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Helen Roseveare (21 September 1925 – 7 December 2016) was an English Christian missionary, doctor and author. She worked with Worldwide Evangelization Crusade in the Congo from 1953 to 1973, including part of the period of political instability in the early 1960s. She practised medicine and also trained others in medical work.[1]


Helen Roseveare was born in Haileybury College in Hertfordshire, England in 1925.[2] Her brother Bob Roseveare was a wartime codebreaker. She became a Christian as a medical student at Newnham College, Cambridge in 1945. She was involved with the Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union, attending prayer meetings, Bible study classes and evangelical events.[3]

After completing her studies, Roseveare applied to WEC to be a medical missionary. In 1953, she went to the Congo, where she was assigned to the north-east provinces.[3] She built a combination hospital/ training center in Ibambi in the early 1950s, then relocated to Nebobongo, living in an old leprosy camp, where she built another hospital. After conflict with other staff at the hospital, she returned to England in 1958.[4]

She returned to the Congo in 1960. In 1964 she was taken prisoner by rebel forces and she remained a prisoner for five months, enduring beatings and rapes. She left the Congo and headed back to England after her release but returned to the Congo in 1966 to assist in the rebuilding of the nation.[5] She helped establish a new medical school and hospital, as the other hospitals that she built had been destroyed, and served there until she left in 1973.

After her return from Africa, she had a worldwide ministry speaking and writing. She was a plenary speaker at the Urbana Missions Convention three times. Her life of service was portrayed in the 1989 film Mama Luka Comes Home. Her touching story about the prayer of Ruth, 10-year-old African girl, for a hot water bottle to save a premature newborn baby after its mother had died has been widely forwarded by email.[6] She survived rape and trial during the Congolese civil war in 1964 because of the intervention of the villagers she had helped previously.[7]

Roseveare died on 7 December 2016 aged 91 in Northern Ireland.[8]


  • Doctor among Congo Rebels (1965), Lutterworth Press London
  • Give me this Mountain (1966), Christian Focus Publications[1][9]
  • Enough, Christian Focus Publications[10]
  • He gave us a Valley (1976), Christian Focus Publications[5][11]
  • Living Sacrifice, Christian Focus Publications[12]
  • Living Faith, Christian Focus Publications[13]
  • Living Holiness, Christian Focus Publications[14]
  • Digging Ditches, Christian Focus Publications[15]
  • Living Stones (1988), WEC Publications[16]
  • Living Fellowship (1992), Hodder & Stoughton[17]
  • Count it All Joy (2017), 10Publishing[18]

Further readingEdit

  • Burgess, Alan, Daylight must come : the story of Dr Helen Roseveare, London : Joseph, (1975); pbk. London : Pan Books, (1977), ISBN 978-0-330-25063-4.
  • Lagerborg, Mary Beth, Though Lions Roar: The Story of Helen Roseveare : Missionary Doctor to the Congo, (Faith's Adventurers), ISBN 978-0-87508-663-7.
  • Isaac, Peter, A History of Evangelical Christianity in Cornwall, — privately published (Polperro) by the author (2001).



  1. ^ a b "CFP | Give me this Mountain | Helen Roseveare". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  2. ^ Helen Roseveare: Courageous Woman Doctor in the Congo. Retrieved 28 March 2011. Archived April 11, 2011, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "Helen Roseveare". Urbana. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  4. ^ Rebecca Hickman. "Helen Roseveare". Travelling Team. Retrieved 2011-10-25.
  5. ^ a b "CFP | He gave us a Valley | Helen Roseveare". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  6. ^ Truth or Fiction, The Hot Water Bottle: The Story of the Dying Baby, a Hot Water Bottle, A Child's Prayer, and A Children's Doll-Truth! Retrieved on March 28, 2011
  7. ^ Can you Thank Me? An interview with Helen Roseveare Retrieved on March 28, 2011
  8. ^ Bishop Harold Miller’s Tribute to Dr Helen Roseveare
  9. ^ "Give Me This Mountain". Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  10. ^ "CFP | Enough | Helen Roseveare". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  11. ^ "He Gave Us A Valley". Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  12. ^ "CFP | Living Sacrifice: Willing to be Whittled as an Arrow | Helen Roseveare". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  13. ^ "CFP | Living Faith: Willing to be Stirred as a Pot of Paint | Helen Roseveare". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  14. ^ "CFP | Living Holiness: Willing to be the Legs of a Galloping Horse | Helen Roseveare". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  15. ^ "CFP | Digging Ditches: The Latest Chapter of an Inspirational Life | Helen Roseveare". Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  16. ^ "Living Stones ebook". Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  17. ^ "Living Fellowship". Archived from the original on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 2016-12-09.
  18. ^, Thought Collective. "Count it All Joy by Helen Roseveare". Retrieved 2018-02-26.

External linksEdit