Thursday, September 15, 2016

Samuel (Kaboo) Morris- Life Abandoned to the Light

Morris portrait 187x250Samuel Morris was born in 1872 as Prince Kaboo, son of a Kru chief in Liberia. His tribe and the neighboring tribes were always at war with one another. One day, when Kaboo was 15 years old, a neighbor tribe invaded his village. Kaboo was taken as a prisoner and the Kru people were forced to pay tribute to the other tribe. Kaboo was often tortured. The other tribe would beat him with poisonous vines.
One day, as Kaboo was being tortured yet again, he suddenly saw a bright light. His bonds were loosed and he heard a voice saying: "Run Kaboo, Run!" Kaboo found that he had the strength to run away. The light guided him away from his captors and through the jungle.
When Kaboo left the jungle, he came across a plantation owned by white foreigners. He got work on the plantation and met another Kru boy. The boy told Kaboo about prayer, saying he was "talking to his father." On Sunday, Kaboo and the other boy went to church together. There, a missionary woman was telling the story of Saul's conversion. When she got to the part about the great light, Kaboo began to cry. He shouted: "I have seen the light!" That day, he gave his life to Jesus.
Kaboo was soon baptized and given a new name- Samuel Morris. He was hungry to learn as much as possible about Jesus, the bible, and the Holy Spirit. He heard about a man named Stephen Merrit in New York and determined to go to New York to find him.
Samuel went to the dock and waited until he found passage as a crew member on a ship headed across the Atlantic. The crew on the ship soon realized that he didn't know a thing about sailing. They abused and beat Samuel. Through it all, Samuel remained calm and went out of his way to be kind. Over the next 5 months, the entire crew gave their lives to Jesus. By the time they arrived in New York, the crew was completely changed.
Samuel asked around to see if he could find Stephen Merrit. A stranger told him that Mr. Merrit lived across town. He offered to give Samuel a ride if he would pay him a dollar. Samuel didn't have a dollar, but when he arrived, Mr. Merrit gladly paid the dollar for him.
Samuel was a witness of simple faith wherever he went. One time, as they were going to Sunday School, Mr. Merrit and Samuel stopped to pick up some clergymen. As they continued on their journey, Samuel got down on his knees and simply "talked to his father." The clergymen were convicted by the young man's simple prayers.
Everywhere Samuel went he convicted and impacted people. He impacted a Sunday School class so much they offered to fund his way to Bible School. Samuel ended up going to Taylor University in Fort Wayne Indiana. At the school, he continued to touch people's lives with his simple faith.
That winter, the cold caused Samuel to get sick. In January of 1893, 21 year old Samuel (Kaboo) Morris died. There was a look of peace and joy on his face when he passed away.

My Reflections on the Life of Samuel (Kaboo) Morris

Kaboo is a great example to me. His simple childlike faith is so amazing. He trusted God so completely to provide for him, even when it seems impossible.
His miraculous escape from captivity shows me that God still does work in ways outside our comprehension.
Kaboo was so intent on going to New York to learn more about the bible so he could return to Africa and tell the Kru people about Jesus. He trusted that God would provide a way for him to get to New York, even though he didn't know where it was!
Kaboo was a light for Jesus everywhere he went. He impacted and touched people even through the simple act of getting down on his knees and talking to God-his Father. His life was abandoned to living for the light that had brought him salvation. In fact, he impacted one young man at Taylor University so much that after Samuel died, he went to Liberia to carry out Samuel's dream of sharing the gospel with his people.
Samuel (Kaboo) Morris was an amazing young man. I look forward to meeting him in heaven some day.
The same light, Jesus Christ, that saved Kaboo still saves people today. He has saved me and I, like Samuel, want to live fully abandoned to the light. 

My Sources:
Torchlighters: The Samuel Morris Story. Dir. Vision Video. Christian History Institute, 2012. DVD.
"Samuel Morris." Malachi Project Comments. International House of Prayer, n.d. Web. 15 Sept. 2016. 

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