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All Articles For Biographies of Missionaries

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The work of missions is difficult. There is opposition, hardship, disappointment, and tremendous sacrifices that are required of the missionaries and their families. Then there are times when before their own eyes they see everything for which they labored slip away. John Eliot was a pioneer missionary to the American Indians. He learned firsthand the struggles of mission work. Three things served to strengthen and encourage him. First, his unbending optimism regarding God’s counsel and plan. Second, his ability to delegate work. And, finally, his confession regarding God’s sovereignty in all things, particularly the salvation of souls. The story of...

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As missionaries labored through the ages, they often faced difficulty convincing the established church to accept new converts as Christians. Differences in race and culture proved to be a stumbling block for churches whose congregations were homogenous in nationality and practice. Acknowledging that foreign converts could not be expected to relate to the same traditions, missionaries nonetheless realized that they must avoid the tempta­tion to lower the bar. Faithfulness to Scripture needed to be maintained as the standard under which these new churches were formed. The apostolic church at Jerusalem already faced these struggles. The Jews, who viewed themselves as...

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Rev. Kortering is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches. Previous article in this series: January 1, 2009, p. 156. His Labors in India The struggles that William Carey faced in England in trying to convince others that God had a work for him in India prepared him for the far more difficult work God had for him to do there. During their five-month voyage, Carey began his study of the Bengali language, with the help of Thomas, his colleague, who had labored in India before and motivated him to return with him. The captain of the ship was...

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Rev. Brummel is a home missionary of the Protestant Reformed Churches, stationed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. One of the most prolific writers and proponents of missions through the first half of the 1900s was Dr. Samuel Zwemer. Zwemer authored over fifty books and countless articles promoting mission labors primarily among the Muslims. In addition, through his influence with the Student Volunteer Movement and as professor at Princeton, Dr. Zwemer influenced countless numbers of young men and women to go into missionary service. J. Christy Wilson, Jr. states that Zwemer probably influenced more young people to consider missionary service than...

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Rev. Kortering is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches. Previous article in this series: January 1, 2009, p. 156. His Labors in India The struggles that William Carey faced in England in trying to convince others that God had a work for him in India prepared him for the far more difficult work God had for him to do there. During their five month voyage, Carey began his study of the Bengali language, with the help of Thomas, his colleague, who had labored in India before and motivated him to return with him. The captain of the ship...

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The continent of Africa has been dubbed the “Dark Continent” by missionaries. Africa is a grand and mysterious land, full of wildlife, and having a rich history, with ancient civilizations, and intriguing geography. It is also a continent that abounds in the deepest pagan practices of witchcraft and superstition involving cruelties and dangers hard to imagine. Those who dared to explore Africa, or were sent there to do missions, more often than not were martyred or died of sickness. Ruth Tucker writes that “Black Africa, known for centuries as the ‘white man’s graveyard,’ has claimed the lives of more Protestant...

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Rev. Kortering is a minister emeritus in the Protestant Reformed Churches. Carey Leaves England for India William Carey is known as the “Father of Modern Missions.” There are especially two reasons for this. First, he was one of the first pastors to heed the call to leave the comforts of a church home and to labor in a foreign land. He became a catalyst for foreign missions. Second, in his own work in foreign missions he developed a method of labor that others could emulate. Considering that this was pioneer work, work that was without a role model, it is...

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As the Christian church spread throughout the known world, the Bible was translated into various languages so that people could read it in their own tongue. By the time of the Reformation of the sixteenth century, the Bible was translated into more than thirty languages. The next three centuries saw an increase in that work to such a degree that another thirty languages were added. The missionaries who were sent to foreign fields recognized immediately the great need for the Scriptures in the native tongue. Those men, including William Carey in India, Adoniram Judson in Burma, and Hudson Taylor in...

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Rev. Brummel is a home missionary of the Protestant Reformed Churches, stationed in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The history of the spread of the gospel is a fascinating one. It is the account of God raising up brave, gifted individuals and using them to penetrate heathen cultures and customs by the proclamation of the gospel. Robert Morrison, prepared by God to spread the gospel to China, was one of these men. Morrison was born January 5, 1782, the youngest of eight children, to parents who attended a Scottish Presbyterian church. While in his teen years, he was apprenticed to his...

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