A Life Given . . .

On the Slave Coast of West Africa in 1880, a land governed by witchcraft and superstition and where human life was cheap, torture by poisoning and boiling oil was the order of the day. Twins, believed to be children of the devil, were abandoned to die, and the mothers banished. But into that suffering came a woman who had been afraid to cross the street alone, who once refused to cross a field because there was a cow in it, who was terrified of crowds and public speaking. She immediately contracted malaria, responding with, “Heaven is now nearer to me than Britain.” Many times she looked death in the face—everything from crocodiles to angry witch doctors with cauldrons of oil. Meanwhile, she began saving twins from slaughter. If all the twins she rescued had remained alive, they would make up a big town, and it was her own money she used in all this endeavor. She said Christ had sent her with the Gospel and that He would look after the results.

Mary Slessor, as described in More Than Conquerors, John Woodbridge, editor.