I was tasked to do the translation of this paragraph in my native language, but the particular highlighted word "charges" is bothering me. Any help will be appreciated.
- anything or anybody committed to one's care or management
It's referring to the "Tahitian converts" as charges because they are "in the care" of the missionaries. In fact, there's a more specific definition when someone is under the spiritual care of a religious leader:
- Ecclesiastical. a parish or congregation committed to the spiritual care of a pastor.