A Review of Torchlighters The Samuel Morris Story
Elise Wixtrom writes reviews of VOM resources for readers of kidsofcourage.com. Enter “Elise” in the search box to read about Elise and to find more of her reviews.
In 1891, Taylor University, a small Christian college on the outskirts of Fort Wayne, Indiana, faced financial hardship. They were losing students. They were about to close. But before we begin that story, let’s go back. Two years earlier…
A young Liberian prince named Kaboo was taken captive by an enemy of his father’s, who demanded tribute every full moon in order to get the young prince home. But Kaboo’s tribe couldn’t satisfy his captors. So his enemies decided to kill the boy, at that time 14 years old, by throwing a spear at his heart.
However, just as they were about to kill him, a bright light appeared in the sky. The ropes binding Kaboo loosened, and he was able to escape. As he bolted, he heard a voice from the sky cry, “Run, Kaboo, run.”
And though he was confused, the young teen ran away as fast as he could through the jungle. He ran all night and all day, hunted by the many dangers of the rainforest, until he ran straight into a young man singing a spiritual – “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.” The young man brought him to a local coffee plantation, gave him shelter and work, and prayed with him.
Soon after arriving at the plantation, Kaboo attended church and heard a missionary woman speak about the apostle Paul. He heard her talk about the light that Paul saw and the voice he heard. She said he heard the voice of Jesus. At that moment, Kaboo understood. The voice he heard was the voice of Jesus, too. After discovering that his life had been saved by God, Kaboo accepted Christ as his Savior, and adopted an English name – Samuel Morris.
The newly christened Samuel, in order to learn more about God so that he could return to his tribe with the good news of Jesus, traveled across the wide oceans to New York City. He faced many dangers along the way, but he reached America safely and was enrolled at the closing Taylor University. The school administrators were hesitant to let him stay. However, after hearing the young man’s remarkable story, they caved. Soon, Samuel “Kaboo” Morris’ story began to spread, so he dictated a book. The book sold so many copies, Taylor University was saved by the money he made.
After Samuel tragically died of illness, Taylor took it upon itself to reach Samuel’s tribe in honor of his remarkable life. And though Samuel Morris had thought he was coming to America to learn to be a missionary, we now realize that he went to Taylor to inspire the small university to reach all unreached peoples. The story of Samuel Morris can be an inspiration to us all, to go forth with bravery and to not be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6). Samuel Morris’ legacy was immortalized because of his simple love of others and faith in God. Our lives should be remembered for the same reasons.
Find out more about Torchlighters DVDs here.