I am reading through a book by Danny Akin titled “5 Who Changed The World.” In this book he gives a biography of 5 Missionaries who revolutionized the way the world does missions today. I wanted to write a 5 part blog series that covers each chapter of this book. Writing this I hope to encourage people to pursue missions, and to remind people of the pressing need to be praying and supporting our missionaries around the world.
The First chapter is about the man who is given the title “The Father of Modern Missions” William Carey. William was born in 1761 and left for India in 1793. There was nothing very special about Carey in fact Timothy George (dean of Beeson Divinity school described Carey as a “lone, little man.” Everything that you would use to describe a leader would be the exact opposite of Carey. Carey had very little education, did not have any money, or any connections with anyone with power. The only thing Carey had was the passion to preach Christ to the lost.
In today’s time most pastors (I hope) would encourage people to go and proclaim the Gospel to the world. However, during this time there was a surge of anti-missions teaching was spreading, and pastors were jumping on the band wagon. There was an old anti-mission hymn which said “Go into all the world, the Lord of old did say, But now where He has planted thee, there thou shouldst stay.” Carey faced great opposition about traveling to preach to the world. In fact when Carey was rebuked by John Ryland Sr. a respected minister who said “Young man, sit down. When God pleases to convert the heathen, He will do without your aid or mine.” Yet, Matthew 28:16-20 consumed Carey’s thought’s and dreams. The desire to preach the Gospel to India burned in his bones that he had to go. He would say, “I care not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls for Christ.” However, He could not expect how true this would be.
While in India Carey had to bury two wives, sickness, and many other hardship fell upon him. He would not baptize his first Indian until his 7th year on the field. Yet, he would write in his journals
“Nothing new, my Soul is in general barren and unfruitful; Yet I find a pleasure in drawing near to God; and a peculiar sweetness in His Holy Word. I find it more & more to be a very precious treasure.”
He also would write: “Was somewhat engaged more than of late in the things of God, felt some new devotedness to God, and desired to live entirely to him, and for his glry; O that I could live always as under his eye, and feel a sense of his immediate presence, this is life and all besides this is death to my soul.”
The father of modern missions is longing to draw closers to God. Doing the work of God does not mean you are able to avoid persecution or hard times. In fact we are told just the opposite. However, this does not mean we cannot have peace and joy in the situation. I hope as my days draw to a close I will have the strength and peace to say like Carey said on his death bed, “When I am gone, say nothing about Dr. Carey. Speak about Dr. Carey’s Savior.”