The Crown of Life
Selma Maxville was born in an impoverished home in Cape Town, Mississippi on Feb. 26, 1883. Her mother prayed that one of her children would be a missionary. It seemed bleak for Selma, when at thirty she was caring for her invalid mother. After her mother died, Selma enrolled in a medical school and then later in a Bible College. Finally at the age of 33 she left for the field of Burma where she worked with the Mons people in Moulmein, a city that had been pioneered by Adoniram and Ann Judson. There she served in the Ellen Mitchell Memorial Hospital, then known as the American Hospital. After she reached retirement in 1940 she opened a hospital in the township of Mudon. When World War II began she fled to India as a refugee. After the war she returned and re-opened the hospital. In her last letter to her mission her request was that she could continue to serve without pay if there was no other nurse to take her place. At age 67 she took a thirteen year old patient to the hospital at Moulmein and was kidnapped. The demand was
for 10,000 kyats and 10 grams of gold. She wrote to her friends that they were not to redeem her for God was with her. She was bound with an iron chain to a post of a hut in a rice paddy field. She was so revered that a dozen men rescued her and transported her by ox cart to Mudon. Her Captors ambushed them, Miss Maxville was machine gunned down and expired in her hospital in Mudon. They have erected a memorial in her honor in Kamarweit, between Moulmein and Amherst. Both the mother who prayed, the daughter who went and the men who died in the rescue attempt will all one day “receive the crown of life .”
Dr. Greg J. Dixon, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 116 – 118.