Sunday, November 13, 2011
William Carey is considered by many to be the Father of Missions. A humble cobbler in England in the late 1700's caught in the grip of grace and compelled into hazardous missionary endeavour in India.
I will leave the research to you in this instance:
"In his own words he cried, "My attention to missions was first awakened after I was at Moulton, by reading the Last Voyage of Captain Cook." To many, Cook's Journal was a thrilling story of adventure, but to Carey it was a revelation of human need! He then began to read every book that had any bearing on the subject. (This, along with his language study — for at twenty-one years of age Carey had mastered Latin, Greek, Hebrew and Italian, and was turning to Dutch and French. One well called his shoemaker's cottage "Carey's College," for as he cobbled shoes along with his preaching he never sat at his bench without some kind of a book before him.)"
Suffice it to say, he met with many early setbacks but became convinced that he was to engage in vigourous Bible translation into numerous eastern dialects.
He and his wife Dorothy were astounded in the sub-continent by the carnage which they observed as seemingly harmless exercises of the Hindu, karma and reincarnation.
Babies tossed in sacrifice to the giant carnivorous turtles of the Holy River. Grossly retarded siblings dropped into a pit of burning embers with family members preventing any effort to escape the excruciating death! The next life for the poor one, they insisted, would be so very much better.
All of this tormented Mrs. Carey to the point of mental illness. The scene became one of Wiiliam diligently struggling over texts while his wife screamed paranoid accusations at the servants over terrible imagined treachery. He came to see little manifestation of love from his beloved.
But the work continued and stands as his incredible labour of love for generations of brown-skinned people who would step into the light of the Master based on those precious words.
Others would perhaps serve more signally in hands-on help: E. Stanley Jones, Mark Buntain, Mother Theresa, Dr. Paul Brand, T. L. Osborne, Morris Cerullo.
But the groundwork had been laid by that visionary with the quill pen, and at no small cost to him and his.