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Have We No Rights? A frank discussion of the "rights" of missionaries   By:

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A frank discussion of the "rights" of missionaries

Have We No Rights?

Mabel Williamson

China Inland Mission Overseas Missionary Fellowship

Moody Press Chicago


Reprinted, 1973

Printed in the United States of America



1. Rights 7

2. The Right to What I Consider a Normal Standard of Living 11

3. The Right to the Ordinary Safeguards of Good Health 23

4. The Right to Regulate My Private Affairs As I Wish 33

5. The Right to Privacy 39

6. The Right to My Own Time 47

7. The Right to a Normal Romance, If Any 55

8. The Right to a Normal Home Life 67

9. The Right to Live With the People of My Choice 81

10. The Right to Feel Superior 91

11. The Right to Run Things 103

12. He Had No Rights 125

NOTE: Most of the Scripture quotations have been taken from the American Standard Version.



"Well," said mother, setting down a cup she had just wiped, and picking up another, "the older I get, and the older my children get, the more I realize how little right a person has even to her own children. By the time they get well into high school they aren't yours any more."

"But, Mother," I protested, dropping a dripping dishcloth into the dishpan and looking at her in amazement, "of course we are yours! Whose else would we be?"

There was silence for a moment. Then, "You you belong to yourselves," she said quietly.

America the land of freedom and opportunity! The land where everyone's rights are respected! The land where the son of a shiftless drunkard can grit his teeth and say, "I'm going to be rich and famous some day!" Here in America we pride ourselves on the fact that everyone has the right to live his own life as he pleases provided, that is, that he does not infringe upon the rights of someone else.

Rights your rights; my rights. Just what are rights, anyway?

A group of half a dozen missionaries were gathered for prayer in a simply furnished living room of a mission house in China. For a few minutes one of the group spoke to us out of his heart, and I shall never forget the gist of what he said.

"You know," he began, "there's a great deal of difference between eating bitterness [Chinese idiom for 'suffering hardship'] and eating loss [Chinese idiom for 'suffering the infringement of one's rights']. 'Eating bitterness' is easy enough. To go out with the preaching band, walk twenty or thirty miles to the place where you are to work, help set up the tent, placard the town with posters, and spend several weeks in a strenuous campaign of meetings and visitation why, that's a thrill! Your bed may be made of a couple of planks laid on sawhorses, and you may have to eat boiled rice, greens, and beancurd three times a day. But that's just the beauty of it! Why, it's good for anyone to go back to the simple life! A little healthy 'bitterness' is good for anybody!

"When I came to China," he continued, "I was all ready to 'eat bitterness' and like it. That hasn't troubled me particularly. It takes a little while to get your palate and your digestion used to Chinese food, of course, but that was no harder than I had expected. Another thing, however" and he paused significantly " another thing that I had never thought about came up to make trouble. I had to 'eat loss'! I found that I couldn't stand up for my rights that I couldn't even have any rights. I found that I had to give them up, every one, and that was the hardest thing of all."

That missionary was right... Continue reading book >>

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