Mary Slessor of Calabar

“… learn from Me …”

— Matthew 11:29

Would you like to know a great spiritual secret? You can find it in three of Jesus’ words: “Learn from Me.” When we learn from Him, He will change us from the inside out. Let’s consider the example of a great heroine of the faith who submitted to and learned from her Savior.

Mary Slessor, originally from Scotland, is considered one of the first female missionaries. According to her own testimony, she had lived as a “wild lassie” until, by God’s grace, she entered the kingdom and eventually traveled to faraway lands to spread the Gospel. Barely over five feet tall, Mary was nevertheless a giant among people, a woman of tremendous courage and faith.

In her passion to share the Good News with those who desperately needed to hear it, Mary set off to Calabar, the ghetto of Africa. Calabar comprised the worst of nature, both environmental and human. The people who dwelt there were bloody, savage, and cruel. They were fetish worshipers, headhunters, and cannibals. Nonetheless, Mary proclaimed to them the Gospel, and, astoundingly, God opened up their hearts. They became willing to hear. One after another they yielded their lives to Christ. And as they did so, they abolished the horrible customs that had plagued them for years.

Mary Slessor gave of herself to Africa for forty years. When she died, thousands of former fetish worshipers, headhunters, and cannibals mourned, saying, “The mother of us all is dead.” What was the secret of Mary’s life? She had learned from Christ. She had learned of His compassion and His concern for souls. She had learned of His courage. Mary Slessor prayed to and trusted God, saying that prayer was the greatest power God has given into our hands for service. She believed that by God’s power she could do all things.

I hope you, too, take this great secret to heart. As you learn from Christ, rely on Him, and seek to do His will, He’ll make His power available to you for whatever challenges you face.

“Jesus Christ is the center of all,
and the goal to which all tends.”
Blaise Pascal