"Expect great things from God, Attempt great things for God"
-was the motto of
who left England in 1793 to become a missionary to India.
At the same time, a
Second Great Awakening Revival
was sweeping America.
five Williams College students
met by the Hoosic River in Massachusetts near a grove of trees to discuss how to reach the world with the Gospel.
Suddenly a thunderstorm poured down torrential rain and the students hid next to a haystack till it passed. While there, they prayed and committed themselves to world missions.
Williamstown and Williams College
by Arthur Latham Perry (1904) recorded:
"The brevity of the shower, the strangeness of the place of refuge, and the peculiarity of their topic of prayer and conference all took hold of their imaginations and their memories."
Haystack Prayer Meeting
led to the founding of the
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions,
which in the next 50 years sent out 1250 missionaries to India, China, Hawaii, southeast Asian countries.
In 150 years, it sent out 5,000 to mission fields around the world.
Missionaries established schools, hospitals and translated the Bible into indigenous languages, even creating written languages.
The first missionary sent out by the
American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions
born in Massachusetts, August 9, 1788.
At age 16, he began attending the College of Rhode Island & Providence Plantations (Brown University).
While there, he became friends with a skeptic and deist named
was a fan of godless French philosophies, and in discussions with
convinced him to abandon his Christian faith.
After graduating valedictorian of his class at age 19,
opened a small school and wrote grammar and math textbooks.
While traveling to New York City in 1808,
stayed at a little inn. He was annoyed and not able to get any sleep because the groans of a dying man in a neighboring room kept him awake all night.
ignored the cries, as he had become hardened by his college friend at Brown University,
The next morning, when checking out,
inquired of the innkeeper who the man was who had died in the night. He was petrified when he heard it was none other than
his college friend.
This rude awakening led
to reaffirm his Christian faith and become
America's first foreign missionary to Burma
- modern day Myanmar.
fell in love with
, also known as Nancy.
"I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world;
whether you can consent to her departure for a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life;
whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death?
... Can you consent to all this for the sake of Him who left his heavenly home, and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God?
Can you consent to all this in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Savior from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?"
At age 23,
, and his wife
age 22, sailed from New England on FEBRUARY 19, 1812, for Calcutta, India.
They were forced by the British East India Company to
translated Scriptures, preached in Burmese, and started schools.
When war broke out between the British and Burma, Burmese officers burst into the Judson's home.
on the ground in front of his pregnant wife and tied him up with torture thongs.
Accusing him of being a spy for the British, they dragged him away and threw him into the infamous Ava death prison.
After 12 months,
was marched with other prisoners, ill and barefoot, to a primitive village near Mandalay.
All but one of the other prisoners died.
was in prison, his wife
was alone as the only western woman in the entire country.
She lived in a tiny shack outside the gate and brought him meager food, as the prison did not feed him.
continually lobbied the authorities for his release.
After 20 months of brutal treatment, being in irons and even suspended by his mangled feet,
was finally released.
The British then pressed him into serving as an interpreter between the
where he gained respect from both sides.
and translated the Bible.
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Then, in 1826, Adoniram Judson's wife,
sank into severe depression.
Later, he was joined by missionaries
and his wife,
12 years to make 18 converts.
One of the first Christian converts was from the
, a man named
Ko Tha Byu
He had been a murderer with a diabolical temper. After being captured, he was sold into slavery.
began witnessing to him, teaching him to read and write.
Ko Tha Byu
converted to Christianity and was baptized on May 16, 1828. For the rest of his life he was a tireless
evangelist to the Karen people.
had been a hunted minority scattered in the jungles.
ancient Karen people beliefs
were that there was an all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth who made a man, then took one of the man's ribs and formed a woman.
believed that as a result of temptation by a devil, the man and woman fell, but there was a promise that someday a messiah would come to their rescue.
lived in expectation of a prophecy that white foreigners would bring them a sacred parchment roll.
Ko Tha Byu
was put into the ministry by
Ko Tha Byn's
help, from 1828-1840, membership in the
Karen Baptist Church
grew to 1270.
Ko Tha Byu
served as the first native Burmese pastor, refounding the church at Rangoon.
A mission worker described him: "
Ko Tha Byu
was an ignorant man; yet he did more good than all of us, for God was with him."
died in April 12, 1850.
His life's work resulted in
having 100 churches, 123 ministers and over 8,000 baptized Christians.
The leader of the
Myanmar Evangelical Fellowship
stated in 1993:
"Today, there are
6 million Christians in Myanmar,
and every one of us trace our spiritual heritage to one man -
the Reverend Adoniram Judson."
Each July, Baptist churches in Myanmar celebrate
In the United States, no less than 36 Baptist churches are named after
, as well as
in Illinois and the town of
, is the namesake of
Judson College in Alabama
, as well as a dormitory at Maranatha Baptist University.
there is a house named after
, owned by Christian Union.
During World War II, a U.S. Liberty Ship was stationed in the Philippines named the
SS Adoniram Judson
Surviving 56 air raid attacks day and night for six days, the ship's captain said "It was miraculous that the bombs did not hit the ship."
Expressing his conviction,
"How do Christians discharge this trust committed to them?
They let three fourths of the world sleep the sleep of death, ignorant of the simple truth that a Savior died for them."
Three Secular Reasons Why America Should Be Under God
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