Letters From Addie
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Chapter 12: Addie During the Revolution, 1910-1921
Addie had been on the safety of Texas soil less than a year when she faced one of the most difficult periods of her life: the sudden illness and death of her younger sister, Emma, which occurred while Addie was already bearing the burden of caring for her mother, who was in declining health. When writing to Dr. Willingham, Corresponding Secretary of the Foreign Mission Board, about Emma's death, Addie wrote:
The death of my dear sister Emma has been the greatest bereavement that has befallen me during my twenty-six years in Mexico. It was so sudden and unexpected and coming upon me when I was all tired out from long nursing. It was a shock to me that I could scarcely bear and a grief that only the Father knows. My comfort I find in Him. "All things work together for good," and I am trying to leave it with Him and look for the good He has promised.1
Addie was not one to sit idly by grieving while awaiting the end of the Revolution. She rose above her grief and responded to this time of waiting by continuing her mission work right where she was. She resumed her place as Sunday school teacher at her hometown church, and she was elected president of the Women's Missionary Society. But that was not her calling. She longed to work with the Mexican people, so in 1916 she took a position as a public school teacher in a small Mexican school at La Pryor in southwest Texas.2 Addie's position as teacher gave her access to the homes of her students, giving her the opportunity to organize a Sunday school for the Mexican children. Addie once wrote that the school was "well attended by the Mexican colony."3
After a year, Addie was called away from La Pryor to come home and take care of her ailing mother. While at home, she went to nearby Temple, Texas, and established a mission for Mexican refugees who were also seeking safety from the Revolution.4 For most refugees it was like going into another world. For the first time in their lives they were free from an oppressive government. They had adequate food and clothing. Many of them entered into the local churches and heard the Gospel for the first time. Through her mission work, Addie continued to shower love upon the Mexican people, and by her teaching she was able to lead many of them to her dear Savior.
By Charlene Ochsner Carson
Page last updated: December 26, 2018
Footnotes:1Letter from Addie Barton, Salado, Texas, April 3, 1911 to Dr. Willingham, Corresponding Secretary, Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, Virginia. From the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives collection, Nashville, Tennessee.
2Letter from Addie Barton, Salado, Texas, March 17, 1916 to Dr. Willingham, Corresponding Secretary, Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, Virginia. From the Southern Baptist Historical Library and Archives collection, Nashville, Tennessee.
4Chastain, J. G. "Miss Addie Barton, An Appreciation." Baptist Standard, December 22, 1921, Baptist Standard Publishing Co., 711 Slaughter Building, Dallas, Texas, p. 30.