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Madeline (Madge) Forgie

1923-1924 / NZBTI Diploma

In 1925, Madeline (known as Madge or Maggie) sailed for India to work with the Poona and Indian Village Mission in Khed Shivapur, west India (south of what was then Bombay).

In 1934, she wrote:

“I am at Khed, amongst the people I love and the work I love – preaching the Gospel. I live here with an Indian woman and, as far as the weather permits, we are out amongst the people. There are some 300 villages in this part and it means, to reach them all, I can only visit each village once a year. So, from November to March, I am out camping. Last year I had a big camping season 4 ½ months, and we walked over 530 miles. Results here are hardly seen as yet … Had it not been for BTI studies I am sure I would never have been able to master the language, which I now speak as freely as English. In fact, I do most of the preaching myself.” [1]

Madge was supported by the Pentecostal Church of New Zealand (PCNZ – now Elim Church). In 1936, PCNZ funded the purchase of an acre of land for £18 upon which a mission station could be constructed, allowing Madge a base from which her work could ‘radiate’ out. By that time, Madge was leading the Kamala Gospel Mission and had oversight of a church of 29 members. In 1941, PCNZ provided the funds for the purchase of a horse and cart to aid Madge in her travels. She was later joined in her work by Mr and Mrs Troke, independent Pentecostal missionaries from New Zealand.[2]

Madge remained in India for 50 years – only returning to NZ for furlough twice, in 1930 and 1935. She retired in 1957, and chose to remain in India, passing away at age 80 on 19 November 1975. The Bible Training Institute was notified of her death by Dr Graham Truscott, a NZ missionary in Poona (now Puna). He wrote of her passing:

“She had spent most of her last days residing in our house before she had to be hospitalised. She was in her 81st year, and really died of old age. On September 11 we had had at Poona New Life Centre her 50th anniversary of her coming to India. For 50 years she faithfully served the Lord in this land and kept excellent health. In all those 50 years she only visited New Zealand twice. It was her desire to be buried in India and we had a very triumphant memorial and funeral service in her remembrance.” [3]

[1] “BTI Notes”, The Reaper, Vol 12/9, October 1934, p. 222.

[2] The information on Madge’s service under the auspices of the Pentecostal Church of NZ is gleaned from an unpublished thesis by Linda M. Flett, “Search for Resonance: A History of the Elim Churches in New Zealand 1922-2000”, 2021.

[3] “Graduates News”, Reaper, Vol 56/1, January 1976, p. 45.

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