Old books, new treasures
While organizing my missionary books I came across a small volume (about 3” x 5”) entitled Missionary Daily Text Book, published by The Religious Tract Society. There is no author or compiler listed nor publication date, though by the looks of the binding, endpapers, and pages it was probably printed in the late 1800’s.
The book has entries for each day of the year and highlights missionary themed scriptures and quotes along with notable missionary events for each date. I’d like to share a few entries from this week.
February 19 – Adoniram Judson sailed for India, 1812. Mark 10:27 With God all things are possible.
Judson and his wife Ann sailed for India, but God redirected them to Burma (modern Myanmar) where they endured privation, suspicion, false accusation, imprisonment, starvation, the death of children, and finally the death of Ann.
Bud God allowed the translation of the Scriptures to survive and eventually many Burmese were won to Christ. Our friend pastors a church in Calgary where a number of the Karen tribe from Burma worship. They trace their spiritual ancestry back to relatives who were won to Christ by the work of the Judsons.
February 21 – Longfellow poem (taken from Hymn for My Brother’s Ordination)
And evermore beside him on his way
The unseen Christ shall move,
That he may lean upon His arm and say
Dost Thou, dear Lord, approve?
February 22 – James Gilmour sails for China, 1870
Mtesa’s request for missionaries given through H. M. Stanley
James Gilmour was used of God to share the gospel in China and Mongolia. His had the blessing of ministering with Mr. and Mrs. Meech, but longed for a companion – a wife – to share in his life. Not having any prospects nearby, he asked God to clearly direct and provide a wife. His coworkers opened their lives to him and often read letters from home to the bachelor. After seeing a picture of Mrs. Meech’s sister, and hearing her letters read in his company, James, having never meet Emily, decided to write and ask for her hand in marriage. She accepted and God gave them a number of years of joyful marriage and ministry together in Asia.
Mtesa was the King (or Emperor) of Uganda who was converted to Christ. He sent a message back with H.M. Stanley (of Stanley and Livingstone fame) to send more missionaries. God blessed that request by calling a number of missionaries to Africa.
The view from history
Sometimes in obeying God’s leading we feel like failures or as if we are wasting our time. Nothing is happening! God does not seem to be answering our prayers! We’re enduring such opposition! These entries remind us that sometimes we don’t see immediate answers to prayer in our spiritual efforts. It is essential that we walk with God, obey His direction for each of our lives, and leave the results with Him. History will better display the eternal effectiveness of our Christian labors than what we are able to observe in the here and now.
photos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:EmilyPrankard.jpg; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gilmourjames.jpg