International Ministries

Daring Faith: Susannah Beamish Strachan - July 2015

July 1, 2015 Journal
Join the 2972a432a74b4583829edc19ff319dbd9e825c34d424d8aee9fa0e79b5eacefd Tweet



Daring Faith:  Susannah Beamish Strachan  ~  July 2015




Dear Friends,


The Latin American Biblical University (UBL) where I work was founded by a remarkable missionary woman, and recently our librarian, Alvaro Pérez, wrote a brief biography of her which I have adapted to share with you.

Susannah Beamish Strachan, cofounder of the Latin American Mission (LAM) and the first director of the UBL, was born in 1874 in County Cork, Ireland. As a teenager she experienced a conversion in a Methodist Chapel and felt a call to missionary work in Africa. She studied evangelism and nursing for four years at Harley College in London.  There she met Harry Strachan, born in Canada of a Scottish family, who also felt called to Africa, and they fell in love. But Susannah was rejected for health reasons and in 1899, at the age of twenty five, she set sail for Argentina, leaving behind not only her family but a man deeply in love with her and determined to share his life with her. Unexpectedly, Harry was also rejected for Africa and sent to Argentina. There they were reunited and married.



Some time before this there had been an awakening among the women in Europe and they began their struggles for the right to education, work, and the vote. Susannah grew up in this environment. She notes that in the meetings of her mission in the US, the women were practically invisible. This led her to a plan of action and in 1917 she and another woman formed the Argentine League of Evangelical Women, a group which still exists.
When the family moved to Costa Rica, the evangelistic campaigns of her husband required several months traveling throughout the continent, so Susannah assumed all the work of leadership and administration in San José. In fact, Harry left for a tour within days of their arrival to Costa Rica, leaving her to unpack and with $100 and a check which he had forgotten to endorse. She coped just fine. She founded the Bible School for the Training of Women to prepare evangelists for Latin America. This school would become the Seminario Bíblico Latinoamericano and then the Universidad Bíblica Latinoamericana.

Susannah had a clear vision of the Gospel as evangelism and social action. She wrote in February 1927: “A Children’s Home is needed in Costa Rica because there are many children who have no home. They are the children who beg, the children who the police take to prison for 15 to 22 days, those that go every day to the school health department to be examined and those who in the winter afternoons we see pass in tiny white coffins, headed toward the cemetery … A Children’s Home is lacking in San José and we have a social obligation to provide it ...” In 1932 an orphanage was founded known as the Hogar Bíblico (Biblical Home). Two members of our UBL community grew up in that Home.



Susannah founded not only the seminary and the orphanage, but also a hospital, the Clínica Bíblica, which still serves the community and is the medical center for all of us missionaries. The Latin American Mission that Susannah and Harry founded established schools, day care centers and summer camps, a radio station, a publishing house, bookstores, caravans of medical care to rural areas, programs for the aged, as well as churches throughout the region. Many of these ministries are active today.

Susannah Stracham still serves as a model of daring faith and creative initiative for us. As I follow in her footsteps, teaching in the school that she founded, I thank you for your participation in this ministry.



Ruth Mooney


THANK YOU to all of you who participated in the 2015 Matching Fund Drive.

Your gifts help to make it possible for me to continue this ministry.


Ruth Mooney Missionary Partnership Network on Facebook


American Baptist International Ministries
P.O. Box 851 · Valley Forge, PA 19482