Title: Give Me This Mountain
Author: Helen Roseveare
Major Themes: Missionaries, Congo, Doctors
Synopsis: Helen describes her life—from a little girl desiring acceptance, through her work in the Congo, ministering as a doctor in a mission hospital.
Soon after I borrowed Give Me This Mountain from our church’s library, I wrote a note in the front telling me when I borrowed it. It’s well over a year now that I’ve had the story, so I’m very pleased to say that I finally finished reading it this last week! About half a year ago, I got half-way through the book, but then because I found other more interesting books, this got put on the back burner. However, since then I’ve made the goal to try to clear out the books in my room that aren’t mine, and this was on the top of the list to read.
I loved Give Me This Mountain! Even though it took me a while to get through, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and found many things in it that I could relate to and learn from. In many ways, I found out that Helen Roseveare and I are quite similar—we’re both impulsive, we can both be very forceful about our thoughts at times, and we also want to be sure to know what we believe and why we believe it.
Helen starts the story when she was a young girl, showing that even from an early age she longed to be accepted, loved, and wanted (really, how many of us do not long for that?). Through the course of her education, she always tried to gain acceptance—but nothing satisfied, until she made friends with a fellow college student named Dorothy, and eventually found Jesus through the witness of the Christian Union. From then on, her life had purpose, and after becoming a doctor she soon headed into the Congo, knowing that Christ was calling her to serve there.
However, life usually isn’t easy and moving half-way around the world does little to fix character. Can she get along any better with the missionaries than she could with people back home? Can she learn to give and serve, and not always lead? What happens when a civil war breaks out, and along with several other missionaries she is captured by the opposing army?
All in all, Give Me This Mountain was a fascinating story, one that I related to very easily. I did find the middle a little hard to get through, but overall it’s a very encouraging book. Seeing someone openly admitting her mistakes and realizing that I’m not the only one was well worth my time. This gives a great (realistic!) view of missions, and I appreciated that aspect as well—nope, it isn’t all sunshine and roses. If you’re looking for an interesting, encouraging read I’d encourage you to get this book—it’s a great one to have on the shelf!
WARNING: In chapter 1, page 15 there is a mention of an air raid occurring during WWII in London. Slightly graphic. Chapter 6, page 77—mentions male nurses in an African hospital refusing to give medication to an old church member if he wouldn’t give them one of his granddaughters for the night. Chapters 10 and 11 talk about the suffering that happened surrounding the Congo Independence and the civil war that took place (nothing very graphic).
Reading Independently—Ages 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults