Pioneers from the start
George and Jane Pearse, two of our founders, originally travelled to Algeria with the aim of evangelising French soldiers posted there. All this changed one night when Jane witnessed two local Kabyle men starving to death outside their guesthouse. Despite this tragedy, she was told by a local person that their deaths affected him as little as a dead dog, such was the scale of the famine!
This greatly moved her. The great material need paralleled the great spiritual need in the nation, and the Pearses began to pray and plan for a new ministry there.
They were joined by Edward H. Glenny and two other men, one from Algeria and the other from a Syrian Druze background, and began the Kabyle Mission. Remarkably, they were believed to be the only protestant missionaries with a ministry to local people across North Africa.
Widening our focus
From those early days, the focus grew as more work began and the mission was renamed to The Mission to the Kabyles and other Berber Races. By 1900, the mission had changed its name to North Africa Mission. It had a hundred missionaries spread across the region. Even then, there was hope of expansion into new areas:
‘The vast Sahara… remains still without a solitary missionary. We pray God that soon some brethren full of faith and of the Holy Ghost may be sent to preach Christ amid the inhabitants of its palmy oases.’