Birthdays on December 2

Mary Slessor (1848 to 1915)
Humor and pluck carried her through.

Pioneer missionary to Calabar, West Africa, Mary Slessor was born in Aberdeen, Scotland. Reared in a very poor home, and working long hours in a dreary factory, she received little formal education, but on hearing of the death of David Livingstone, she was challenged to go to Africa, At 27 she left her homeland and settled in Calabar, Nigeria, where she literally poured out her life for the people she loved. In 1896 she built a two-room native shed for her headquarters. Mary Slessor forged ahead where many men feared to tread. Although her life was in constant danger, and she was plagued with ill-health, she finally won the confidence of the tribal chiefs by her fearlessness and dedication, her medical and linguistic skills, and her great sense of humor. Her work was not in vain. She succeeded in ending many abuses such as exposure of twins, killing wives when their husbands died, human sacrifice, trial by ordeal and the like. Those who followed her found a vital Christian influence in Nigeria.


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