Roland-designs , Virginie's blog.

"Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Cannibals won for Christ

   In the early autumn I was browsing the local lion club book sale when I found this little English book in the old books corner.

   I do have something for old books, especially biographies so I bought it along with several other volumes.

   The story is that of a Norwegian missionary, Rev Oscar Michelsen to the  cannibal island of Tangoa, New Hebrides in the late 1800's.

   The story is quite amazing, it would have taken a lot of courage and dedication to volunteer as a missionary to isolated and dangerous islands in a time when communication with the outside world would be cut off for months, if not years.

   At the end of the book he gives a resume of other missionaries who had worked and opened missions in the surrounding islands, many gave their life for the cause of bringing the gospel to the islanders, some martyrs died from natural causes, others were killed and eaten !

   Mr Michelsen's writing gives a detailed insight into his work, and the way life was for missionaries of that time period. The loneliness, isolation, dangers, victories, teaching, fighting superstitions, and taboos.

   Here is a little excerpt in the chapter dedicated to his wife.

   ' Indeed some candid friends had cautioned me : ' If you wish to find a wife, you had better not say anything about the cannibals.' My argument was, that I wanted a wife who would be prepared to meet anything for Jesus.

   He married a young lady called Jane Langmuir whom he describes as ' a true helpmeet in the work in Tongoa'.

   She died during a furlough in England soon after giving birth to their 4 th child.

' Though naturally rather timid, it may be testified of she that she lived out the counsel of the lines :

'Where duty calls or danger, 
Be never wanting there.'
  There are interesting details, such as how they used coconut milk for communion since wine was non existent there, and the only alcohol drink the natives had was an intoxicating grog, something that could not be related to Christ's blood.

   A feature of interest in the book is the dedication by the author on the first page.

Med broderly hilsen til Hr Larssen ...... ( ? ) 
Fra forfatteren

With brotherly greetings to Mr Larssen..... ( not sure about the name ), from the author.

Cannibals won for Christ

Dedication from the author

Rev. Oscar Michelsen


  1. Wow...this is really neat. I LOVE old books and have quite a few myself. And how neat that it has a dedication from the author!

  2. A dedication/date in an old book always makes it more special... especially when it's a biography !