Henry Morrison and Teddy Roosevelt: Welcome Home!
By Cleo Lampos
Forty years in Africa as missionaries provided Henry Morrison and his wife with many memories of Africans turning their lives to Christianity. Each day had brought joy, sorrow, pain, and wonder. Because of poor health, the mission board brought Henry and his wife back to the United States for retirement as teachers and encouragers for missions.
The ship on which they sailed from the African continent to New York City docked with a huge crowd on shore. Bands played. Balloons floated in a colorful array. Flags fluttered in the ocean breeze. The people cheered and waved banners reading, “Welcome Home!” Henry and his wife leaned on the rail with the feeling that their life’s work had not been forgotten.
Then President Teddy Roosevelt and his companions stepped down the gang plank of the ship to the roar of the onlookers. The President had spent three weeks in Africa on a hunting safari with a large group of companions. The fanfare was for the big game hunter. When he sped off in the presidential car, the crowd dispersed with the reporters.
Henry Morrison took his wife’s hand, and together they made their way down the now quiet gangplank to the empty docks. Not one person greeted them. They eventually hailed a cab to go to the one bedroom apartment supplied by the mission board.
Depression overcame Henry. All those years. All those souls. All the work. “This is wrong, God. The President comes back from a hunting party and everyone throws a party. We have spent forty years in missionary service and no one seems to care.”
Then, in the quietness of the moment, Henry heard a small voice speak. “But , my son. You are not home yet.”
Imagine the homecoming of the Morrisons in Heaven as thousands of Africans welcome them as redeemed souls. The celebration there will exceed anything this earth can offer.
We are not home, yet. The party is still being planned.
The account of Henry Morrison has several slight variations to it, so I have tried to stay faithful to the intent of his true account. Most of us identify with his feelings. We need to know what Henry needed to know. It is not time to celebrate, for there is work to be done.
Cleo Lampos is a writer whose books are available on amazon.com, ChristianBooks.com or through Oak Tara Publications.
A Mother’s Song
Miss Bee and the Do Bees
Teaching Diamonds in the Tough
Grandpa’s Remembering Book