About Malcolm Allen's story, it is strange. I can't think Malcolm would have been so naive to think he could leave Bethel, about 53ish yrs old, be gone for 12+ yrs. (were they even pioneering then?, no word about that) and think Bethel would consider him, then at about 65+ yrs. old . Back then, anyone leaving Bethel for anything, would not expect he would be called back. I think Malcolm liked Bethel, but not so sure about Gracie. She rarely smiled, unless that was just her way. Many or some husbands like that Bethel life. But many to most, the wives don't, but they accept their "lot in life." (ugh,,doesn't that make you start to choke?)
So what was the purpose of this article? Only thing I can come up with. And that is a switch. But perhaps, it's the Bethel's version, one's serving a long time, fulltime at Bethel, how things can change (though Malcolm had to leave due to personal family need) but Bethelites, even old ones have to leave but due to "downsizing" now-a-days. The article in the beginning states "Life is unpredictable at times, uncertain, and even hard to deal with. But . . . . blah,blah") Bethel sometimes, back then by some was considered a career. There is no promise of a "career" there anymore.
Maybe this is a version, of the crazy happy ending for ones that have to leave Bethel, though old, and can still live "happily ever after."