A well known missionary has been honoured in the Scottish Parliament, in a debate marking last Sunday’s International Women’s Day.
It has been a century since the death of Mary Slessor, a missionary to Nigeria who was raised in the slums of 19th century Dundee.
After leaving Dundee she went on to save the lives of hundreds of men, women and children. Her legacy continues in the Mary Slessor Foundation, a charity which still operates in Nigeria today.
During the debate two MSPs highlighted the impact Mary Slessor had because of her Christian faith with one member describing her as an “inspiration”.
Dave Thompson (SNP) talked of how Mary had been captivated by the Bible and the evangelism of David Livingstone, the prominent Scottish missionary who worked in Africa.
Thompson said: “Mary dedicated herself to Jesus and to her education, spending every moment expanding her knowledge”.
He said that during her time in Nigeria, Mary saved hundreds of lives. She stopped “sacrifices and severe punishments”, the “murder of twins” and the “outbreak of tribal war”.
The MSP continued: “Her unwavering belief in God, her bravery and her determination meant that she was greatly respected among the tribes.”
Remarking on the celebrations in Dundee and elsewhere to commemorate Mary Slessor he said, “she has become a worldwide inspiration for Christians and women alike.
Follower of Jesus
He concluded: “However, we must not forget that she was first and foremost a follower of Jesus Christ.”
Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser said he agreed with Dave Thompson that “we should never underestimate the impact of Mary Slessor’s Christian belief—it was that which drove her, and inspired her, to remarkable feats.
As a result, more than a century later, Mary Slessor continues to inspire and her foundation continues to help people in the developing world live longer and happier lives.”