Rebekah Ann Naylor, M.D.
Missionary Surgeon in Changing Times
Camille Lee Hornbeck
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What one life intertwined with serving God and the people of India can do . . . The call--a term that typically underscores tales of Christian luminaries. Where does it originate? What drives it? What distinguishes it? And what about it propels some to overcome unimaginable challenges to cling to God's beckoning--"Follow me"? This extraordinary story of Rebekah Ann Naylor, M.D., is an almost palpable personification of what God's call can yield in the life of one committed individual. As a pastor/seminary-president's daughter, Naylor's early years are shaped by those who view one's calling as inviolable. Believing God wants her to be a missionary physician, she becomes the first woman to graduate from the surgical residency program at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. As a single female in the alien country of India and as a medical pioneer Naylor helps develop Bangalore Baptist Hospital and then is administrator and surgeon there. Whether performing a delicate operation or driving in Indian traffic, her absolute faith in God propels this multi-gifted missionary through ultimate challenges--including sometimes incessant and complex government red tape involved in keeping the hospital going. Giving up and failing are never in Naylor's vocabulary, even though she ultimately finds herself having to flex with a vastly different era of missions strategy than the one in which she joined Southern Baptist's International Mission Board. Accomplished storyteller Camille Lee Hornbeck captures this contemporary, awe-inspiring yet vastly human hero of the faith who perseveres in circumstances that send others home--who for more than 30 years thoroughly gives herself to the people of India and whose life beckons others to follow in her footsteps.
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