American Minute with Bill Federer

FEB. 19 - The groans of a dying man kept him awake in the little inn outside New York...
The groans of a dying man kept him awake in the little inn outside New York.

But he was hardened to the cries because a college friend at Brown University, named Jacob Eames, had persuaded him to become a skeptic deist.

The next morning, when inquiring of the innkeeper, he learned the man who had died in the night was none other than Jacob Eames, his college friend.

This rude awakening led him to become America's first foreign missionary to Burma, modern day Myanmar.

His name was Adoniram Judson, born in Massachusetts, August 9, 1788.

At age 23, and his wife 22, they sailed from New England on FEBRUARY 19, 1812, for Calcutta, India.

They were forced by the British East India Company to Rangoon, Burma.

They translated Scriptures, preached in Burmese, and started schools.

Enduring hardships, Adoniram was imprisoned during the Anglo-Burmese War.

He later gained respect from the Burmese and British officials, as he had translated a English-Burmese Dictionary and the Bible.

Adoniram Judson suffered depression when his wife died.

He was joined by missionaries George Boardman and his wife

The first Christian convert from the Karen people was Ko Tha Byu. The Karen people were a hunted minority scattered in the jungles.

Astonishingly, their ancient Karen beliefs were in an all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth, a man, a woman formed from a rib taken from the man, temptation by a devil, their fall, and the promise that some day a messiah would come to their rescue.

They lived in expectation of a prophecy that white foreigners would bring them a sacred parchment roll.

By Judson's death, there were 63 churches, 123 ministers and over 7,000 baptized Christians in Burma.

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Each July, Baptist churches in Myanmar celebrate 'Judson Day.'

Adoniram wrote:

"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."

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