Use our images
Download images for
personal or educational
use for £2.99/US$5 each
All of these articles and images are available for licensing: click on an image to see further details and licensing options; contact us about licensing textual content.
Posted in Historical articles, History, Missionaries on Saturday, 15 June 2013
This edited article about missionaries originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 298 published on 30 September 1967.
Kathmandu, capital of Nepal
From the rim of the plains of North India to the borders of Tibet there lies a fascinating little country which may well claim to be ‘the roof of Asia’. Less than half the size of the British Isles, Nepal contains several of the world’s highest mountains, including Everest. Glaciers and waterfalls run into its lovely valleys, where a variety of crops grow in sufficient abundance to feed the ten million people of the land.
Among the people of Nepal are the Gurkhas, who, noted for their fighting qualities, have supplied men for regiments of the British and Indian armies for over a century. Many other Nepalis have settled in India as traders, but until recently Nepal was a closed land to foreigners.
Missionaries had long wanted to take the Christian faith to Nepal, but were unable to do so. The Hindu religion was the official state religion, and the only Nepalis to become Christians, or even to hear about Christianity, were those living in India. With their help, however, the Bible was translated into the Nepali language about 50 years ago.
Then, in 1954, there came a change in the centuries-old resistance to Christian missions. Permission was given for missionaries to enter Nepal under certain conditions and to undertake certain kinds of work. These included the opening of clinics and small hospitals, and the building of a number of schools. Also welcomed was a new type of missionary who would help in the improvement of agriculture and give technical training in light industries.
All this is a very long way from the popular idea that missionaries simply want to teach people how to read Bibles and use pocket handkerchiefs. The pioneer missionary in Nepal must be an expert in something which will be of help in the development of the country, otherwise he will find it hard to gain an entry, let alone a hearing for his message.
One of the sad things about Christian missions in the past 150 years has been the fact that different branches of the Christian faith have competed with one another in the countries where they have worked. This problem has sometimes been overcome by allocating different areas to the missions, but rivalries have still occurred. In Nepal, it was decided that this must, at all costs, be avoided. All the missionaries there are invited to work under the board of the Nepal United Mission. This pioneer organisation unites workers of 28 different organisations which have supplied 130 missionaries to Nepal. They include doctors, nurses, teachers, agriculturists and technicians from 13 other countries.
As well as being a pioneer mission to one of the world’s remotest areas, the work in Nepal is also a pioneer enterprise in unity.
Posted in America, Historical articles, History, Missionaries, Religion on Friday, 14 June 2013
This edited article about missionaries originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 294 published on 2 September 1967.
A few years ago I was motoring up the Nile valley, and late in the evening came to a town called Assiut. I had been given the address of Lillian Trasher, an American missionary there, and was assured that I could count on a room for my family and myself for the night at her home.
Once in the town, I asked a bystander for directions to ‘Miss Trasher’s home’. He smiled broadly and answered in Arabic “You want Mama Lillian? Everyone knows where she lives!”
It was true that her house was the best known in the town, for she had the largest family – nearly a thousand children! Her house was, of course, an orphanage, and it had grown to this huge size as a result of Lillian Trasher’s faith in God and love for the children of Egypt.
Read the rest of this article »
Posted in Africa, Bible, Historical articles, History, Missionaries, Religion on Thursday, 13 June 2013
This edited article about missionaries originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 292 published on 19 August 1967.
It would be hard to imagine a bigger contrast than Guildford and the Gobi Desert. One is a serene country town in England, while the other is a wild desolation in Mongolia. It was from the first of these, where she spent her childhood, that Mildred Cable went out as a pioneer missionary, to spend 15 years travelling between the Gobi oases.
Before doing so she had spent 20 years as a missionary in China, in company with two close friends, Eva and Francesca French. The three were always fascinated by the travellers they met from beyond the Great Wall, some of whom had come all the way over the desert from Russia. There were no missionaries working in the oases which marked the desert route, the Christian message had never been heard in many a village on that way, and the Bible was an unknown book to its travellers. This was a stirring challenge to the three friends.
In 1923, they set out to cross the Gobi desert. Their transport, which they named the ‘Gobi Express’, was a simple cart, with a top speed of about four miles an hour. In it they carried all their possessions, including cooking utensils, bedding, food, medical supplies and books. They slept in the primitive ‘khans’, or wayside inns, sharing the discomforts and even the dangers before which men of the country hesitated.
Read the rest of this article »
Posted in Adventure, Africa, Exploration, Famous news stories, Historical articles, History, Missionaries, News on Thursday, 13 June 2013
This edited article about Stanley and Livingstone originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 291 published on 12 August 1967.
Who said, “Doctor Livingstone, I presume”?
The answer is H. M. Stanley at Ujiji in November 1871.
In 1865, the great Scottish missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, returned to Africa at the request of the Royal Geographical Society to settle a dispute over the watershed in the region of Lakes Tanganyika and Nyasa.
The following year, some of his men returned to the coast with the news that he was dead, and the world mourned. But some were not convinced of Livingstone’s death and the government sent an expedition, which, though it did not find him, discovered proof he was alive. Letters from him confirmed this. However, there was no news after 1868, and once again it seemed probable that he was dead.
James Gordon Bennett Jr., son of the founder of the New York Herald, ordered H. M. Stanley, one of his most enterprising young reporters, to find Livingstone – dead or alive: it would be the scoop of the century!
On 21st March, 1871, Stanley, a young man of 29 who had never commanded an expedition, set off from Bagamoyo in what is now Tanganyika with two other white men and nearly 200 natives. By September, deaths and desertions had reduced the party to 53, with Stanley the only white man, and he had been continually stricken with fever.
After many adventures and hardships, the party at last heard news of a lone white man at Ujiji, on the borders of Lake Tanganyika, and on 3rd November the great meeting came. (Stanley thought it was the 10th, having lost track of the date when fever-ridden.)
Stanley was a brash, over-sensitive American who had been snubbed by many Englishmen, and this may have led him to ask his famous, over-polite question, especially as Livingstone was rumoured to be a difficult man. But the two got on famously, almost like father and son. They explored together and then Stanley travelled to England.
Though Stanley received a hero’s welcome, some resented his success, while others claimed that he had forged the letters Livingstone had given him and that he was an impostor. But more letters from Livingstone followed and Stanley’s detractors were silenced: he was the hero of two nations.
Posted in Historical articles, History, Medicine, Missionaries, Religion on Thursday, 13 June 2013
This edited article about missionaries originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 291 published on 12 August 1967.
A view of the palace at Vellore
The fact that 42 members of her family, through four generations, had between them given a total of a thousand years of missionary service meant just one thing to Ida Scudder when she was a teenage girl. It meant that she must at all costs do something different.
That was certainly how she felt when, in 1890, in answer to a telegram, she left college in her native Massachusetts to sail to India, where her mother was seriously ill.
Ida had not seen her parents since they left her six years before, to return to their missionary work in South India. Ida had been left in the U.S.A. to complete her education, but she now hoped that her stay in India would only last for as long as she was needed to help nurse her mother.
Yet as the weeks passed, the need of India for help became clear to Ida. She saw sick and hungry children by the score, men and women suffering from blindness which could be cured by skilled attention, others patiently waiting for a doctor to treat long-neglected diseases and injuries. At that time there was only one doctor for every 10,000 people in the country. Qualified women doctors were practically unknown, and the rules of their religion did not allow women to be the patients of men.
Despite her early reluctance, Ida knew she must become a doctor and a missionary. After her mother’s recovery, she returned to the U.S.A., entered a medical college, and qualified within a few years.
Back in India, she at first had a hard time to persuade people to accept her services. But gradually she won their confidence and in the little town of Vellore there began an enterprise which over the next half century was to amaze her fellow-missionaries, and make Dr. Scudder world famous.
She began her medical work in a small room, with two beds. Within two years she had treated 5,000 patients there. Her earnest appeals brought funds for a larger building, and by 1902 she was able to open her own hospital with 40 beds.
Her plans were always far ahead of her achievements. In 1909, she founded a school to train Indian nurses, and, 10 years later, one to train Indian women as doctors. This eventually became a medical college for men and women, and was made a department of the University of Madras.
A wonderful organiser, Ida Scudder was always ready to try something new. She drove a car in the early 1900s, flew for the first time in her sixties, and took her first ride on an elephant at the age of 84!
A few years ago when I visited Vellore, I was amazed to see that the whole town had become a vast medical centre. There were nurses’ homes, students’ hostels, special blocks for research, a training centre for lepers, and an international team of specialists in a dozen branches of medicine. And there, in her ninetieth year, was Dr. Scudder through whom all this had been achieved. Her simple comment on it all was, “God has been good to me.”
Posted in Aid, Historical articles, History, Medicine, Missionaries, Religion on Wednesday, 12 June 2013
This edited article about missionaries originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 290 published on 5 August 1967.
Henry Holland became an expert in treating eye disease by Clive Uptton
Hunting, shooting, and fishing – the traditional activities of an English country gentleman – were the chief interests of Henry Holland as a very young man. Born at Durham in 1875, he spent much of his youth in the border country of Northumberland. His education at Loretto School, near Edinburgh, helped to make him the seasoned sportsman that he always remained.
Shortly after his 18th birthday he decided to become a doctor, “in order to avoid going into the Church”, as he afterwards admitted. His father and grandfather had both been clergymen; Henry, though a sincere Christian, wanted to do something different.
It was while studying medicine at Edinburgh that he began to feel that he ought to become a medical missionary rather than an ordinary doctor. In 1900 he responded to an urgent appeal for someone to go to Quetta, in Baluchistan, so that the only missionary doctor there could go on leave.
In those days Quetta was an important outpost of the Indian army. There was often border warfare, involving the Afghans and the fierce Pathan tribes. Life was very primitive, with plenty of work for the Mission Hospital to which young Dr. Holland was posted.
He soon found that the commonest complaints were eye diseases of various kinds. He had no special training in the treatment of these, but found that ‘experience is the best teacher’. Within a year or two he had become quite expert in the surgery needed to cure the form of blindness known as ‘cataract’. In time he became an authority on this and other diseases of the eye, while dealing with many other kinds of sickness and injury, often under the most primitive conditions. In the hard travelling by horse and mule, his early skill at riding proved a great advantage.
Year after year he spent in this work, extending the hospital and opening up clinics in other centres. In 1935 he survived one of the most terrible disasters ever recorded. A violent earthquake destroyed Quetta; 20,000 people were killed in less than a minute. Dr. Holland was buried in the rubble of his house, but managed to escape, and to take a leading part in bringing medical aid to those in need and particularly in preventing the spread of disease after the earthquake.
Under his enthusiasm and enterprise the wrecked hospital was rebuilt. For another 30 years he continued to organise its work, and was joined by his two sons, who had both become doctors like himself. His great services to medicine were recognised by the conferring on him of a knighthood in 1936, and his reputation as an authority of international standing on diseases of the eye led to his being invited to advise on the condition of the Emir of Afghanistan in 1948.
He retired at the age of 73, but lived to be 90, after giving more than half a century of pioneer service in what is still a remote part of Asia.
Scores of thousands of people owe the recovery or the preservation of their sight to the bravery and devotion of Dr. Holland.
Posted in Africa, Historical articles, History, Medicine, Missionaries, Music on Tuesday, 11 June 2013
This edited article about Albert Schweitzer originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 288 published on 22 July 1967.
Two years ago, the death of a certain doctor in tropical Africa made world headlines. Tributes were paid to him in the newspapers of many nations, for he had become an international figure of the 20th century.
All this would have astonished Albert Schweitzer if it had been foretold in the years before the First World War, when he was a teacher of theology at the university of Strasbourg.
Born in the Alsatian town of Kaiserberg in 1875, Schweitzer owed something to both the French and German aspects of that small province, over which both countries claimed sovereignty, and over which they fought.
He was educated at Paris and Berlin, as well as at Strasbourg, showing early promise as an expert in the study of the Bible, as a gifted writer and lecturer, and as a brilliant musician. He published important books on biblical subjects and on the music of Bach, and gave organ recitals which put him in the front rank as a performer.
Yet he also found the time to study medicine and, on qualifying as a doctor in 1913, he gave up his university post in order to go out to a village called Lambarene, in French West Africa, and take up the work of a pioneer medical missionary.
Schweitzer’s work there had hardly started when war broke out between France and Germany. He was regarded as an enemy subject by the French authorities and spent much of the war years in an internment camp.
After his release, he returned for a time to Strasbourg, but in 1924 he was able to go back to the people of Lambarene, who so badly needed his help. The next 40 years of Schweitzer’s life were spent there, and from very simple beginnings he built up a hospital which became world-famous. Africans came to it from distant parts of the tropical forests, because his skill and care for the sick won the confidence of all who heard of him.
From time to time he visited Europe and America, where he lectured and gave organ recitals in order to raise funds for the support of his hospital and the extension of its buildings and equipment. Other doctors and nurses volunteered to work with him, and at last he saw the fulfilment of the dream which had drawn him away from the pleasant life of a European university to the hardships of pioneer Christian service in one of Africa’s most needy corners.
Schweitzer wrote several books on his African hospital, and the sale of these helped him to continue his work. He also continued to write important religious books, and kept up his musical studies. In 1954 he was awarded the Nobel Prize for his services to humanity. When he died in 1965 at the age of 90, he was well described in one newspaper as “The complete man, perhaps more than anyone in this present age.”
Posted in Africa, Historical articles, History, Missionaries, Religion on Tuesday, 11 June 2013
This edited article about missionaries originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 287 published on 15 July 1967.
As a young French cavalry officer, Charles de Foucauld spent most of his spare time in the pursuit of pleasure, by Clive Uptton
While the dashing young army officer was entertaining his friends in the cafes of Algiers, he could never have imagined that he would spend much of his life as a hermit in the desert which stretched away to the south.
But such was the strange transformation in the life of Charles de Foucauld. Born in 1858 at Strasbourg, he was brought up in the aristocratic circles to which his family belonged, and inherited the title of Viscount. Later, as a cavalry officer, he was not content with routine duties, and at the age of 24 resigned from the French army in order to carry out a dangerous expedition into Morocco. At that time this was a closed country to Christians, so the young explorer disguised himself as a Jewish Rabbi. Four years later he published an important book about his discoveries.
Even pioneer exploration did not satisfy the restless spirit of Charles de Foucauld. On his return he began to consider seriously the Christian faith, in which he had been brought up, but to which he had paid little heed. He visited the Holy Land, and in 1890 decided to become a monk in the strict Catholic order of Trappists. He lived at monasteries in France and Syria, working at the most menial tasks. In 1897 he left the Trappist Order and returned to France. There he was ordained as a priest, and went back to Algeria, where 15 years earlier he had spent a dissolute life as a young cavalry lieutenant. Now he lived alone in a native house on the edge of the Sahara, teaching, praying, and learning all he could of the customs of desert tribes.
In 1905 he set out for the heart of the desert, and settled in a little-known oasis village called Tanarrasset. Apart from the French army garrison, he was the only European. It was wild country, set in the grim Hoggar mountains, which rise up thousands of feet from the sands of the central Sahara. There, he was surrounded by the little-known tribes of the Tuaregs, an ancient race, unlike the Arabs among whom he had lived farther north.
Gradually he won their friendship and confidence. He not only learned to speak their language, but learned the strange characters in which they wrote it. In time he was able to produce a grammar and a dictionary of their speech, and to translate into it the first Christian teachings they had ever known.
De Foucauld made no converts to Christianity so far as we know, but he was greatly loved and respected by the Tuaregs, and the fact that they did not rebel against the French colonists at the outset of the first World War was ascribed to his influence. Because of this he was murdered in 1916 by agents of the fanatical Senussi tribe, who were revolting against the Europeans in Tripoli. He was buried in the heart of the Sahara, which he loved, and his memory is maintained by two French Missionary Societies which bear his name and carry on his work among the desert tribes.
Posted in America, Bible, Historical articles, History, Missionaries, Religion on Tuesday, 11 June 2013
This edited article about missionaries originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 285 published on 1 July 1967.
James Evans set about printing the word of God for a remote tribe of North American Indians using only the most basic materials to hand
Few people could claim the title of ‘pioneer’ with as much right as James Evans, who went out to Canada in 1840 and settled among the Cree Indians on the western shores of Lake Winnipeg.
He went out as a missionary, determined to share his knowledge of the Christian faith with this remote and previously unreached tribe. But to do this he had to begin from the very beginning, and manufacture everything he needed for his work from what lay to hand.
He began by learning to speak the Cree language, but to talk in this was not enough. He wanted to give the tribe a book in which every member could read for themselves about the Christian faith and its founder. But the Cree Indians had never had any books. Their language had never even been written down, and they had no idea of what we understand by an ‘alphabet’.
So James Evans had to invent signs to represent the sounds of the Cree language. When he had done this, and tested the result thoroughly, he translated St. John’s Gospel into Cree, and wrote it down in the sign-language he had devised.
But this provided only one volume of the Gospel, and to copy out others by hand would have taken far more time than he could spare. He was hundreds of miles away from the nearest town with a printing press, so if books were to be printed at all, they must be done on the spot.
This is where his title of ‘pioneer’ was truly earned. He began by using his pocket knife to carve type from pieces of wood, cutting the shapes of the letters he had invented. These were not the same as English letters; on the whole they were simpler in shape. From these wooden blocks he made clay moulds, and into these he poured lead which he melted down from the linings of tea-chests. In this way he obtained moveable, metal type for the work of printing.
But he still needed a printing press. This he devised from a press of another kind, one which the Indians used for pressing the skins of the animals they hunted. For printing ink he concocted a mixture of soot and fish oil, and for paper he took the soft, white lining of the bark of the birches, which grew in abundance round the lake. By pressing this and drying it, he obtained a rough paper not unlike the kind made centuries before from the papyrus reed by the ancient Egyptians. The printed sheets were collected and bound in covers made of deer-skin.
The Cree Indians were astonished at their first introduction to the world of books. A century later we may be scarcely less astonished at the ingenuity of the pioneer who produced them. Even today the alphabet he invented is still used by the older generation of Cree Indians, although their books no longer have to be produced in such a rough and ready fashion.
Posted in Adventure, Exploration, Historical articles, History, Medicine, Missionaries, Philanthropy on Monday, 10 June 2013
This edited article about Wilfred Grenfell originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 286 published on 8 July 1967.
Sir Wilfred Thomson Grenfell
Born in 1865, Wilfred Grenfell enjoyed many advantages as a boy. His father, who was a schoolmaster in Chester, was able to send him to a famous public school, Marlborough, after which he went to Oxford. After further study at the London Hospital, young Wilfred qualified as a doctor in 1886.
Work in an East End hospital had brought him into daily contact with people far less privileged than himself. Their poverty and lack of education touched him deeply, and aroused his instinct for community service. His strong Christian background made him look for ways of expressing this. As a result he spent his spare time working in boys’ clubs and running a Sunday School.
As a schoolboy Wilfred Grenfell had always been adventurous, and had developed a great love of the sea. His first work as a doctor took him on board the vessels of the North Sea fishing fleet, and he fitted out the first hospital ship for their use. But his real interest was in more distant places, and when an opportunity came for him to do pioneer work as a medical missionary in Labrador, he seized it with enthusiasm.
In 1892 he sailed in the ketch Albert for what was then a little known part of Eastern Canada, sparsely populated by the native Eskimos and the traders of the Hudson’s Bay Company. There were no hospitals or clinics, and so great was the need for medical help that Grenfell treated 900 patients in his first two months.
A great organiser and a true pioneer, Wilfred Grenfell made the needs of Labrador his life work. He travelled widely by ship along the coast, and by dog-sledge in the interior, often in very dangerous blizzards, sea fogs and storms. Although his main work was that of a doctor, he found himself gradually involved in many other aspects of community life, such as teacher, builder and administrator. As people came to love and trust him, he was often called in to settle disputes and advise those in trouble. He supervised the building of the first hospital in Labrador, and went on to open clinics and even an orphanage.
All this needed money, and to raise funds and recruit helpers, Grenfell gave lecture tours in Canada and Britain. The response was generous, and the International Grenfell Association was founded, through which gifts were channelled for the work he had started in Labrador. In 1900 he was presented with a complete hospital ship, the Strathcona, the first in a line of specially equipped vessels which still operate on the Labrador coast.
In 1927 this pioneer was knighted in recognition of his services, which he continued until his retirement in 1935. Before his death five years later, he had the satisfaction of seeing the work develop into an organisation with a secure future.