of her missionary career, and naturally was greatly opposed to her frequently going from home. One day he asked her, "When is this business going to stop?" She replied, "I don't know; but I belong to God first, and you next; so you two must settle it." Truly God inspired that answer. She took herself absolutely out of the management of the affair and accepted the humble position of an obedient servant. God verily did settle the question. He convinced the husband fully that He had called his wife to a special service and to hinder her would

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mean death to him. Of course there was no alternative; the husband, after a desperate struggle with the world, the flesh and the devil, yielded to God, and made an open profession of faith in Jesus and joined the church militant. This husband has ever since been helpful in attending to much of the business connected with Virginia's missionary work these twenty years.

Two of Virginia's daughters, Emma and Elizabeth, were converted before their father, but had not been baptized. Twenty years ago there was as little faith among colored people in children's conversions as there was in women's work. The Lord gave Virginia a beautiful experience relative to Emma's and Elizabeth's baptism by using one of his accustomed ways of revealing his will to her through song. On this occasion this song.

"Go wash in that beautiful pool," came ringing in her soul, then through her voice, without cessation, until an investigation was forced upon her. While she meditated God revealed to her that she should give her consent to her children's baptism. This being done, the song had spent its force and gently passed away. Glory be to God! The two girls and their father were all baptized at the same time by Rev. H. Smith, a scene never to be forgotten in the family's history. These two girls developed

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beautifully into pure, noble womanhood, the joy, the comfort and keepers of the home, together with the good women secured from time to time to assist them; notably among whom were Sisters Kitty, Brinkley and Johnson. Little Selena's death made a deep impression upon all the children; even the two younger ones were made to think seriously of heavenly things. The baby boy said, as he looked in the open grave where his little sister's body was deposited: "Mama, I thought heaven was up (pointing thither as he spoke), where you say sister has gone; why do you place her in the ground?" Soon after this sorrow these two younger children, Virginia and Julius, professed to love Jesus and were baptized into the fellowship of the church.

Emma exhibited special talent for music from a small child, and besides graduating from the Normal course of Howe Institute she was given special musical advantages in the Musical Conservatory of Chicago, III., and is now the music teacher in her alma mater. Emma married at an early age; she has a good devoted husband and three bright, intelligent little children. Emma has a merry, cheerful, happy disposition, is naturally musical, careful, economical and contented, never worrying however time or tide go. She and her husband live happily together, even as did Isaac and Rebecca, each sharing the joys and sorrows of

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life together. Their three children are veritably the reproduction of father and mother, all three musical, loving and kind to each other; the baby at three years of age repeats his alphabet and sings several little songs. They all delight to sit in Grandma Virginia's lap and listen to her tell them Bible stories, as well as "Mother Goose's Tales" and "Aesop's Fables." What would home be without the dear innocent little children? May we all praise God for children, and like the good women of Bible times count ourselves blessed of God to be the mothers of many children, that we might train them up for the Master's kingdom, even as did Hannah, Sarah, Rachel, Elizabeth and the Virgin Mary.

Elizabeth, when a little girl, would say to her mother when she returned home, tired and weary from school or a missionary trip, "Sit down, mama, and rest yourself, I'll bring your tea to you.' Elizabeth won laurels as a faithful, capable student at Howe Institute, and thereby, through Dr. H. R. Traver, secured a scholarship in Moody's School for Girls in Northfield, Mass. She spent two successful and profitable years there, but her great desire to see the loved ones at home caused her return south, and she graduated from the academic course of Roger William's University. She has succeeded as a teacher and had the short experience of five years' married life. She was

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left a widow without children. On her return to her old home she commenced life's work again by pursuing her long cherished hope of studying medicine, a study she has shown special adaptability for from a child. It was due to her excellence in the study of physiology she secured the scholarship in Northfield. Emma and Elizabeth both make excellent housewives.

Virginia herself was brought up under the first idea given the freedmen of education which was to educate the head to the neglect of the hand, and she learned from the hard school of experience the grave mistake of that course and was determined her girls should not suffer the inconveniences she had from so great a misfortune. So all her children were early taught the every day domestic duties of life. As has been stated, Elizabeth was always solicitous about her mother's comfort at home; and while Emma, who was absorbed in her music, might forget and be slow in preparing the supper on time, Elizabeth had her time fixed for her household duties and would see to it that mama had her supper on time. As she grew older, and even during her married life, when she had her husband to please and her own home to care for, she was ever mindful of mother, father, sisters and brother at home; often expressing her love in substantial, generous contributions to the family's necessities. Virginia, the youngest daughter, her

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mama's namesake, has just graduated with honor from Fisk University in the Normal class of 1907. She is well prepared for any service the Lord may call her to. She is more than ordinarily prepared to grace any home as its queen, being able to do well any domestic service required in the home. She is also prepared to do good work in the school room, having given general satisfaction as practice teacher during her year's experience under the training teacher of her alma mater. This daughter also has skill in the dressmaking art, having already made quite a number of beautiful garments for self and friends. Our missionary has only one boy; he is named, of course, for his father, Julius A. O. B., Jr. This child cared little for books, but early gave evidence of mechanical skill. He began to repair shoes when quite a boy, making a shoe shop of one end of his mama's back porch. After nearing the completion of the English course at Fisk he was sent to an industrial school, and there improved his natural talent for shoemaking. He is destined to succeed as a shoemaker when he reaches maturity and the responsibilities of life rest upon him. His employers are delighted with his work and think it quite strange for one so young as he to have a trade so well in hand. Virginia is especially anxious about her boy; she took him with her on many a missionary journey. He would pass the Bibles and hymn books around, help
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her sing, open gates when traveling through country districts and take general interest in all he thought his mama was interested in. In his childhood he would often be seen holding a service, he standing up preaching with one person (his little sister Virgie) for his audience. His mother believes God's word, that says, "Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it. "Thus while she is not pleased with her boy's present deportment in every particular she is praying and hoping to have her heart's desire realized in her only son as in her three daughters. Virginia's husband and children have the utmost confidence in her work, and give her their devotion and encouragement, in every effort she puts forth to advance the Master's work. This little glimpse into the private life of our missionary may help some other burdened mother to see that God is able to use all his children, whether married or single, to do whatever work He has given them talent to do. Virginia's home was often used as the home of the missionary women from the country who would attend the training school; hence all the early workers became interested in Virginia's children, and the children spent many of their summers visiting these friends, to the mutual enjoyment of the children and the friends. Virginia's sister Selena came to visit her at a certain time, and while there their brother John took quite sick. This caused a
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temporary removal of that sister, who had come to visit, as it was deemed necessary for her to stay and help nurse the brother back to health again, if the Lord willed he should recover. This change for Sister Selena proved to be God's plan to lead her into a higher and fuller experience of grace, which has added much to her to be of inestimable value to her husband, Rev. William G., in carrying on a successful pastorate and managing a mission station. It was during her visit to the south that she was so manifestly used of God in that Durhamville meeting. The two sisters nursed their brother John back to health through the mighty help of God. As we have more to say relative to God's power to heal, we'll conclude this chapter and say more of this illness later.

Virginia's other brothers, William Henry, Robert and Rufus, were not neglected in her ministries of grace; she often visited Robert and Rufus in their homes, prayed with and for them and endeavored by example and precept to show them the beauty and power of the Christian life. They have both professed to love Jesus. We hope their sister's life will inspire them to follow her worthy example. Her sister Annie and family are all active workers in the church. The three sisters, Virginia, Selena and Annie, appear to vie with each other in their earnest endeavors to promote

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the cause of missions. Rev. William G. and Mr. P., Virginia's brothers-in-law, are loyal supporters of their sister's efforts. Rev. William G. is a most ardent admirer of his sister's devotion to Bible study and her zeal for Christian endeavor, and often makes her blush whene'er she is in his church by the many encomiums of praise he showers upon her. Well, I guess it's all right to scatter a few flowers o'er our friends before they die.
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    CHAPTER V.
  --  A Period of Stern Opposition.   Table of Contents     CHAPTER VII.
  --  Missionary Journeys With Associate Workers.