Christiane (Mues) Kähler was a German missionary deaconess in South Africa. Christiane Mues was born in Osnabrück, Germany, and was raised by an uncaring grandmother after her father’s debilitating stroke and her mother’s death. Against this background of an unhappy childhood, she had a crisis conversion experience as a teenager, and unwavering piety marked her subsequent life. She worked as a store clerk and for a while taught a girls’ sewing class. In July 1832 she married Heinrich Kähler, a Rhenish Mission appointee. They left immediately to work at the Stellenbosch station in the Cape Colony. Shortly after arriving in January 1833, Heinrich drowned in a river, and three months later, Christiane gave birth to a son, who died in 1840. At first she taught newly freed slave women and girls at the Cape and ministered to sick and dying Africans; later she moved into the mission house, where she cared for a widowed missionary’s children, oriented new arrivals, and received guests. Her deep devotion and spiritual power energized the mission. Kähler carried on such an extensive correspondence with the home base that she truly was the chronicler of the South African work. She remained in Africa until her death.
Richard V. Pierard
Gustav Menzel, Die Rheinische Mission (1978); J. C. Wallmann, Leiden und Freuden rheinischer Missionare (1856); Gustav Warneck, Christiane Kähler, eine Diakonissin auf dem Missionsfelde (1873, 1898); Johannes Warneck, Christiane Kähler (1939).
This article is reproduced, with permission, from Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, copyright © 1998, by Gerald H. Anderson, W. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan. All rights reserved.