Give me this Mountain
‘Give Me This Mountain’ is the British title of the autobiography of Dr. Helen Roseveare, graduate in medicine from University of Cambridge, in the late 1940’s. A well-known missionary doctor and author, with several of her works still in print, she worked in the north-eastern province of the Belgian Congo with the Heart of Africa Mission in the 1950’s and 60’s. She established a substantial pioneer medical service and assisted the churches before Congo’s independence in 1960, and continued there for some years after, at a time when many had to flee for their lives. Helen tells her story in down to earth terms, from playing cricket for the ladies’ university side (a liberated woman even then), to her return to Britain after five months as a hostage in rebel terrorist hands. Her candid account is an antidote to any delusion that missionaries are saints who float about an inch off the ground, and see a blinding light from heaven when they receive ‘the call’. She almost failed in missionary school through her personal failings. Her own admitted stubbornness, pride, know-it-all attitude, and inability to work with others made her a liability. The final decision to send her overseas came when an incident with a broken washing line proved that she at least had a sense of humour in the face of adversity! Physical dangers and her personal ambition in the Congo often almost sank her, but her faith and hard work brought her through. Her story is one of bright mountains, conquered after experiencing the dark valleys and learning to give the glory to God.