Saving The Twins


Red-haired Mary Slessor went from Scotland to Africa to tell the people there about Jesus Christ and salvation. She began her work in Caliber by teaching a school for little Black children. She not only taught them, but ran races and climbed trees with them. They loved her, and she loved them.

Mary also traveled to various villages to share the good news of Christ. The people loved to hear her. Crowds gathered whenever she came.

"It hurts my heart to see how vicious some of the people are!" Mary said to a missionary friend after returning from a trip to an outstation. "And those awful, ugly, cruel gods they pray to!"

"Ah, lassie," said her Scottish missionary friend, "you haven't seen anything yet! Many of these people are slaves and are treated worse than dogs! But the way they treat twin babies and their mothers is one of the worst things they do."

"What do they do to twins?" asked Mary.

"They kill them. They either bury the twins alive after they are born or throw them out in the bush, where they die of hunger."

"But why?"

"They believe that the father of one of the twins is an evil spirit. Since they don't know which twin, they kill both."

"This must be stopped!" Mary exclaimed. "I'll fight it as long as I live! Jesus loves twins just as much as He loves other children. The people must learn that God commands, ‘Thou shalt not kill.' I will teach them!"

Mary went to a big village and stood up before a crowd of people. "It is very wicked to kill twin babies!" she declared. "It is a sin against God, for He said, ‘You shall not kill people.' Jesus loves all children–twin babies, too."

The chief came to her. "My people will not listen to you," he said. "They are afraid of evil spirits."

But Mary was not discouraged. One day, when she heard that twins were born, Mary rushed over to the house and took the babies before they were killed. She brought them to her house and took care of them.

"She'll have much trouble, taking an evil spirit into her house," said one villager. "Just wait and see!"

But time went by, and nothing happened. Mary rescued more twins and added them to her family. The people were amazed to see how healthy Mary's little children were, and they began to see that Mary was right. They called her "the White ma who loves babies."

Sometimes slaves died while giving birth. The newborn babies were typically killed, because nobody wanted to be bothered with them. So Mary began taking the little orphans into her home also, along with some of the mothers.

One day news came to Mary that twins had been born to a slave woman and that they had been placed into a box. Shoving the box into the woman's arms, the people had driven her out of the village with rocks. Mary went out to meet the woman, who was followed by a screaming, howling mob.

"Go back to your village!" Mary cried to the people. Then she took the box from the woman. Opening it, she found that one baby was still alive. Mary added the dear little baby to her growing family. The owner of the slave woman later came and took the baby back.

One evening Mary sat on the porch of her mission house talking to the children. Suddenly they heard a loud noise, the beating of drums and men singing loudly.

"What's going on?" Mary exclaimed. She rushed out to meet the crowd. When she arrived, the shouting stopped. The king came forward to meet her.

"Ma, we have had a meeting," said the king. "We have made new laws. The old laws were not God's laws. Now all twins and their mothers will be allowed to live in town." The king went on to say that there would now be a severe penalty imposed for killing twins or hurting the mother.

"God bless you for making those wise laws!" exclaimed Mary.

Laughing and shouting for joy, the mothers of the twins living at the mission, and other mothers too, gathered around Mary. They clapped their hands and, with tears running down their cheeks, cried, "Thank you. Thank you!"

Mary Slessor saved the lives of many babies. She also continued to help people come to know the Lord and live in His ways. 

Muriel Larson