chapter  1
22 Pages

A New Century: High Hopes and Ill Omens

This chapter discusses a hunch quality about vocation, an inner compulsion to explore a certain track, a sense of the fitness of things, which has to be tested. Men, and single women, could expect a more thorough exploration of their vocation. From the start of the century the Auxiliaries recognized the value of pre-departure preparation, however well qualified a teacher, nurse or doctor might be. In 1948 St Andrew's College was founded to accommodate Baptist, Congregationalist, Methodist and English Presbyterian men and couples preparing for overseas work. Bigger changes shaped the pattern of missionary preparation: the end of the colonial era and the advent of autonomous Churches raised serious questions about the role of expatriates. The generalization of air travel led to shorter tours of duty and some missionaries then began to argue that they would benefit more from a course during their first furlough, when they had experienced the context in which they were to work, than from pre-departure preparation.