Monday, August 25, 2008

Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God - Pt 4

Judith Nicholls writes

Helen Roseveare – Faithful in Loss
I found Helen Roseveare’s biography the most compelling not least because Piper allows Helen to speak largely for herself. It is an account of a gifted, somewhat arrogant and insecure woman who over decades of medical missionary service in the Congo grew into the likeness of the Lord Jesus. Congolese Christians brought her to an awareness of her own pride and incipient racism: her rape and imprisonment at the hands of the Simba rebels taught her humility, forgiveness and insight into suffering. The question arises: Why does God allow His servants to suffer?

Helen’s story shows two things that we need to apprehend. First we often enter ministry with the intention of “doing something for the Lord,” but God’s intention is that He will do something in us. Secondly the imagining of danger and suffering is often worse than the reality where we do indeed find that God’s grace is sufficient.

Picture of Helen Roseveare from

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Judith, I have to agree that I found Helen's story the most poignant. I guess that her struggles, although set in a completely foreign situation (to me at least), were the very same that I struggle with; pride, unbelief, and indwelling sin. And as you pointed out, the story is mostly from her own lips, rather than those of another who is piecing the story together after many years.

I don't think I have ever read such an honest account of a struggle with sin as hers dealing with her bad temper; I hope that the comfort I find in it is not so much to justify my own failings but as being encouraged that 'yes! God uses sinners like me.'

This story does seem to point to God's purpose (kindness?) in allowing us to suffer. Reading this book, plus a few other things happening at the moment, have also caused me to wonder how much, or perhaps how little, we are prepared to risk giving our lives away because of our love for Christ. Too big a question for here....