28 October 2010

How is it that I've never heard of HER?

I've been reading the book Captured by Grace (David Jeremiah) and in chapter 8 of the book, he writes the following words:
"Can we allow ourselves to be such total captives of His grace that we trust Him completely with life's most terrible moments?" (p. 159)
Dr. Jeremiah then continues with the story of a lady who did answer "Yes!" to that question.  Helen Roseveare...
...was a British medical missionary in the Congo. She stayed at her post during some of the worst turmoil in the country's history in 1964. Many Westerners fled, but Helen believed she should be willing to make any sacrifice for a Savior who had made the ultimate sacrifice for her.
Someone tried to poison her, but her dog at the food and the attempt fails. Still she stayed on.... Even when her house was looted of every item within it, she refused to leave her post.
It's not as if Helen had no fear. She rarely slept well, knowing that at any moment someone could enter her home and take her life. But she concentrated on learning to trust God more absolutely.
On Saturday, August 15, 1964, a truckload of soldiers commandeered her hospital. Helen would later recall, "They were brutal and coarse, rough and domineering. Their language was threatening and obscene. All of us were cowed. We did exactly what they demanded, mostly without argument." They caught the local chief, flayed him alive, and ate him.
Eventually, Helen Roseveare was beaten, raped, and humiliated. Barely alive, she finally had to be taken from the country. During her long and painful days of recovery, she found herself closer to God than she had ever been before. She even loved the Congo more deeply than ever. There was no bitterness within her, though Helen had experienced terrible, mindless evil. It would have been so easy to demand of God why He allowed these atrocities, when she had been so faithful to His service. But in her heart of hearts, she felt that God's question would be, "Can you thank me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?" (p. 159-160)


This video contains a small piece of her testimony as she responds to a question. She begins speaking about 35 seconds into the video and continues for about 5 minutes. It is worth a listen!

What do you think?
How would you answer this question:

"Can you allow yourself to be such a total captive of His grace that you trust Him completely with life's most terrible moments?"


  1. I know you don't know me, but I was privileged to hear her speak many years ago at Columbia Bible College. Much earlier than that, in my mid-teen years I read an article written by her in a Sunday School paper, titled "Privileged to Be Single." It changed my thinking forever and I've never forgotten it. I've also never forgotten her chapel music. You should get some of her books to read.

  2. I heard her speak at Urbana in 1987. Made an impression on me. Last night we were just talking about this in our Bible study on Psalms of Ascent.


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