CMF member Marjory Foyle is a recognised expert on the effects of stress in Christians working cross-culturally. Can it be me? is her autobiography, detailing a life spent serving God as a medical missionary in India and Nepal and later as a psychiatrist.
Marjory stepped out in faith as a young woman fresh from medical school and let God lead her overseas. She travelled to India and began working as an obstetrician and gynaecologist. As a female doctor, she was a rare breed on the mission field and her skills were desperately needed as many women would rather die than be treated by a male doctor. Her hours were long but she was sustained through regular prayer and continual communication with God and other Christians. She recounts many anecdotal stories of the operations she performed and the unusual conditions that were rife in her population.
God then called her from India to Nepal. Initially this was difficult for her to accept, but she went on to establish vital medical infrastructure in the country and was instrumental in the building of a new hospital.
Her work was gruelling and there was little time for rest. During her time overseas, she became clinically depressed. Later she began to recognise the inherent stressors for Christians working in crosscultural mission. She returned to the UK and successfully obtained her diploma in psychiatry, a fore-runner to the modern-day MRCPsych. At the time, there wasn't any psychiatric provision for Christian workers in India so Marjory pioneered and later directed the Nur Manzil Christian Psychiatric Centre in Lucknow.
Marjory's stamina is phenomenal. After retiring from conventional medical mission work aged 60, she still continues to travel and establish mental health services for missionaries. This book is relevant to every Christian, medical missionary or not, as it is packed full of reminders that God is faithful if we entrust our lives to him.
Marjory writes beautifully and Can it be me? contains many humorous stories of her experiences. She traces the change in mission from the forties where women had to dress in long skirts with hats to the more liberal shorts and T-shirts of the sixties and seventies! There are also many personal photographs, spanning 40 years, of the people whose lives she has touched and the places she has influenced. I was extremely encouraged by Marjory's constant praying and the delight she takes in Scripture through all adversity. Can it be me? is a lesson to us all when we face trials in our earthly lives.