Dawn Beyond the Andes by Phyllis Thompson (Regions Beyond Missionary Union, London 1955) is a wonderful missionary biography about Miss Annie Soper, missionary nurse to the unreached regions of eastern Peru in the 1920’s.
Annie Soper was certain God had called her to serve Him in Peru, but health issues resulted in rejection by the sponsoring mission board. Instead, she ventured alone to Lima and worked as a lone Protestant nurse in a Catholic hospital. Annie showed the love of Christ by lovingly and carefully caring for her patients. For her testimony and Christ-motivated care for her patients, Annie was shunned, resented, and eventually poisoned by someone on the hospital staff.
As Annie recovered she continued to hear about remote villages east of the Andes deemed inaccessible to westerners where no missionary had ever ventured. Though these villages had Catholic priests, the people had never heard of the Bible or salvation through faith in Christ alone. Medical help was scarce in these areas and Annie’s heart remained burdened for the spiritual and physical needs of these villagers.
A missionary doctor crossed paths with Annie and with great compassion told about the village of Moyobama which he felt could serve as a hub for medical and evangelistic outreaches. “Can’t you go there, Miss Soper?” was his pleading question that the Holy Spirit used to clearly direct her to strike out to serve in faith.
First by steamer, then by train, and finally by mule, Annie and her nursing friend Rhonda Gould ventured across the Andes into the unknown. Many near death experiences met them along the rugged path to their new calling. Yet God protected them and brought them safely to Moyobamba.
Even their essential medical efforts were resisted at first but God directed them to wrap their medicines in Gospel tracts and eventually hearts melted, superstitions were set aside, and souls were saved. One of their first converts, Eduardo, graduated from Bible school and returned as pastor to his fellow villagers in Moyobama.
Dawn Beyond the Andes is an inspiring book about a woman who in simple faith obeyed and served God!