Thursday, October 15, 2009

African Church History: David Livingstone

Sunday afternoon I'll have the privilege of standing up in front of 80-100 people and telling them stories about pioneers of world missions. Perspectives is one of my favorite gigs.

It's also going to help pay for some of the other teaching I'm doing this month; looks like the trip to Cincinnati is on my own dime, and so is the one to Fort Collins, Friday, for an Islam class.

About halfway through Sunday's class I'll tell the students about David Livingstone, who said,
“My views of what is a missionary duty are not so contracted as those whose ideal is a dumpy sort of man with a Bible under his arm. I have labored in bricks and mortar at the forge and carpenter’s bench, as well as in preaching and in medical practice. I feel that I am not my own. I am serving Christ when shooting a buffalo for my men, or taking an astronomical observation. … and after having, by God’s help, gotten information which I hope will lead to more abundant blessing being bestowed on Africa than heretofore.”
He didn't accomplish much as an evangelist - saw one guy come to Christ, and that was it. He was a poor husband and father, pretty much just striking out on his own (though that may have been preferably than keeping the wife and kids in Africa in those days, at the mercy of disease and wild animals).

But you better believe he made the way for abundant blessings being bestowed on Africa. Medicine, education, commerce, and the abolition of the slave trade. A man ahead of his time.

His opposition to slavery didn’t make him very popular with other British missionaries or British society as a whole. Charles Dickens was one opponent, and took his sharp pen in hand to write a novel satirizing people who gave all their time and money to “the African project” rather than relieving suffering within Britain. “The needs are so great here at home, how can we be expected to concern ourselves with Africa?!” was his basic argument.

Sound familiar?

> More labeled "Africa"

1 comment:

bman said...

Wow. Yes.

My wife was in class the other night and they were talking about world religions, India/Hinduism specifically. Someone mentioned that 98% of the world's Hindus are in India, and the response that got was, "Why don't we just focus on the 2% here in America? There's no way we can change 98% of a population."

It's sad. Everyone deserves to hear about the saving power of Jesus.