Missions, Missionaries, Christian Service

Because of her father's drinking problem, 11-year-old Mary Slessor was putting in twelve-hour shifts in the mills, helping her family pay its bills. She found she could prop books on her loom while working. As she read about the land of Calabar (modern Nigeria), Mary grew convinced she should go there as a missionary. In 1876 she sailed for West Africa aboard the S. S. Ethiopia, which, ironically, was loaded with hundreds of barrels of whiskey. Remembering how alcohol had hurt her family, she said, "Scores of barrels of whiskey, and only one missionary."


But what a missionary! Mary was a combination circuit preacher, village teacher, nurse, nanny, and negotiator who single-handedly transformed three pagan areas by preaching the Gospel. She diverted tribal wars and rescued women and children by the hundreds. For forty years she labored as God enabled her.


If you feel like you're the only Christian at your school, office, or factory, rejoice! Don't underestimate how God can use you. One-plus-God is a majority in any setting. (Turning Point Daily Devotional, 1/25/04)