Samuel and Hannah

The story of Hannah and he son Samuel has a modern counterpart in Adjai Samuel Crowther and his mother. Adjai, eleven years old, was seized by slavers near his village in West Africa about 1820. The terrified boy was thrown in a crowded slave pen, then chained aboard a slave ship. He suffered untold panic and pain until the ship was captured by a British steamer. Adjai was rescued and placed under the care of missionaries at Sierra Leone. There he was enrolled in school and heard of the Lord Jesus Christ. A benevolent clergyman, Samuel Crowther, financed his education. Adjai was baptized at age 16, and he took the name of his benefactor: Adjai Samuel Crowther.

Samuel, as he was called, traveled to England to further his studies. His keen mind quickly grasped languages and academics, as well as practical skills such as carpentry. When he returned as a minister to Africa, he settled near the Niger river, married, preached, began a boarding school for African children, and worked ceaselessly for the gospel.

Years passed, and one day Samuel was preaching at Freetown, not far from the spot of his kidnapping. In the corner of his eye, he saw an old woman, bowed and depressed. She appeared to have borne a heavy sorrow. As he talked with her, she opened her heart, telling him of her hard life and of the loss of all her children. “But the worst of all,” she wailed, “was losing my little boy Adjai.”

Samuel gazed into her eyes and recognized his own mother. Under his tender ministry, she shortly afterward became a Christian herself, and at her baptism, she too, took a Christian name. She chose Hannah-the mother of Samuel, the man of God.

So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the Lord.” ~ 1 Samuel 1:20