Chapter 7 Conclusion
The Rev. Isaac Mutubila wrote very movingly of the feelings of the Africans when they heard of the death of Dr. Brown.
"This death was like to us, and still is, like a white spot on the centre of a man’s eye which prevents him from seeing at a far distance... Dr. and Mrs. Brown were the most happy people in this Church and they made all the people to be happy too… all Christians and non-Christians in the whole district mourned him…" A white man cannot become an African only by being a leader of Africans. But now his phrase "WE AFRICANS" is fulfilled as a true saying at his funeral when we see his body wrapped in an ordinary mat of this country "Ubutanda" instead of a coffin. This was a very strange thing to see – a white man buried like an African.
"We Christians realised that here was the greatest love that we had ever seen in this country, that a great man like the Rev. Dr. Brown gives away his honourly custom for his friends in Lubwa congregation
"…Always we shall be proud of him and give thanks and glory to God."
Mrs. Brown believed that his death among them was a means of deepening spiritual life for many. She stayed on alone, completing the four-year term, going on as before with her work in church and school and visiting amongst the women, only now as a member of the Women’s Foreign Mission. This also helped many to realise better the meaning of Christianity and the hope of the life to come, and there was more evidence of interest in things spiritual.
And what of Lubwa today? Nurse Ruth Service, who served so many years with Dr. Brown at Lubwa, and after his death for another ten years, writes:
"Within recent years a much wider union has taken place which embraces the Methodists, Paris Evangelical Mission and the United Church of Canada. So there is no doubt whatsoever about the wider influence the United Church of Zambia is having. It may be bewildered at times by all the activity involving large sums of money which the Government is spending and this of course has its effect for good and bad in the Church.
"As to its effect upon Lubwa I don’t really know for I no longer hear form anyone there. Two and a half years ago I was invited back to N. Rhodesia for the Independence celebrations and while in Lusaka I met a number of the lads who had had their early education at Lubwa – and all with one accord said they were glad to belong to the Church of Scotland. The Church at Lubwa went through a very trying time after I left, but according the Rev. Paul Mushindu who worked with your Dad for years said that the Church was finding its feet again. I spoke with him at one of the Receptions at Lusaka. After the week of celebrations were over I decided to go north west to see what progress had been made on the Copper Belt – my headquarters being with one of the missionaries from the United Church in Canada. There, Union is very much a success story. One big factor in "Union," particularly from the European point of view, is that staff can be more readily moved where the need is greatest. Africa, particularly Zambia, is much further advanced in Union than we in Scotland are, and most Churches have woman elders for it is realised what an important role they have to fill in the development of Women in the Church."
The United Church of Zambia is now an indigenous Church with missionaries serving side by side Africans in complete equality. There is till a great need for missionaries, for young people of varied talents and abilities. One thing is needful – to love God and to wish to serve our fellow men. There is still a great life of challenge and adventure. Some of the educational and medical work is now done by Government bodies, but the work of missionaries in years gone by can never be forgotten. Still we can look at Africa, indeed at the world, and say again "So little done, so much to do."
Perhaps we can see many similarities in the lives of Dr. David Brown and of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, who wrote the following words as he approached death. In spite of his uncompleted plans would Dr. Brown not say the same?
"Do not be sorry for me, for I have been privileged in being able to make of my life what I wanted it to be."
The work goes on
A group of Lubwa missionaries in 1949:
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Pages created 1st March 2006