Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar

post written by Emma Filbrun

Mary Slessor Forward into Calabar, by Janet Geoff BengeTitle: Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar
Author: Janet & Geoff Benge
Series: Christian Heroes: Then and Now series
Major Themes: 19th Century, Mary Slessor, Biography, Africa, Missionaries, Christian Missions
Synopsis: The story of the first missionary to go inland in Western Africa.

As with all the books in this series, this is a great retelling of the life of a famous Christian. Mary is shown as an 11-year-old whose family moves to the city of Dundee, Scotland to make a better life. Instead, her father slides farther into drunkenness and within a few years only half of the family is still living. Mary’s life is a constant round of drudgery in the cotton mills, until she becomes a Christian and begins teaching Sunday school to children in the slums. After she gives up all hope of becoming a missionary, when her last brother dies (she was to be his assistant on the mission field), she hears of David Livingstone’s death and God calls her to become a missionary to Africa. All her life, she has been reading stories of missionaries in Calabar, in what is now known as Nigeria, and is thrilled when the missionary society sends her there!

Life in Calabar is not easy, either, but Mary knows it was where God had called her and she never regrets going there. She becomes known, eventually, as the White Ma, and makes an incredible difference in the lives of countless Africans who had been enslaved to their ancient customs. She boldly stands up to chiefs and witchdoctors who oppose her and never allows her focus to waver from the calling God has given her.

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