Even missionaries despair once in a while

Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer was born Jan. 14, 1875, in a village in Alsace, Germany. The son of a Lutheran-Evangelical pastor, he won acclaim at playing the organ. He earned doctorates in philosophy and theology.

Albert Schweitzer was pastor of St. Nicholai’s Church, the principal of St. Thomas College, and a professor at University of Strasbourg. Then, at age 30, his life changed. He read a Paris Missionary Society article of the desperate need for physicians in Africa. To everyone’s dismay, he enrolled in medical school and became a medical missionary.

In 1912, he married a nurse, Helene Bresslau. The next year they traveled to west central Africa, and founded a hospital in the jungle village of Lambarene, Gabon. After first using a chicken hut as their medical clinic, they erected a hospital building of corrugated iron in 1913. In the first 9 months they saw over 2,000 patients.


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