‘I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith’ (2 Timothy 4:7)
2016 saw the death of many prominent people - one being Helen Roseveare.
A Cambridge graduate in medicine, Helen felt called to work as a Christian missionary.
In mid-March of 1953, she arrived in what was then Belgian Congo where she later
founded a training school for nurses. In 1955, she was transferred to run an abandoned maternity and leprosy centre, with no other medical help for 150 miles.
She was the doctor, but also project manager, brick-layer, mechanic, nurse, mid-wife and evangelist.
Congo became independent; civil war broke out; one day rebel soldiers turned up. They destroyed the medical facilities, and imprisoned Helen. She describes what happened after she tried to escape:
“They found me, dragged me to my feet, struck me over head and shoulders, flung me on the ground, kicked me - the sickening searing pain of a broken tooth, a mouth full of sticky blood, my glasses gone. Beyond sense, numb with horror and unknown fear.”
On October 29, 1964, Helen was brutally raped.
She later pointed to God’s goodness despite this great evil: “Through the brutal heart-breaking experience, God met with me with outstretched arms of love. He was so utterly there, so totally understanding, and suddenly I knew that His love was unutterably sufficient.”
After five months, she was liberated, but in March 1966 was back, establishing yet another medical centre.
She counted it a privilege to suffer for her Lord. She died on December 7, 2016, aged 91. She had finished the race.
Olivet Evangelical Church