Venturing Into Africa - C.T. Studd

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

As my future son-in-law and I plunged through the jungle, I reconsidered our decision. Having served as a missionary in China and India, difficulties weren't foreign to me. But getting lost in the African jungle full of animals, mosquitos, and cannibals was new to me and certainly new to Alfred.

As we carried our bicycles we kept an ear out for any danger. I grinned wryly to myself. Trying to start a mission station in the interior was crazy enough. On top of that I was close to fifty years old and not in the best of health. We were venturing into little known territory and the few who visited and returned had wild stories of those who attempted to kill them. Many warned us not to go but both Alfred and I knew we were meant to go and share the gospel with the people in the area.

And because of that we were lost and trying not to stumble upon any cannibals. Just as I was pondering cannibals we heard a rustle behind us and spun around. A man stood before us, smiling, but the smile didn't reassure us. His teeth were sharpened, which could only mean one thing. He was a cannibal. Alfred gulped and I shifted my weight, praying hard.

But the man held out a basket and we saw several sweet potatoes and maize. Using gestures we communicated that we were willing to trade for food. He grinned, made the exchange, then beckoned for us to follow him. Figuring he didn't mean to harm us, we picked up our bicycles and went after him. About an hour later we came upon a village. Alfred leaned over to me. “Do you think they're going to eat us?”

I shook my head. “I don't think so. Compared to the animals around here, we'd be a slim meal.”

It turned out the villagers had no intention of making us into dinner. After confirming the fact we were lost they set us in the right direction, shook our hands, and waved as we walked away. I breathed a prayer of relief and gratitude. We had come out of the situation alive and made friends in the process. Maybe we would live to set up the mission station after all.

Charles Thomas Studd, more commonly known as C.T. Studd, was born in England on December 2, 1861. He competed professionally in cricket but chose to become a missionary. He spent his life serving God in China, India, and Africa and started what later became the Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade (WEC). He married Priscilla Livingstone Stewart in 1888 and together they had four daughters. He wrote The Chocolate Soldier (1912), Christ's Etceteras (1915), and the famous poem Only One Life, 'Twill Soon Be Past. He died on July 16, 1931 at the age of seventy.


Lizzie - January 25th, 2024 at 11:36am

C.T's story is worth remembering, thanks for sharing these story's!

Beth - February 5th, 2024 at 1:29pm

"Only One Life, 'Twill Soon Be Past" is so inspiring and a great reminder!