Sunday, June 11, 2017

Great Missionary Stories- 3- Dr. Johnson Cherian

Mary Mitchell Slessor, born in Scotland in 1848, had a godly upbringing because of her mother; she worked hard for her family from age 11 to meet ends because her father was an alcoholic and brought their family to financial ruin. She became a Christian at a young age and dreamed of doing mission work in Africa. In 1875, at age 27, she sailed for Calabar which is in Nigeria now. She worked as a school teacher initially, learned the local language Efik and on her second assignment there, she decided to live with the locals and do pioneering Christian ministry among them. "Twin Murder" was a custom among the locals there, as they believed that twins resulted from a curse and one child was from an evil spirit. Both babies were killed and the mother was shunned by the locals.

Mary relentlessly interceded in the presence of the Lord against this injustice and fought against this evil practice, risking her life, rescuing many twins and mothers from people controlled by witchcraft. God granted Mary grace and favor in that, the local tribes finally accepted her in their midst. She rescued hundreds of twins over time and after 15 years of living with the Okoyongs, the tribes made her a judge for the whole region. She told them about the love of God for them and that he had sent Jesus, his son to die for them, so that they could have eternal life.

She prayed for the sick, cared for the ailing and taught them to live right; all through living in a mud hut and wearing simple cotton clothing. She lived with 7 children that she had adopted from the tribes. Janie, her oldest adopted daughter, helped her much in her missionary work later on. She did more pioneer work in many regions like Itu and Ibo and paved the way for future missionary work. In the year 1915, almost 40 years after coming to Africa, she died at the age of 66, a truly blessed servant of the Most High; the natives cried bitterly, "Our mother is dead. Everybody's mother has left us." She was affectionately called "Ma" by all.

Afterthought- Jesus said, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him (her) who believes." (Mark 9:23)
The courage, the grit, the resolve, the faith to go alone in to battle with evil, the steadfastness to purchase souls for Christ at any cost, places her name among the greats of the Christian faith.

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