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"Gerlinger Wochenblatt" July 26, 2007:

Songs and Photos in the Luggage 

Delegation from Hong Kong went on the Traces of Missionary Wilhelm Maisch - The Search started in Gerlingen/Germany

Chinese on journey round the world love to go to Neuschwanstein and Heidelberg, but also to Gerlingen. Submontane Gerlingen's hill with Solitude palace on top a delegation from Hong Kong went on Saturday on the traces of missionary Wilhelm Maisch. The visit was start of a ten day tour around Germany.

Translated into English from the German text of MS. IRIS VOLTMANN

Gerlingen/Germany - 103 years ago Wilhelm Maisch left Gerlingen for the south of China to preach the gospel there. The Chinese appreciated him first of all for his tolerance. For the more than 20 travelers the visit in Germany was mainly a return to the cradle of their Christianity.

Because Gerlingen will not be the only one Christian important stop on their tour. In the coming days they will visit some more birthplaces of significant missionaries from the Southern German area. Amongst others they will stop in Esslingen, Ulm and in Switzerland. Wilhelm Maisch had joined in the year 1904 the Baseler Mission for working in South China. Far away from his homeland he was held in great esteem, because he treated the people on a equal basis, tells Gerlingen's historian Mr. Imanuel Stutzmann.


In a church service in the church Petruskirche the Chinese commemorated the in the year 1924 deceased Maisch. Here he had been christened when he was a small child and been confirmed in his youth.

The group's visit came off by chance. About one year ago Mr. Thomas Tsang, Secretary General of Tsung Tsin Mission in Hong Hong, had popped up at Reverend Sabine Goller-Braun's front door.

For hours he had searched on Gerlingen's graveyard in blistering heat for the grave of Wilhelm Maisch. His search stayed unsuccessful. But the helpless Secretary General didn't want to give up. And the Reverend asked without further ado Maisch's niece Erika. She knew that her uncle had died in China and had been buried there. That information helped Thomas Tsang for a start.


Back in his homeland he started immediately a new search. This time successful. But the grave of the Gerlingen missionary was totally destroyed and overgrown with numerous plants. Tsang repaired the grave stone and put everything in order. Then - six weeks ago - he contacted Gerlingen. With a group of more than 20 people on his coat-tails he wanted to visit Maisch's hometown. In his luggage he had photos of the gravesite.


After the party has had a look-around in Rebmann House and in the church Petruskirche they left for their next travel destination.


But not without signing the visitor's book of Rebmann House before.

© "Gerlinger Wochenblatt"

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