This autobiography tells the story of a 25-year-old woman who gave up her life in Ireland to replace martyred missionaries in the Congo. Maud entered the Congo in the period when it was considered safer for missionaries to return in the aftermath of the Simba Rebellion. Helen Roseveare was one of those who also returned to the country around that time. Maud was a trained midwife and had completed her Bible College training to serve with WEC in the Congo. She knew well the legacy of death and suffering that awaited her. The story is an honest telling of the realities of missionary life in those days, days of adventure, excitement and sheer hard work.
The story reads like a novel, but of course, it is a true story. Throughout the ups and downs of missionary life, we have a glimpse into the faith of this remarkable woman. She was not afraid to question on one occasion, ‘I began to wonder what God was doing?’ Who amongst us have not had that experience?
Maud had to adjust to life without mod cons and the great need to train more midwives with little resources. She learned to be resourceful, always calling upon her greatest resource – her Lord. Her awareness of the spiritual need of her patients meant that she was eager to share the gospel and to encourage hospital staff to do the same. She joined in at the Bible School, teaching Old Testament to the third years.
More political trouble ensued, and Maud had to leave the country. Trouble in Zaire also made the whole region unstable. Was this the end of missionary work in this part of East Africa? Maud’s sense of God’s calling on her life was such that her eyes were always on the country and when she returned determined to work tirelessly to re-establish the work. But instability meant that the missionaries had to leave. A foray into Sudan brought Maud into danger again – more challenges to face.
In October 2000 Maud was able to get back to the Congo – perhaps the most dangerous time for her. She got to know more about God’s refining fire and how the Lord had purified his church in the Congo through decades of tribulations.
This book is an exciting, gripping read. Let me leave the last words with Maud: ‘In the midst of crisis, God was near. He is in control of everything that happens. When we truly believe this, it brings peace.’