December 11 and 18, 2016  Jane’s Heart to Heart   …Pastor’s Help Mate

“God never uses a person greatly until

He has wounded him deeply.

The privilege He offers you is greater than the price you have to pay.

The privilege is greater than the price.”

Helen Roseveare

Helen Roseveare 1925 – December 7, 2016)

Helen Roseveare was a famous English missionary to the Congo. This Thursday, Helen passed away at the age of 91.  Helen was born in 1925 at Haileybury College (Hertfordshire, England), where her father taught mathematics.

Raised in a high Anglican church, Helen’s Sunday school teacher once told their class about India, and Helen resolved to herself that she would one day be a missionary. Despite the Christian heritage of her family, and faithful attendance at church, Helen sensed a void in her life and distance from God.

She enrolled in Newnham College at Cambridge University to study medicine. There she joined the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union (CICCU) through the invitation of a fellow student.  She became an active participant in the prayer meetings and Bible studies, reading the New Testament for the first time. It was then that she became a Christian and, later said that her understanding of Christianity was more head knowledge than heart engagement.

Helen was an English Christian missionary, doctor and author. She worked with Worldwide Evangelization Crusade in the Congo from 1953 to 1973, including part of the period of political instability in the early 1960s. She practiced medicine and also trained others in medical work.

In 1953, she went to the Congo, where she was assigned to the north-east provinces. She built a combination hospital/ training center in Ibambi in the early 1950s, then relocated to Nebobongo, living in an old leprosy camp, where she built another hospital. In 1964 she was taken prisoner by rebel forces and she remained a prisoner for five months, enduring beatings and rapes. She survived all of this during the Congolese civil war because of the intervention of the villagers she had helped previously. She left the Congo and headed back to England after her release but returned to the Congo in 1966 to assist in the rebuilding of the nation. She helped establish a new medical school and hospital, as the other hospitals that she built had been destroyed, and served there until she left in 1973.

After her return from Africa, she had a worldwide ministry speaking and writing. Her life of service was portrayed in the 1989 film “Mama Luka Comes Home,” her touching story about the prayer of a 10-year-old African girl, for a hot water bottle to save a premature newborn baby after its mother died.   

Next week we will share that story.

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