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Joyce Smith 1944–2014

August 2015 | by Jim Sayers

David and Joyce SmithGrace Baptist Mission (GBM) gives thanks for the life of Joyce Smith, who died at the end of last year. In 1977, Joyce and her husband David were sent by Eden Chapel, Cambridge, to serve in Nigeria, in fellowship with GBM. 

Her husband described their time in Nigeria: ‘We set sail from Tilbury Docks in London on a Nigerian cargo ship, and five weeks later sailed up one of the tributaries of the mighty Niger River.

‘The boys were aged three and one. We went to work with the Qua Iboe Church, living in an old mission house with no protection against mosquitoes (of which there were many), no piped water, no regular electricity and, at the beginning, no cooking facility.

‘Joyce was truly heroic in this situation; she coped with privations, creating a home in a house with little potential; truly loved our African friends, most of whom suffered great hardship.

‘She coped with serious illness and all kinds of crises arising in such a situation, and later taught our small sons in a makeshift schoolroom. Her dedication, patience and love were extraordinary in circumstances that were often challenging’.

During her illness, Mrs Smith spoke many times about those years in Africa, always ending by saying, ‘I should have done more to help the poor people in the villages’.

This obituary is used with permission of GBM Herald

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