Myanmar’s hero missionary was Adoniram Judson. If you have read all my blogs to this point, you have a bare understanding of our mission in Myanmar. What you may not realize is that Myanmar was the first country to receive a Protestant American Missionary. In 1812, Adoniram Judson left the comfortable shores of America and began to pour out his life for the people of Burma. His story is an amazing tale of sacrifice, tenacity, and total abandon to Christ. If you have never read his story, you should. It will stir your heart.
Here is just a snapshot of the sacrifices he made to go on mission for Christ to the nation of Burma:
He lost 5 children and two wives to disease and death. 6 children survived.
Even though he already knew Latin, Hebrew, and Greek, it took him three years of studying 12 hours a day to get the language.
He endured a horrible imprisonment for 17 months where his feet were bound to a large bamboo pole, his hands to another, and at night his feet were lifted higher than his head. What was Judson doing during these days in prison? Translating the Bible.
He waited 6 years for his first convert and it took him 12 years to get just 18 Burmese believers, but when he died, he left 100 churches, 8000 believers, a Burmese Bible that he translated, and a Burmese-English dictionary which is still the standard used today. Tens of thousands call him a father in the faith today.
What was the secret to Adoniram’s heroic passion? I believe I can answer that with a story.
Near the end of his life, Judson made a visit to America and spoke at a number of large gatherings. He was asked after one occasion why he had preached a regular sermon when people had gathered from everywhere to hear the wonderful stories of his work on the other side of the world in Burma. He replied, “I wish to tell only the most wonderful, thrilling story that anyone could ever conceive.”
The questioner responded, “But the story you told in your preaching is one they’ve all heard before. What they wanted was something new from you regarding your work on the other side of the globe.” Dr. Judson, then sighed and replied revealing the burden of his heart, “Then I am glad they have it to report, that a man coming from the other side of the world had no greater message to share with them than the wonderful story of Jesus and his great love, love shown in the giving of His life.”
Such wonderfully amazing stories that he could tell of God’s work in Myanmar, but instead the only story he wanted to tell, was the story of Jesus and his great love!