"The Darkest Time is Just Before the Dawn" tells the story of a young couple trying to open mission work in Africa. Kitty and Bob experience numerous obstructions and setbacks as revealed in letters Kitty wrote to her mother. In spite of the difficulty, both physical and emotional, the couple remained true to their purpose. There is the young mother, Kitty, with an infant and a tiny child and no ready source of water other than the river. She must make a home for them living in mud huts and tents. Bob has to endure the physical labor of building roads, bridges, and buildings without the benefit of anything but the simplest tools.
Bob and Catherine Smith's affiliation with World Gospel Mission began in 1927; they arrived in Africa in 1932 and continued to work there under the World Gospel Mission until 1958. All of their children had their own African experience, and the story is overwritten by their observations along the way.