Mission stations had special appeal to runaways who coveted the protection enjoyed by converts. Missionaries received constant pleas for refuge from runaway slaves, but as a rule they turned them away. They could not harbor fugitives without endangering relations with the Muslim community and losing the support of the British consul. Yet, despite their closed-door policy, which came into effect in the early 1880s, hundreds of determined runaways slipped inside the CMS mission station at Rabai, built homes on mission ground, started families, tilled the soil, and took part in mission life. They succeeded in gaining protection because African converts quietly admitted them into their community. At the time, the CMS station Rabai was administered by one of the Bombay Africans, William Jones.