Skip to main content

Full text of "Journeys In Persia And Kurdistan ( Vol.Ii)."

See other formats

LETTER xsvm   A REQUEST FOR TEACHERS                  281

The people of Gawar express great anxiety for
teachers. The priests and deacons must work like
labourers, and cannot, they say, go down to Urmi for
instruction. A priest, speaking for two others, and for
several deacons who were present, said, ef Beseech for a
teacher to come and sit among us and lighten our dark-
ness before we pass away as the morning shadows. We
are blind guides, we know nothing, and our people are
as sheep lost upon the mountains. When they go down
into the darkness of their graves we know not how to
give them any light, and so we all perish."

This request was made in one of the large semi-sub-
terranean dwellings, which serve for both men and beasts
in Kurdistan. The firelight flickered on horses and
buffaloes, receding into the darkness, and the square
mud-platform on which we sat was framed by the long
horns and curly heads of mild-eyed oxen.

I answered that it would be very difficult to raise
money for such an object in England. " But England is
very rich," the priest replied. I looked round, and the
thought passed across my mind of Him " who though He
was rich yet for our sakes became poor," whose life of
self-denial from the stable at Bethlehem to the cross on
Calvary is the example for our own, and whose voice,
ringing down through ages of luxury and selfishness, still
declares that discipleship involves a love for our brethren
equal to His own. Yes, "England is very rich," and
these Syrians are very poor, and have kept the faith
Ijhrough ages of darkness and persecution.

This plain, the richest in Kurdistan, is also most beau-
tiful. In winter a frozen morass, it is not dry enough
for sowing till May, and even June. This accounts
for the lateness of the harvest. The Jelu mountains, the
highest in Central Kurdistan,a mass of crags, spires,
and fantastic parapets of rock, with rifts and abysses of