Rev. Leonard William
Kip had one of the longest tenures of any Amoy missionary, and was one of five missionaries who strongly advocated cooperation between Reformed missionaries and those of the English Presbyterian mission and, later, the London Missionary Society. But the missionaries desire to cooperate on the field was met with strong resistance from home headquarters. The Reformed Church's General Synod argued that their past success was due to "unflinching and unfaltering adherence to our doctrines our customs, our usages, and our liberal and wise Constitution," and warned against, "flashes of enthusiasm and "improvised measures of administration." (De Jong, p. 71).The debate raged until, finally, five Reformed missionaries [Leonard Kip, Augustus Blauvelt, Alvin Ostrom, Daniel Rapalje, and Elihu Doty] signed a letter saying that either their views be respected or they be replaced by other missionaries who shared the home office' view. In the end the missionaries of these three denomiations were allowed to cooperate, and this no doubt contributed to the Amoy Mission's unusual success.
Kip's wife, Helen, was also active, often accompanying her husband on trips into the interior, and teaching in schools (she ran the girls' school on Gulangyu while Mary Talmage was on furlough in America), giving geography classes to students in the Amoy Boys' Schools, as well as running women's meetings in two Amoy churches. (De Jong, p.123). Helen Kip was also the one who, in 1866, in Amoy's Second Church, started to tackle illiteracy amongst women by teaching them to read Romanized scripts. This was so successful that Mary Talmadge adopted the same approach at Amoy's First Church. (De Jong, p.129) And as if she wasn't busy enough already, Helen also helped out at the hospital!
Gospel Boats The Greenwich Reformed Church of New York City contributed to the contstruction of two "gospel ships," one of which was named the Greenwich. Rev. Leonard William Kip described this 'gospel ship' in a letter from Amoy dated August 6, 1863, to the Reverend Philip Pelts, secretary of the Board of Foreign Missions, Kip wrote:
Our new boat
has been completed, and has been in running order for several weeks.
A week ago Saturday I made my first trip in her up to Chioh-be [located
about fifteen miles from Amoy on the lower
estuary]. She is a good size, about 28 feet long, and sails very
well. She is both safer and much more comfortable than our old boat.
The cabin is comparatively spacious. Though only seven feet abeam,
it is large enough for our purposes. It has two births, eath 2 feet
wide, which are so low that they may also be used to sit on, and a table.
Being high enough to stand upright in, you will see that it is possible
to live in her quite comfortably for a day or two. And since we
cannot always get decent lodgings on shore, this becomes a great consideration"
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