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We Are Called to Africa

We Are Called to Africa


God continued to answer prayer during WGM’s early years. He continued to place the undeniable call to missions on the hearts of His people. At times, answering that call seemed like it would be impossible, but God provided in miraculous ways. One such example appears in Robert Smith’s story of being called to Africa in 1927, when WGM’s only ministry location was China. This story first appeared in The Best of the Story: Miraculous Answers to Prayer by WGM retiree Burnis H. Bushong and has been adapted for this issue. Burnis went to be with the Lord on May 17, 2020. 

“I, the LORD, have called you in righteousness.” Isaiah 42:6 (NIV)

Four college men were visiting the windy city of Chicago. Their mission was clear: God had called them to Africa. They had driven from Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, with great faith that God would provide a way. Little did they know there were big obstacles that only God could move.

A Chicago traffic cop pulled alongside their Model T Ford on Michigan Boulevard to give a blunt word to the four college students: “Either drive faster or get off the boulevard!” The students had put down the top of their car to see the sights of the big city, but sightseeing was incidental to their Chicago visit. They had driven to meet the World Gospel Mission Board of Directors in its 1927 session. Their plea before the board was, “We are called to Africa. Will the mission board consider sending us?”

The treasurer frankly stated that the China field, which was the only field, was not adequately supported and funds were low. However, Mrs. Beatrice C. Beezley, “Mother of WGM Prayer Bands,” had a word of faith in her response: “It is not how much money we have, but is it God’s will for us to open work in Africa?”

Rev. C. W. Ruth, president of the board, suggested prayer. Each one prayed fervently for clear guidance. As the quartet of young men left the room, Rev. Woodford Taylor of the China field put his arm around Robert Smith and reassured him, “Don’t be discouraged. I believe God is in this. Hold steady and He will get you to Africa.”

“It is not how much money we have, but is it God’s will for us to open work in Africa?”

The next morning, Rev. Ruth broke some electrifying news before the board and the college students, who had returned to hear their decision. “After we dismissed the meeting yesterday, the mail came. In it was a letter from an attorney in Iowa who was settling an estate. He told us there would be $5,000 from this estate ‘if and when you open work in Africa.’” This God-timed letter convinced all that God was guiding their thoughts regarding work in Africa.

Three of the four men did get to Africa. Robert Smith became a pioneer missionary among the Kipsigis people and led the WGM missionaries in Kenya for many years.


PRAY: What doors are you trusting God to open? Are you living in a way that makes you rely on God’s provision, or are you staying within the safety of your own abilities? Ask that God will increase your dependence on Him and guide you in your next steps in life.

GO: Do you have a heart to reach others with the Gospel? Do you feel called to do ministry in a different culture? Discover ways you can get involved around the world at

The Call (Spring/Summer 2020) 110 Years of Prayer

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