Peyton Adams Eubank
Missionary - Africa 1882 - 1892
Memories of a Missionary Tour of Duty in Africa:
1882 - 1892
by Laura Boardman Houchens Eubank
Wife of Rev. Peyton Adams Eubank
Missionaries To Nigeria 1882
Southern Baptist Foreign Mission Board, Richmond, VA.
Our Regular Program
After a few days, we were sufficiently recovered to return, to our own mission. We had left the native carpenters at work and we found the house, though unfurnished, yet in a condition that we could move into it. And crude as it was, we were glad of the privilege. So much had happened since we left it and so much was still to happen!
When our friends in Lagos heard of our experience some one said, Well if anything is to happen to anybody, those two will get it. I may add, too, that during that long spell of sickness in Lagos when neither of us were able to write home, our friends there suffered a long period of anxiety, for lack of letters from us.
We now tried to take up a regular program of work but were continually hindered by returning attacks of fever. Fortunately, we both rarely had it at the same time but took it each apart so we could take care of each other. This too we thought providential.
But I must not make this story altogether a record of fevers, as if there were nothing else in Africa. So will Just add here, then leave the subject, that these fevers continued to return at longer intervals as we became more acclimated as long as we remained in Africa. I doubt if fever pills are ever exempt, though, now, after all these years, as more civilization has crept in, and there are better sanitary regulations, people have learned to handle it better. But this did not occur while we were there. All foreigners were required to take a periodic furlough to recuperate from the effects of the climate. Government officials and business men returned home after 12 or 18 months. Some missions let their men return home after two years, some three. Our missions had a rule of four years for their people.
I have spoken of Abbeokuta, as a city of 200,000 inhabitants with a wall of fifteen miles surrounding it. This, as I have said was only an estimate for I am sure there was never a census taken. This, as the town to which I have said that Bishop Crowther returned as missionary twenty-five years after he was captures and carried away as a slave boy. "God moves in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform." How could he foretell in those days of misery that that was God's way of changing the life of an ignorant, naked heathen boy into the noble, useful life that he afterward lived? No more can we see the criticism of our trials and troubles. But God knows and, "I'd rather walk with him in the dark than walk alone in the light." I do not know the date at which his work there began but it must have been in the beginning of mission work there. I have said that our work had been there 25 years. At the same time one of our old missionaries by the name of Stone was there. A Wesleyan missionary there at the same time used to say, "The heathen in his blindness bows down to Work and Stone." So, evidently, these three missions had been there that long, also, a Catholic Mission.
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