by Mrs Seaton

"Who would true valour see,
  Let him come hither;
  One here will constant be,
  Come wind, come weather;
  There's no discouragement,
  Shall make him once relent;
  His first avowed intent
  To be a pilgrim."

Dear Boys and Girls,

The words above from John Bunyan's hymn, make me think often of the actions and courage, and bravery of many great missionaries who have gone off to far-off lands to preach about Jesus. One of these brave missionaries is Mary Slessor, who could certainly be called "very courageous."

She was born into a poor home in Aberdeen, but, although poor in such things as money and clothes and food, she was rich in that she had a mother who loved the Lord Jesus and His gospel, and saw to it that Mary and her brothers and sisters heard much about Jesus. Their mother's stories set their hearts alight as often she told them of what she had heard in Church about the black people of Africa, and especially of the African king in Calabar, who had offered land and a welcome to any missionary who would go out and help them and tell them about Jesus.

One evening, when their mother had gone off to church, the children were playing at holding a service. Mary turned the armchair round, while Robert, her big brother, climbed into it for a pulpit. Then they all started their service - praying, singing hymns, and then, Robert tried to preach like the minister. "The heathen must not worship idols of wood or stone," called out Robert. At the end of their service, Mary said, very earnestly, "I am going to be a missionary." " You canna," said Robert, "girls canna be missionaries, but you shall go with me, and when I preach to the black people you shall hide in the pulpit." However, this was a vow that Mary had made from her heart, and years later, when Jesus really was her Saviour, and she was fully trusting in Him, God called her to be a missionary.

Mary and her family moved from Aberdeen to Dundee, and there she started work as a weaver in a mill. She always carried her Bible with her, and she would lay it on her loom, and read it any spare moment she had. One day as she was reading, Jesus seemed very close, and these words from the Bible reminded her of her vow: "Go ye and make disciples of all nations."

It was still a number of years before Mary went to Africa, but, you see, boys and girls, (and we can learn a lesson from this) Mary Slessor became, first of all a "missionary" where she was – at home – and a very courageous one, too. She tried her best whenever she could to tell other boys and girls about Jesus and His love. One day she and some friends decided to have an open-air meeting, but tough boys came along and tried to wreck the meeting. The leader carried a lead weight at the end of a piece of cord, and swung it round and round his head. Nearer and nearer, swung the lead, until it shaved Mary's brow. But she stood firmly where she was, and the boy suddenly let the lead weapon fall limp from his hand. "She's game, boys," he called, and then he and the rest of the gang followed her into the meeting. At that meeting, the gang leader's life was changed and he became a true Christian.

Many many times Mary showed courage and determination like this, for, you see, boys and girls, she loved the Lord Jesus and had truly vowed to follow Him and serve Him. First of all at home, and then, later on, when she went to Africa.

In coming magazines, perhaps, I'll tell you of some of her courageous exploits in Africa, for she did many, many brave things there, too.

Cheerio for now,
  Mrs Seaton

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This Page Title – Boys & Girls Page – "Who would true valour see" – Mary Slessor and her desire to serve God
The Wicket Gate Magazine "A Continuing Witness".
Internet Edition number 75 – placed on line November 2008
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