A New Vision for Missions: William Cameron Townsend, the Wycliffe Bible Translators, and the Culture of Early Evangelical Faith Missions, 1896-1945

By William Lawrence Svelmoe | Go to book overview

4
In Which the Central American
Mission Finds Trouble, Trouble
Everywhere and Dr. Becker Makes a
Brief but Memorable Appearance
1922–1924

A long experience with missionaries has taught me that after all they are
sometimes quite human.

—R. D. Smith

New Year's Day 1922 found Howard Dinwiddie and L. L. Legters traveling in Central America. They would spend a total of five months there, leading Victorious Life conferences and encouraging missionaries. Legters took a side trip with Paul Burgess to survey Indian groups in Chiapas, Mexico, where they did not find a single missionary working with non–Spanish speakers.1

Townsend, meanwhile, was stewing in California, scheming to get back to Guatemala, while dodging the council's requests that he undertake deputation work for the CAM. The council seemed to have every argument on its side. Townsend was already in the States caring for his sick wife, and a few months spent traveling for the mission, which desperately needed funds, seemed the best and most logical use of his time, especially as he was a gifted fund- raiser. Luther Rees booked meetings in churches for him and placed a notice in the Central American Bulletin that Townsend was available to speak. But Townsend desperately wanted to return to Guatemala to oversee his fledgling work in San Antonio. He was understandably convinced this was God's will. He offered to return in the fall for deputation work, which he “would so like to do,” knowing the council would never authorize the expense of such a trip just for depu

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