Bettilu Maxwell Davies grew up in southern Michigan in the heart of the auto industry. Her father and most of her other relatives were employed by the large auto manufacturers. Her parents were both very active in their large church and the Maxwells rarely missed a service. When there were no services held, her father was often found studying his Bible with an array of Bible study books spread around him on the arms of his chair and the footstool in front of him.
It was natural, therefore, for Bettilu to want to grow up to be a missionary. After all, her older sister was already on the mission field in Japan. Her parents were very proud of Pat and Bettilu wanted them to be proud of her too.
Before she went to Bible school, however, she had to earn the money to pay her way. Her parents said they would pay for her to attend Pontiac Business Institute so she could learn skills to support herself through her higher learning. It was a one-year course and before that was finished, Bettilu was working. One year later, Bettilu attended Moody Bible Institute.
In a missionary conference, when many fellow students were making decisions to become missionaries, Bettilu realized that she wanted to be a missionary only to please her parents. Before she had made a final decision about service, a missionary friend—the candidate secretary of the mission her sister belonged to and whom she had known since childhood–told her she would never be accepted as a missionary because she had never been a healthy person and he doubted she would have the stamina for the work. She didn’t lose her interest in missions, but she became convinced there may be other areas of service for her.
Years later, after her marriage and the birth of five children, after taking several writing correspondence courses, and beginning to teach piano, Bettilu wrote a book. The Secret of the Hidden Cave. Zondervan Corporation published it, and after a time, Bettilu began receiving letters from readers. Letters came from China, Canada, Africa, Russia and several from the United States. After four more books, The Marty Series, were published and a few more letters were read, Bettilu realized that she had indeed become a missionary: a missionary in print.
Many years later—thirty, in fact—Bettilu received an acceptance for a sixth book from a secular publishing house. Because the Christian message was undiluted, the publishers decided the time line of the book should be moved back to the twentieth century and be called Historical Fiction. Because the book, Shepherd’s Song, is a relatively new publication, there have only been two letters from readers, but both men were in prison. Her mission field has expanded once again.
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