Born in Virgina, Jane Stuart Smith early learned she had a talent for singing and pursued a career in opera. She was widely recognized as having an outstanding voice, and her career in Italy was beginning to flourish when she was converted through the ministry of L'Abri in Milan. Shortly after, still a young woman, she self-sacrifically went to work at the Swiss L'Abri, befriended by Francis Schaeffer and his wife Edith.
After she gave her life to the Lord, she also gave God her exquisite and expensive opera costumes. And when people began to pray for money to build a chapel at L'Abri, Jane began to pray that the Lord would send an opera singer her size, who also sang her various parts in opera, who could buy her costumes so she could give to the chapel fund. It seemed an impossible situation, but the Lord honored her desire to sacrifice for His glory and promote the salvation and happiness of others by sending her a woman from Yugoslavia who could wear all of her clothes, who sang all of her parts, and who rejoiced at finding such beautiful costumes that she could afford to buy.
Jane has devoted many years of her life since to service at L'Abri (in recent years caring for ailing Edith), retiring after months of painful illness and several operations in June 2006.
Outside of L'Abri, she is best known for writing Great Christian Hymn Writers and The Gift of Music, co-authored with Betty Carlson. Betty has also written a biography of Jane (now out of print) entitled A Singing Heart: From Venice to the Alps of L'Abri.
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