In 1957, freshly qualified nurse Lily Gaynor set sail for Guinea-Bissau, to live among the Papel tribe.
Tuberculosis, malaria, and typhoid were rife. Children were grossly malnourished; witch doctors flourished. Lily set up a clinic under the mango trees, administering penicillin, which the people called "God's needle". Many villagers suffered agonizing toothache: Lily learned emergency dentistry.
The book is filled with one arresting medical story after another. In the afternoons she learned Papel. In the evenings she invented an alphabet, and finally translated the entire New Testament.
She faced considerable opposition. Witchdoctors cursed; new converts were threatened with death; senior colleagues opposed her medical efforts. Yet today Guinea-Bissau has one of the biggest national churches in West Africa.
Published by Monarch Books, 2013, 208 pages.
All prices include GST and delivery by Australia Parcel Post