Arabella Merrill, was a pioneer medical missionary sent to India by the ‘Disciples of Christ’ mission. She studied medicine at a medical school in Ann Arbor and graduated with the highest honors in 1887. Later she worked as a doctor at hospitals in Chicago and Michigan. During this time, she heard about the great ministry of Pandita Ramabai in India.
Her challenging testimony inspired Merrill and her best friend, Olivia Baldwin, so much that they decided to serve God as medical missionaries in India.
Together they arrived in India in 1889 and began their work in Bilaspur in Central India. The two went about providing medical care to the sick both in the city and the surrounding villages. They were constantly looking beyond the healing of the body to the spiritual welfare of the soul.
Arabella Merrill ministry in India
Therefore, Bible teaching always went with medical services. They did not allow the language barrier to stop them from making Christ known to the Indian people. While they cared for the sick, a Bible reader was always there to teach the people the mission of Christ in this world. Though Merrill’s job as a physician was painstaking, she carried out all her duties with great sympathy and entire devotion.
Her way of performing the responsibilities resembled that of Christ that drew many weary souls to the Living Waters. Merrill had to leave India before the end of 1894 due to ill health. Post her recovery, she went to Alaska and then to Klondike, Canada, where she carried out missionary work for some time. She also worked as an organizer for the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions.
With vigor and earnestness, she traveled across the country, visiting churches and encouraging many young men and women to enter the mission field. Merrill, whose life was a comfort and blessing for many, remained a faithful and humble servant of God till the end.
Beloved, are you sympathetic towards those who need healing in their souls?Take away from the article
“Lord, let my way of performing duties be Christlike. Amen!”Word of Prayer
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