Josephine was a 12-year-old girl living in a small village in France when she was caught in a rainstorm out in the field. She quickly ran home to get out of the storm. As she reached her house, she turned purple. All of her blood seemed frozen. She couldn't move her joints and her hands crisped. Her fingers were more like the empty fingers of a glove.
Her father had died, and she was left to be cared for by her siblings and mother. She was treated harshly. She became very shy and never spoke. No one knew if her mind had been affected as well as her body.
A missionary by the name of Mr. Cretin, found the family and told them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Soon after meeting Mr. Cretin, the mother died. Eventually Mr. Cretin stopped visiting the family.
Josephine could read. She gathered together a New Testament and some other religious tracts and read them. This made others realize that she could think and understand.
Two years later she was visited by another Baptist missionary Mr. Lefevre. Two years later she was converted and had succeeded in converting her nephew Isodore Plaquet and his mother. She wanted to obey the commandment to be baptized by immersion, but this was difficult because she was so crippled and paralyzed.
Another missionary heard about this woman who had been converted two years before and her desire to be baptized. So he borrowed a mule from Mr. Hersigny and with his cart traveled several leagues (probably around 20 miles) to go fetch this woman so that she could be baptized. He returned with Josephine and her nephew and his mother and all three were baptized.
The missionary who transported this woman by cart such a far distance? A colporteur by the name of Stanislas Besin, my third great grandfather.
To read more about Stanislas Besin, click here.
This account was taken from the Baptist Missionary Magazine, January 1849 issue, page 29-30.