Skip to main content

A Story of God's Sovereignty, cont.

You may have heard the rest of the story, but it is worth telling just a bit of it again. Adoniram went on to seminary with a passion that set him apart. He again graduated atop his class and was given several offers to fill some of the most "prestigous" pulpits in the Boston area. He refused. He felt a different calling. His vision was to take the gospel to India, yet he knew no other men or women who felt a similar calling...until. Until, a group of young men his age arrived on campus and declared that just recently they had sensed God's call to foreing missions. The Haystackers, they called themselves, because they had committed themselves to this end beside a haystack late one evening.

Now that Adoniram had comrades to set out for India, they had the daunting task of finding the funding to do so. We don't too often think of missionaries personally raising financial support back in the day, at least I don't, but here is a group of guys who did just that. They spoke to the local Congregational missions committee, but since they had never supported "foreign" missionaries, they were hesitant to do so. Go to the London Missionary Society, they told the young me. They have history and money and will be able to help you out some. The LMS indeed offered to send the whole gang to India, fully funded, with one catch. They must sail as missionaries under the flag and authority of England. When Adoniram and the guys returned to Boston, patriotism got the best of the local missions committee. "If they can support you, well then we can, too!" So, the men were freed up to set sail for India, having received ample financial support as America's first foreign missionaries.

The story that ensues is too amazing for me to try and retell it. I can't do it justice. What transpires, in summary, is this: Adoniram falls in love with a young maided before he sets sail and marries her. The group arrives in India, but the British East India Co forces them out, because the missionaries in India were leading the slaves to believe that all men were equal in Christ. Some of them returned home, but Adoniram and his wife found themselves in Burma, a dangerous and virtually untouched land by foreigners. Adoniram and his wife, Ann, committed themselves to the Burmese language and culture. They fought illness after illness and failed attempts after failed attempts to spread the Good News. His wife was the first to reason that they needed to adapt to the Burmese culture, rather than try and force the locals to adjust to their forms of worship, dress or construction. After 16 years, they saw their first converts to Christianity. Adoniram translated, meticulously, the entire Bible into the Burmese language and created a thorough Burmese-English and English-Burmese dictionary. He was in prison, beaten and threatened with death. He and his wife lost several children. Ann and Adoniram both died in Burma, giving their lives to the people of Burma so that they may know salvation through Jesus Christ.

Again, I think of committment. I think of faith, courage, passion, vision, steadfastness, loyalty, trust, perspective. I think of God's soveriegnty and his grace. I think of his love for all people groups. Adoniram and Ann truly died to their lives and came alive in Christ, no matter the cost. Where are the young, vigorous Christ-followers today who will give it all up to spread God's kingdom in their communities, their nations, in our world? Are you one of them? Am I?

Comments

Chairman said…
I suppose that if you go east far enough, it eventually becomes west.

Popular posts from this blog

Pilgrims Looking for the Sun

x

Pilgrims Looking for the Sun
This weekend across America, our transportation and information highways will glut with millions of eclipse-chasers travelling from the far corners of the globe order to find an unobstructed view along the “total eclipse” zone spanning the United States from Oregon to South Carolina. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime moment for many. A total eclipse of this nature hasn’t spanned this country for a century, though, the upcoming century holds many such eclipses in store. I myself will be joining the ranks of eclipse-chasers, making a relatively brief journey south to my parent’s property in Sparta, IL, which is comfortably within the totality zone.
I’m a latecomer in educating myself about this rare event. Only after watching two videos (by Smarter Every Day and Vox) and discussing the astronomically phenomenal event with my friend, Kacey, did my eyes begin to open in wonder and amazement at the unique phenomena of a total eclipse. Previously, I thought, oh, I’ll be…

Leatherbound Books

If you're into reading or just like thinking that you are, you should check out LibraryThing. Pretty sweet site actually. I have many leather bound books in my online catalogue. You can see for yourself: http://www.librarything.com/catalog/jdkinglt. The site allows you to see users who have similar reading tastes as you and then you can check out their book reviews and other reading selections. I didn't have time yet to upload the Bearenstein Bears books I read back in high scho...I mean kindergarten. Mostly--well entirely, actually--my catalogue is filled with some books I've had the chance to read since the start of college. The point when I began to take reading seriously. Useless site? Ah...I wouldn't say so. It may help me to broaden my reading intake a bit. Or, maybe I'm just a sucker for these novel sites that allow us to connect with others and share knowledge.

What were my memorable books of 2016?

I don't read nearly as much these days. Or maybe not as much as I'd prefer in some idealistic (unreal) world where I get to spend a few hours a day soaking up good literature.

Mostly, I'm reading Goodnight, Gorilla, There's a Rumble in the Jungle or Fancy Nancy. (Let's be honest. I actually like children's literature.) And at bedtime, Anna has fallen in love with (routine?) my narration of homegrown stories. (In case you're wondering, I'm a terrible storyteller. I wish I were that dad whose stories inspire her to one day look back and marvel at the whimsical, imaginative stories I cooked up at bedtime, but alas, probably not. I'm learning slowly, though, at least about what kind of story she will likely enjoy.)

But in the margins of here and there, I have found time for a sampling of books in 2016. Here are some memorable ones:

More of Less, Joshua Becker

A helpful guide on minimizing excess (possessions) so you can focus on what's most important…