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.

Medical Needs

Our work there went on much the same as at other places. We had our little school with native teachers, our mission children, many of whom in later years became our teachers and preachers, our Sunday services, our street preaching and our house to house visiting. We also had medical work of a kind. We had no hospital, no organized work in that line at all and no sort of appropriation for such work as I remember. The missionaries just did what they could with the simple equipment available and with their limited knowledge. When we were at home on furlough in 1886-87 my husband took work at the Medical School at the University of Missouri but this was all at his own expense and naturally very limited. It was during this year at home that our son was born. We had many applications for medical aid, some very simple and some that needed the equipment of a Mayo Institute. Some we were able to help and some died as they do everywhere.

One day we were standing on our verandah overlooking the city wall and saw a strange procession winding its way into the city. It seemed to be a number of men carrying another man on an improvised stretcher. They entered the city gate then we saw they were coming to us and entered our gate. We learned that the men had been on a hunting trip and had fallen into the hands of an enemy tribe, the Ilorins. Their man was attacked with

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a heavy sword-like knife, their chief weapon, and one hand was cut off. Also there were other wounds of a serious nature. My husband and Mr. Pinnock worked with him faithfully. We kept him at our house and treated him daily and he soon began to improve and eventually recovered.

They came with such strange conditions that we had no idea what was the trouble nor what to do. Such strange conditions! But they always had faith in the help of the white man. I remember one small child whose parents brought him to us. He was too far gone for human skill to help and we could not help him. But the one thing that impressed me was that in his delirium he constantly talked of his little brother or sister who had died and I wondered what was revealed to this little benighted mind that we could not see.

In later years and under later missionaries better medical work as well as a better educational system was introduced. Also manual training and other advanced work. But in those days people thought more of Evangelism than of educational and medical work. Naturally that too made slow progress, but it did make progress though slow. But as a rule the people who joined us were faithful, though not perfect. Who of us is? They always attended services and were good to contribute of their small means. In those things they surpassed many church members at home.


August 2000 - Notes - WRE Jr.

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