Favorite Sermon Add to Playlist
Logo of ASI 2019: Business Unusual

ASI Presents: Living Sacrifices: Missionaries and the Creation of a Worldwide Church

Steve Dickman David Trim
Audio Only




  • August 3, 2019
    4:00 PM


Logo of Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US)

Free sharing permitted under the Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 3.0 (US) license.

The ideas in this recording are those of its contributors and may not necessarily reflect the views of AudioVerse.


Video Downloads

Audio Downloads

This transcript may be automatically generated

From the Apostle poles Epistle to the Romans Chapter 12 versus one and 2 Therefore I beseech you brothers and sisters in view of God's mercy to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable to God This is your true and proper service. And do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may test and prove what the will of God is he's good pleasing and perfect will this is the word from Will. On November 3 in 1920 a young missionary called Eva make Clemence died in Rangoon the capital city of Burma today Yang gone in me and. We know little of Eva's life and there is no known photograph of her she had been born on July 25897 near Bundaberg on the northern coast of Queensland Australia. We know nothing more about her until September 1914 when at the age of 17. Eva took a position in the headquarters of the Australasian Union conference in Sydney Australia she worked there for more than 5 years as a sister Naga the term we used to use in the church means a say a secretary essentially she made a good impression when people remembered her later the term they would use to describe her was regularly devoted to her work and devoted to the had been disturbed. In January $920.00 the southern Asia division called for a stew Naga to serve the division headquarters in luck now India today of course we probably wouldn't call an administrative assistant as a missionary but when there is almost no members in the country you have to call everyone who's going to work for the church Australian church leaders past that call for us to not go on to Eva and she accepted. On March 3 1920 even May Clement sailed from Sydney on the piano steam a man to which you see on the screen. Having landed in what today is Mumbai She then took the train for an 890 mile journey to luck now where she arrived safely on March 29 1920 she was assigned to assist the division president John easy Fulton. And even knew Fulton and his wife Susan from Fulton's time as president of the Australasian Union. Eva seems to have settled well into life in luck now according to her obituary she entered haltingly into work at the lock now office and much enjoyed life she was popular among her new colleagues thanks to a bright disposition and spirit of helpfulness a former colleague in Sydney recall but in her letters that she wrote home she had no complaints to make concerning the climate or culture in India and in fact in one such leisure even wrote I want to tell you I'm glad I came to. She'd been there for less than 5 months when around August 31st she left with Susan Fulton on an itinerary to Burma intending to run in Rangoon with Elder Fulton who was then in southern India Susan even travelled 1st by rail to Kolkata remember that will come back to it later from Kolkata they travelled by ship and small boat to come a moment to reach a remote mission station in Southeast Burma and there they stayed for nearly 3 weeks with the Fulton's daughter Agnes and her husband Eric be here and you can see them on the screen on their wedding day the name Eric B. here will be known to many of you I suspect because he later became a legendary teller of tales from the mission field. At Kemah long they were nearly 80 miles from the nearest European and I would guess that even now felt here deep in the jungle remote I'm really getting into the mission field. She and Susan Folden enjoyed their time there but Eva suffered from an unknown fever stilly seemed to pos in October they moved on to Rangoon. And had a series of meetings culminating in a 10 day General Meeting of the Burma Union mission effectively a mission station Union Station so in early October even was kept busy with Bolton's correspondence as he tried to keep up with the business of the division on the road later in the month she spent time writing programs and copying budgets for the Burma Union Station she kept up this work Susan Fulton wrote almost to the day she went to the hospital for Unfortunately even had developed appendicitis and had to be admitted to Rangoon General Hospital on the penultimate morning of the Union session the Sabbath as it happened October 30 her appendix was removed without complications now Rangoon General Hospital was a modern institution she ought to have recovered but the fever she had contracted in Cam among in September had greatly weakened her when the Fulton's visited even in hospital they noted that though she was quite cheerful she was anxious that her illness might terminate fatally and sadly her fear was justified on the night of the 31st she slipped into a coma she never regain consciousness in the early morning of November $3920.00 she passed away without the strain and sickness of missionary service Eva would almost certainly have successfully recuperated from a relatively routine surgery as Susan Fulton wrote. Time to term of service in India was shorting the fall of grief she wrote to we cannot understand why what one so young so useful so eager to serve and so greatly needed in the mission field should be so suddenly taken away. Even make claimants' was just 23 years old. She had spent just 7 months in the mission field in fact from the time her call was voted by the General Conference executive committee to the time she was buried was a mere 10 months. Some of you I am going to guess a wondering why am I telling you this story of an unknown and apparently unimportant young woman partly it is precisely because Eva seems so in consequential she is not alone in being forgotten friends too often we tell just the same few stories from our past and we ignore dedicated men and women who literally took their lives in their hands but could do so because they had put their lives in the hands of the Holy Spirit and yet most of them moldering in their graves in obscurity and Adventists today know nothing of. Another reason the telling you about even make comments is that though she disappeared from history for nearly a 100 years some parts of her story can be recovered we know little of what she thought or felt but at least we were able to piece together a timeline for the last year of her life if not much earlier and we can do that to a degree impossible for many of the missionaries and there were many many had been this mission Riis who died in the mission field sometimes all we know of them is the date that they die. Even stands for them her experiences remind us that every missionary had a story no matter how anonymous they were in death they will wives and daughters sons and husbands beloved in life lamented the day and also telling you this story because even his fate was not uncommon and I don't just mean in dying in the mission field even the story is so tragic partly because their passing seems so pointless it seems almost meaningless she perished prematurely having never accomplished great deeds for Jesus because she never had the chance to she was cut down in the prime of life. And yet that was because she was willing to give her life in order that others might have eternal life. And in that willingness to serve in her willingness to die her life was not meaningless not in the eyes of the Heavenly Father and yet many other missionaries died having only had limited opportunities to make an impact friends today we often have to romantic a view of missionary service in 1000 or 2 William Spicer then secretary of the Foreign Mission Board said things out starkly but clearly those who go into the fields he wrote must be ready to lay down their lives and at the least must be ready to lay everything they have in the world upon the altar of service spies who knew what he was talking about he had suddenly and unexpectedly become superintendent of the India mission when his predecessor Doris Robinson was struck down with smallpox. A death that Spicer witnessed at his bedside all missionaries not just Adventists had to be ready to lay down their lives in 1900 there were 17400 Protestant missionaries worldwide more the 92 percent of them from Western countries. Only one in 6 was working in Africa because that this stage is one historian writes There was still no answers to the killer diseases malaria and sleeping sickness and we can add black water fever yellow fever in West Africa for example the casualty rate among Western missionaries was so high that in the late 19th century they were expected to live just 2 years. And this Paul life expectancy was true of Adventists missionaries often they quickly succumbed to and they frequently die and all of a range of tropical illnesses various fevers and infectious diseases caused the 2 year average implies both shorter and longer spans but all clustering around the 2 year mark and I'm going to give you a number of actual examples and I could have time allotted many more even Clement's was far from unique in the short period she served before dying the brief snippets of missionary lines I'll share with you. Lives cut short remind us of the cost of service but also remind us though of the cost of building up this church that we know and love today when the 7th Day Adventist Church was established 156 years ago there were only around $3500.00 members found only in the Northeast and Midwest of the United States and a handful in Canada now its members are found all around the world. We too easily take that outcome for granted it was achieved by God's blessing of course but it was also achieved by commitment and sacrifice to a degree that today is rare POS dinner ations of Adventists willingly undertook what the Apostle Paul called the Christians proper service to God presenting their bodies as living sacrifices the Sultan I'm going to be telling the stories of some martyrs of Adventists mission stories come from a book that I've just published with Pacific press called a living sacrifice as I wrote it I have to tell you truly I was humbled and deeply moved by what I found in the sources and I truly feel privileged to share these stories with you today I hope that you will find them inspiring and that you will want to share them in turn and if so the book includes most of the stories you'll hear as well as many others and so I hope it can be a valuable resource resource but one reason these stories Ah inspiring is because so many of these missionaries were young many were women many were committed lay people and some were self-supporting rather than on the church's payroll but all were willing to pay the ultimate price. We still need that willingness that spirit of sacrifice today as much as this church is grown there are still areas where the Adventist presence is minimal and tenuous and so we continue to need missionaries today and the people who support them the story of Eva Clements and other forgotten heroes of this church the church for which they gave their lives these stories have the power to move us I believe they can inspire young and old to recommit to the prophetic mission of the 7th Day Adventist Church. On October 3 1895 a party of American missionaries disembarked at the port of Cape Coast which you see here in what was then called the Gold Coast a British colony in West Africa today gonna they were not the 1st 7 thing Adventists in West Africa they actually joined a body of local believe is led by a man called Francis Dahl phone who had been convicted of the 7th day sabbath by reading Adventist literature and who wrote several times to the general conference saying please send us missionaries and in response eventually came a team led by an elder Dudley you hail who you see on the screen hell was accompanied by 3 accompanied by 3 other missionaries of whom we know little G.P. rigs a cold cold or 2 nurses Georgian Eva car along with the cars 2 children the photograph that you'll see on the screen now shows hail the cars and Francis dolphin and he's the man standing in the middle at the back there's no known photo of readers things didn't go well 20 days had not POS after their arrival before Elder Hale was stricken with the black water fever. He recovered but by me the 896 within 8 months of their arrival at Cape Coast both because children had died Riggs was sent to Liverpool in England suffering from dysentery but despite treatment Riggs never recovered and he died on January 8897 from his arrival at Cape Coast to his death in Liverpool was just 15 months and by the spring of 8097 Joel Geneva car had suffered repeatedly from blackwater fever on April 16th they too sailed for England having served 18 months pale tried to carry on he wrote full lonely I am left alone with the work here will in fact he had dull find another local believes but he was suffering chronic severe malaria on June 3897 he sailed for England pale had been a missionary but 21 months 3 of the original party had perished and none had lasted even 2 years. Meanwhile on July 5894 a party of 77 thing I didn't is had arrived in blue wire the new capital of the news part of the British Empire Rhodesia which spanned what today modern Zambia and Zimbabwe the Adventists established a mission station it so loosely in present day Zimbabwe most of them returned soon after the South African leaving a South African layman friend Spyro in charge of the property which today of course is so Lucy university you saw the picture before in July 18th 95 a 2nd party of missionaries arrived and they staged. They included elder George B. Tripp who became the 1st superintendent of the salutes the mission and his wife Mary and his son George Jr George Sr is 1st wife had died and he and Mary had only married in March and then immediately departed America for South Africa and as you'll see many missionaries married right before they left for foreign service other missionaries in the 895 party included elder William H. and this unknown by his middle name of Harry he was only 25 and his wife Nora who you see in the photo was younger the photo was taken later there were also a doctor a Eskom Michael and Fred Sparrow's brother Chris and his wife my Hala they helped to manage the mission farm they were lay people and you can see Chris in this picture he's shown with some of the local farm laborers and their families in 197 Frank homage another American missionary joined the group at solution along with his wife Annie and their 10 year old daughter Violet they were to serve as missionaries less than 12 months because in $898.00 as Harry Anderson wrote to church leaders an epidemic almost a plague of malaria swept across Rhodesia and Salusa he was not spin doctor comical contracted the disease on February 14th 2 weeks later he died elder crip conducted the funeral and the next day he collapsed on March 7th he died and was buried here you see his grave used to me here he had served at the mission just 3 years on the same day March 7 Chris Pharaoh's young daughter whose name we don't even know died the mother more hollow was sick but she survived for the moment but later she was laid to rest by the side of the daughter in the cemetery it's a Lucy. And on April 8898 George Tripp Jr died and was buried next to his father. Norah Anderson the widowed Mary trip and the 3 members of the Armitage family were all suffering badly and so they were all sent by train to Cape Town. But any never reached there she died and was buried by the railway track along the way now Harry and nor Anderson were reunited at salute sea and they raised a daughter there called Naomi but salutes the cemetery still but is silent witness to the mortality rate of mission in mass to be learned many missionaries are buried there but there are other graveyards that testify in during Lee to the high cost of proclaiming the everlasting Gospel to every nation tribe tongue and people in June $1000.00 only 3 Joseph Watson arrived in my mission station in Malawi than what was called British Central Africa that Thomas branch and only established the Adventists mission in the year before so Watson was one of the 1st Adventist missionaries to serve the his family farmed outside the small town of Bainbridge in the north of Ireland Joseph and several other family members had been converted in 1908 when Joseph was 365900 he decided to volunteer for missions service he wasn't a pastor his job was to Rum the mission farm sadly Joseph contract and cerebral malaria and he died on December 11th 1003 his grave is that Mullah moon you see it there he had only served as a missionary for 6 months on February 2904. Christian of under like a layman in his fifty's sailed from Hamburg for Dar es Salaam to join the recently founded mission in Germany East Africa today part of Tanzania like Watson vulgar like was a layman to his job was to help with construction of the mission buildings and he also managed a steam traction engine. But in 1005 he and 2 other missionaries became seriously ill and was sent back to Germany despite being treated at Friedan's our seminary for 2 weeks reasons our sanitarium I should say for 2 weeks Christian passed away on October 31900 fun he was buried in the cemetery at Friedan's you see his tomb and there he awaits the resurrection the president of the German Union wrote that his modest tombstone was placed where students would see it as Friedan's ours this side of the seminary a place where students would see it en be reminded of the spirit that it takes to build up missions Christian London and spent less than 2 years in Africa but meanwhile starting from around 1005 admin this mission in West Africa finally started to make headway 3 years later Thomas and Catherine French both teachers accepted a call to work in education in Sierra Leone arriving there in May in 1008 Thomas was 25 Catherine was just 21 both suffered from malaria in Sierra Leone but both survived but after 2 and a half years they were moved to the Gold Coast and to the mission station of Axim. They had been there only a few days when on January 17th 1011 Catherine was taken ill with a severe attack of Black Water fever this is how Thomas described it in her bitchery she lived only one more day dying of heart failure on January 18th 1011 at the age of 24 in writing of Catherine's passing Thomas articulate the bewilderment the distress and yet the determination typical of many Adventists missionaries in this period he wrote as I stood beside my dying companion a few years ago and realize that my own strength was fast failing in my perplexity my mind turned to my brother and sisters at home who have so no belief supported this cause by their prayers and by their means and the question came forcibly to me what can this crisis me we appealed to our people at home to support the languishing hands of our workers in these heathen strongholds brethren and sisters seek God earnestly in behalf of his cause in West Africa Thomas was exhausted mentally spiritually and physically and in February he was sent home to regain his health he and Catherine were replaced in axiom by 2 lady missionaries C.E.F. Thompson and his wife whose name we don't know we know little of THOMPSON But he was Jamaican well educated a skillful writer and is a studio photograph shows he was a very stylish dresser. The Thompsons had served in Sierra Leone in 1008 in the Gold Coast colony in 1009 although Thompson was normal day and he was a successful soul when the refer to graph you're about to see on your screen shows members of the symbol church with David Babcock the West African mission superintendant and Thompson who I have highlighted. And you know we have many photographs in the archives of white men sitting in the middle of a group of Africans Islanders the very end of an age of imperialism it's nice to have a photograph in which there is a dark skinned man sitting in the center as well in March $911.00 he and his wife replace the French as an axiom but Thompson contracted Bright's disease he eventually left Ghana to seek treatment for his failing kidneys but he stayed too long he left it too late and after having served in West Africa fewer than 4 years C.E.F. Thompson died in Freetown on March 25 1912 less than 2 weeks later Charles Lindsay Bowen known as Lynn who is age 31 is why fighter who was 4 years older and their daughter Ethel who was 6 sailed to South Africa they took up station at Sunday's the mission in what was then Rhodesia today Zimbabwe though it's 400 miles east of some Lucy the photograph here that you'll see shows Lynne before he left the U.S. Now that's he there we go thank you the only photos we know of either in Ethel from their passport photos taken in 1920. In $113.00 there was an outbreak of smallpox at Tongue Vaizey and Lyn contracted the disease Chris sparrow brought supplies from Salusa and he stayed to nurse the sick. I did a recorded lien had complications which made it very difficult and painful for him to breathe Spyro later described 3 weeks of suffering in frankly grueling detail and recorded his final painful prayer that if it was the Lord's will for him to recover it might be speedily and if not that the Lord release him from the agony he was in on June to 913 limbo and passed away aged 32 he had served at Sun Mazie just a year news of his policy was received the next day at the 1913 general conference session which probably seems remarkable but the telegram had reached Vaizey and I had wired the G.C. headquarters telegram had a simple but profoundly sad message my husband died yesterday at 1 pm It was not Africa alone where Adventists pioneers risked death it was a danger to in Central America or in the Caribbean so close to the United States for example Albert and I an official when his missionaries to the newly acquired American colony of Puerto Rico to open up the work in May 19th one you see a photograph of here. Less than 6 months later Albert became seriously ill. After 36 days during which he suffered 5 Sivia haemorrhages Albert died of typhoid fever in my ago as on March 23902 elder A.J. Hayes Mo who helped to nurse Albert on his deathbed Pinsent the grief felt by the widow writing back to the states that I am a who survived turfing Eva knows that the Lord has made no mistake although she cannot now see why this blow has come. But his report dwelt on Albert. He was afraid pays more wrote that many would think that he and his wife had made a mistake in coming to this field he wished me to express his strong belief that the Lord had sent them and that they did not regret the movie had taken but that if the Lord should call him to rest awhile he was glad to be found at his post of duty and Hayes My concluded his report who will step in and carry on the work begun. In 1005 child a mark a nurse and must serve had worked at Portland sanitarium went with his wife also a nurse and a young child to the West Indies as medical missionaries the Iraq family landed at Barbados in November $1005.00 in open treatment rooms in Bridgetown But in $1006.00 they relocated 200 miles to the southwest to Port of Spain Trinidad which his brother George had served since 1001 the Knox opened a new treatment room but they weren't able to treat Charles himself when he contracted yellow fever on February 1st 1007 he suffered with the intense symptoms of that very disease and died 4 days later he had been in Trinidad for one month and in the Caribbean for a little over 14 months. But he was neither the 1st nor the last admin this mission to die in Trinidad in fact is another missionary Ovid Davis wrote this makes 3 of our work is laid away in Port of Spain. But Charles's brother Georgina was almost upbeat he use words similar to those that Hayes murdered used about Fisher I am thankful George wrote of his brother that he died at his post of duty thankful we have no regrets to offer but take this be remembered as one more link to bind our lives on the altar of missionary Endeavor now George acknowledged that our hearts about in sadness but his real concern is evident when he writes still the full presses heavily upon us will this branch of the work in the West Indies which we strove together so hard to get upon its feet being now left to languish for the lack of consecrated workers friends again and again missionaries kid as much for the future all the work. As they could for themselves or their deceased friends and family later that year aged just 23 Robert Price was called from Kansas to the watchman publishing house in Trinidad Robin and his wife Bessie excepted to call and in September 1007 with a 2 year old son Robert Jr They sailed from New York to Port of Spain on May 26th 1000 await Robert was stricken with fever for doctors attended him but he passed this life on May 31 although delirious with pain for much of his last 36 hours he was conscious and intervals and an hour before he died he asked the admin to surround his bed to sing to Him Jesus Lover of My Soul Robert Price was buried in Port of Spain having been a missionary in Trinidad not quite 8 months. Of all islands fall from the Caribbean could also be dangerous places in terms of disease in 19072 missionaries new missionaries landed on the largest island of the Japanese archipelago shoe the 1st Adventist missionaries to Japan William Granger along with his wife Elizabeth age 53 and 52 respectively at their age it was courageous to accept a call to go as missionaries to Japan in the photograph you'll see in a moment this is a wonderful photo William and Elizabeth a pictured in Tokyo with a local person who was studying the Bible with them. But in early October 1909 having been in Japan for 2 years Granger contracted an unknown fever and after suffering for more than 3 weeks he died on October 31 1900. In June 19022 young physicians Alfred Martin Valma and more Otis graduated from the American medical missionary college there is shown here in photographs that were taken for their graduation. The following spring Alfred accepted a call to serve at the sanitarium in Samoa and perhaps the call was conditional on him being married which was typical of the era because soon after on July 14th 100322 former classmates were married he was $27.00 she was $24.00 they sailed in October and arrived in Apia Samoa Nov $12903.00 and enough almost 10 months later their only child a daughter Dorothy was born a colleague wrote of how Alfred love the work in that field and left only when compelled to on account of his healthful Alfred contracted tuberculosis in October 1005 not quite 2 years after arriving in up here Alfred sailed for the States for treatment of his family with him. The colleague who I quoted a moment ago wrote the Valma left with the deepest regret but by then he was very sick in fact it was told he might die on the voyage but he's a big tree observes the Lord was merciful and spared his life to reach his home but all for Didn't long survive his return the obituary soberly records he suffered a great deal in the last 3 weeks of his life Alfred Vollmer died on February 15th 19068 days short of his 30th birthday Mord was left husband lists at the age of 27 and Dorothy fatherless at 18 months the result of just 23 months of mission service. The ball must have been joined in summer by Sara Marette a young Polynesian woman who had graduated as a nurse from say Sydney sanitarium in Australia in 1903 and went to Samoa in Maine 1004. 4 months out of almost death in mid July in 1006 Sarah died of pneumonia according to an admin disposition who worked with her she was loved by all who knew her and how last letter to friends from Samoa survives it was written on the 1st of July 906 Not long before her death. And the letter. May many more be found who are ready to say Here am I Send me Sarah Parish 2 years and 2 months after she joined the staff of Samoa cemetery in January 9152 young Australians Hubert Tolhurst and pole Phillips were married and you can see in this picture taken with her family 8 years earlier you can see they had many daughters. When they married Hubert was 25 pole just 24 both who graduates of Australasia missionary college today's Avondale and within weeks of their wedding they sailed for the Tolman archipelago 4 years later the global influenza epidemic reached Tonga although Hubert and pole toiled long hours ministering to the sick and stricken people as a colleague recorded. They succumbed themselves and then poll contracted pneumonia and gradually grew weaker she died literally in Hubert's arms on March 14th $919.00 or days after her $28.00 birthday Hubert wrote polls a big theory for the Australian church paper his anguish could not easily be articulated given the emotional constraints of the era. But as with other grieving spouses it becomes evident in little points of detail that would only be noted in a loved one. It is there for example when he writes she suffered much knowing no bodily comfort for many weeks and often the cough was most distressing he ends the of bitchery the writer had to conduct the service as with either bones telegram from tongue Vaizey 6 years earlier terseness in the face of tragedy in dips of emotion not long before Hubert in poll married another pair of Avondale graduates were weighed in late 1914 having just graduated Norman Wiles volunteered to serve in the New Hebrides today's nation of Ghana water but Norman was single and the Australasian union committee felt that a missionary ought to be married. But the committee members could few solutions because Norman had been friends at college with a woman called Alamo Butts who were self was the daughter of American missionaries and sort of right across the South Pacific and so the union executive committee suggested that he could marry her. Initially she wasn't happy. But she later wrote Norman never proposed in the usual way we simply felt that if this was the action of the committee the Lord was leading and that settled the matter. They were very happily married I'm happy to say they married in fact on December 14th 1914 you see them here and in 1915 they sailed for the island of action in the New Hebrides with their station for several months in February 916 when Norman was 23 and Alma 21 these are astonishingly young people they became the only missionaries of any church on the island of molecule or the tribes living there were known as warlike cannibals and they had murdered and eaten the both missionaries and European traders before but Norman and Elmo spent time getting to know the local people learning their languages and making friends and this is evident in this wonderful photo it's one of my favorite editors photos because I want you to I hope you can see you notice how relaxed they are these are people with whom they feel comfortable. But by November 917 Norman was suffering badly from repeated attacks of malaria after 2 and a half years in the mission field church leaders in Australia recognise that quote brother and sister Wiles have been working to the point of breaking down their health and therefore they were brought home Norman pasta dinner strangely for 2 years but in January $922.00 their delight they returned to molecule in January less than 4 months later on the 1st of May 920 a Sabbath Norman succumbed to Black Water fever 4 days later confided her anxiety to her diary in terms that is still distressing to read hard as it all was my father strengthen my faith again and again I pledged that if it could be to his honor and glory my darling might be spared but he gave me strength to add I will be done. I'm a 5920 Norman Wiles died after 5 days of terrible suffering. Washed her husband's body dressed it in a new shirt covered it in the linen. And then with the help of the local tribes people she buried her husband Norman was only 27 years old when he died almost 25 when she was widowed in both periods in the New Hebrides together they had not served 3 years of mission. Well we could tell stories of. Of. Of China of Southeast Asia of the Middle East but time doesn't commit will go to the southern Asia Division which is the home to the remains of many Adventists missionaries Earlier I mentioned the death of Doris a Robinson you see on the screen but he didn't die alone. Frederick W. Brown a nurse his wife Katherine a teacher and their 2 children sailed for India on December 14th 1988 this was the teaser I gave you this morning and I said What would you do if you were told to leave an area because of illness they arrived in Calcutta on February 9th 899 with a joined the staff of the mission located on both bazaars street you see a group photo here but in the summer Fred and Katie was saying northwest to run the capital of the state of Bihar among the 1st admin is missionaries to work in the north of India in that part but in the autumn of 899 a smallpox epidemic broke out in Bihar most of the if not all of the British colonial officials and merchants left the region and they advised the Adventists leave until the epidemic has run its course but instead the Brown family remained and they were joined by Robinson and his wife Edna you see here the 4 missionaries actually moved to. Where there was a small lead been to school an orphanage and where the epidemic was raging with particular intensity all full worked closely with smallpox victims and all 4 contracted the disease and now Robinson and Katie Brown suffered but survived their husbands were not so fortunate on December 21899 Fred Brown passed away having served as a missionary for little more than 10 months 8 days later Doris Robinson passed away 2 after 3 years in India Robinson's deputy William Spicer travelled up from Calcutta and as he later wrote. I was with him in his last conscious hours I told him that if he must lay down his work then perhaps God would use that to draw attention to India's knee. He replied with his swollen lips perhaps perhaps I hope they were his last words spoken on December 29899 he and Frank Brown were buried together in common tar and here you see here a near contemporary photograph of the graves in the symmetry 21 years later of course Eva Clements died in Rangoon. Her death after only 7 months in the mission field ended a bad year and a half of the Southern Asian division during which 6 church workers died. There was another missionary an American a died in Burma and 4 American and British missionaries died in India friends if you calculate the mortality rate for Adventists in the southern Asia Division in those 2 years it was 2 and a half times worse than the mortality rate for other Europeans and British India Adventists with 2 and a half times more likely to die well 1919 and 920 May have been especially bad years but had they and in fact how dangerous was mission service individual stories are often moving but are they indicative of wider trends you know my job title includes the word statistics in it and I'm contractually obliged to share statistics in every presentation I give. So what's the train to what extent of the stories that I've been telling you typical for Adventist missionaries you can see from this chart. It shows the annual number of missionary deaths in the mission field the deaths each year from 19033939 when the 2nd world war started I want to draw to your attention that despite the death toll there were always enough volunteers to replace the full and and indeed to add to the number you can see in this next chart that the number of new missionaries going out always exceeded the number of deaths those at the back won't be able to see too well the blue line shows the number of new missionaries being sent out the red 9 red line shows the number of missionary deaths there will always more men and women mostly young men and women willing to go. But at the same time friends let's not understate what they were signing up to do. The last chart brings home powerfully. What they faced because this shows the death toll calculated as deaths per 100 new mission roofs and for those of you at the back you can see I think you can see the trend and what you can see is that in certain years is you're getting 121416 of every 100 missionaries dying Those are such good although. If the mortality rate of Adventists missionaries in India have to mold Well one was bad the death toll of Adventists missionaries in general up to World War 2 was such that no one could be sanguine about going as a missionary and yet yet yet committed men and women still went to the mission for you. And they serve that if they survive often for decades in my book you'll find stories of missionaries who served for 304050 years. In addition to the stories of missionaries who died and he is the astonishing thing the humbling thing all the Adventists who went as missionaries up to around 1940 went knowing. That there was a very strong chance that they would die in a foreign land much of the information many of the quotations I've shared with you today are from reports published in the church papers in the homelands and this is in the era when church papers were received and read in almost every Adventist home many 7th Day Adventists grew up reading the stories of the sacrifices the suffering the early deaths of missionaries but they were not due to a willingness to step into the place of the departed missionary is perhaps most poignantly evident in the story of Joseph Watson Do you remember the Irish farmer who died after 6 months in my Lemuel I'm off to church leaders in Cape Town received news of his death they wired their counterparts in London who then sent a telegram to Bainbridge in Northern Ireland but Watson's farm was some way out of town and so a messenger had to come and Albert Watson Joseph's younger brother Albert Watson was ploughing in the fields doing the winter plowing because this was January. A cousin was with Albert when the Royal Mail messenger Ryan said Here's a telegram you can imagine while we're receiving a telegram because I'm always remembered Albert opening the telegram reading it quietly stating that Joseph was did. And then saying. I think I'd better go out and replace How many of us would react. That way to news of a beloved older brother dying after just 6 months in the mission field what are the odds and the cousin incredulous asked Albert Are you sure. Albert answered Yes I will go and spend the next 29 years in Africa we need to draw to a conclusion I'm going to pose a rhetorical question and answer it and then make a final point why did so many missionaries die well a tendency to overwork is one explanation and I could give another presentation on Adventists to overwork themselves into early grades but that's for another occasion. But that doesn't explain it alone the reason so many administer missionaries died is because missionaries of that period the late 19th early 20th centuries did not remain in Mission compounds they didn't remain in on claims or institutions they got out they got down to work they got their hands dirty they worked for local people and among those people many Westerners most Westerners were influenced by racism they tried to seclude themselves as much as possible from indigenous populations 7th Day Adventists wanted as much as possible to be among the people. So they could emulate the teaching and healing ministry of Jesus Christ in consequence had been this missionaries were exposed to disease and so they died they died because of their deep desire to tell people of this savior and one could give many examples of that desire but perhaps the best comes from the woman with whom we began even make Clement's and so will conclude with her to. And with her last known lesser that she wrote not knowing it would be her last letter a letter to family and friends in Australia in Kolkata only route to Rangoon she in Susan Fulton visited a temple and they saw Hindu pilgrims worshipping before an image of the goddess Kali what she saw Will stayed with Eva in her letter back to Australia she describes how the people are standing about 7 or 8 feet deep before this huge monster and the guide cannot make himself heard for the shouting and shuffling in the endeavor to worship the cruel deception of the enemy. But even those mind was on not the image but on the Indian people for whom she continues no privation no sacrifice is too great for them to make in order to behold their God Many having come long distances for this purpose and that she reflected on how far she had traveled to be there but what was uppermost in her mind was how those people might come to know Jesus she writes. I pray for a deeper consecration on the part of myself and others here and for an inflow of workers from the home line to this needy field there is a great need and so much to do you who are young and can learn the language of the ones who are most wanted you who hate the works of darkness and will with the aid of the lamp divine let his rays penetrate the gloom picture these poor people for whom Christ died how can we let them know. Those last words how can we let them though. Friends I'll tell you they have haunted my mind since I read them for the 1st time 7 years ago they are powerful partly because evil was not a pastor she wasn't a doctor or not a missionary Leda many people would say she was just a secretary but her heart for a mission was as strong and those eel for sharing Jesus was as burning as anyone and that I find inspiring but even words are also powerful because they describe a need that is still urgent despite the extraordinary growth of the 7th Day Adventist Church around the world built on most sacrifices of missionaries there are still billions of people for whom Christ die and who do not know of him we have still yet to reach in large part the people of China India and Southeast Asia. Of the Middle East North Africa and West Africa and of great cities around the world including in Europe which once was Christendom and so even this question is still there picture these poor people for whom Christ died how can we let them know. This is what I think those of us who live where the church is strong need to commit ourselves to contribution in whatever way we can to the work of the church in the areas where it is weak How can we contribute by praying by using technology skillfully by giving and some of us by going but the key point is each of us has a part to play and a contribution to make how can we let them know. We need each of us to recommit ourselves right here right now to the mission of the 7th Day Adventist Church. We disorients you may think well surely that's a given that you're committed I just want to challenge you and challenge myself how committed are you are you willing to do whatever it takes. That was the case of the people whose stories we've told. We need to recapture that spirit the spirit of selflessness. Which led many Adventists to the post and will require some in the future. Offer their bodies as a living. This media was produced by audio verse 40 and. Is lame in its services and industry. If you would like to learn more about inside. Yes I. Do like this. Audio verse.


Embed Code

Short URL