Hannah Dudley biography, Under colonial rule, India’s population provided the British Empire with a ready source of cheap laborers. Many Indians agreed to become indentured laborers to escape the poverty and famine in India. But the reality they faced in foreign lands was full of tragedies, injustice, and violence. Girmitiyas were a group of Indians who were indentured laborers in Fiji. To these people who lived a hopeless life, Hannah Dudley emerged to be a guardian angel.
Born in Australia, Hannah Dudley was a teacher by profession. When the opportunity knocked, she committed herself to the British Methodist Missionary Society’s work. She arrived in India in 1890 and began working in North Indian villages.
Disregarding her health, she worked hard preaching the Gospel and educating the people. After six years, she seriously fell ill and had to return to Australia in 1895 for recovery. Although she wanted to return to India, the Methodist Church didn’t allow her for medical reasons.
Hannah Dudley ministry in Fiji
The next year Hannah heard of the need for missionaries among the Girmitiyas in Fiji. Her knowledge of Hindi and Urdu and her understanding of Indian people made her the perfect choice for the mission. Backed by the Methodist church she arrived in Suva, Fiji in 1897 and began working among the Girmitiyas. She was moved by the pitiful conditions of indentured laborers. Although she was offered a comfortable place to stay, she chose to live in a small room near the Girmitiyas settlement. Her verandah served as the first school in Suva and also became the venue for Bible studies. She adopted eight children, ran a charitable home and a school too.
For Girmitiyas, Christianity taught by Hannah was surprising. Because their owners although they were Christians, they did not have any traits mentioned in the Bible. But because of Hannah’s efforts, many accepted Christ. She also fought with the authorities for the rights of the Girmitiyas. The people called her ‘Hamari Maa’ (our mother).
In 1913, a serious illness forced her to return to Australia, where she continued to serve God till her home call in 1931.
Beloved, is your life an instrument of hope for the hopeless in this world?Take away from the article
“Lord, help me to carry the Christian hope to all the hopeless people. Amen!”Word of Prayer
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