Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar by Janet & Geoff Benge
Benge, Janet & Geoff. Christian Heroes: Then & Now – Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar. Seattle: YWAM Publishing, 1999. 208 pp. $8.99. Purchase at Amazon for much less.
I have reviewed a number of the Christian Heroes series by YWAM Publishing. You can read those here.
Mary Slessor is known for her trust in the Lord as she worked for thirty-nine years amongst the tribes of Africa’s Calabar region. In this introduction to this great missionary of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, your child will be introduced to what obedience to the calling of Christ can mean.
Divided into seventeen chapters, the young reader will be introduced to the Scottish woman with blue eyes and red hair submitted to the missionary call to serve in Africa. The fiery personality of Mary is seen (and rightly so) as a major help in her work for the Lord though it did sometimes get her in trouble. Her work with the children and the constant fear of lions and tigers become as much a part of the story as her work for the gospel. Her fight for human life–which was in direct opposition to the customs of the peoples she served–rounds out the story of Mary Slessor. Ultimately, the reader will see that her life was spent for the cause of the gospel.
I greatly appreciated the candor with which Mary Slessor was presented. She struck me as a “fire-brand” who was so committed to the Lord that she through caution into the wind so to speak. It is that fire that seems to have been lost in many churches today and it is that fire that ought to be rekindled. While Mary Slessor – Forward into Calabar is a children’s biography, many adults would do well to become acquainted with her life.
As with all YWAM books in the Christian Heroes series, this one also comes with a poetic work for younger children as well as a unit study designed to teach all about the region where Mary Slessor served. The artistry of the younger children’s work will engage the imagination of your child and even help you as an adult to better describe the surroundings. The unit study can be used for many different purposes and will also prove invaluable (if you use it) in the education of your child for the glory of the Lord.
If you use Tapestry of Grace (we do) you will be using this particular book. You will not be disappointed and may, as I did, learn something new about a great saint form the past. For those who wonder how women have served the Lord in the church through the centuries, Mary Slessor will be of great interest. I recommend this resource to all if only as an introduction to missions work.