This essay will be describing the ministries of three missionaries of the 1800s and what effect their work had on the nations they ministered in. The three missionaries that will be stated in this essay are George Muller, David Livingstone, and Hudson Taylor. Missionaries are people who dedicate their lives in order to fulfill the Great Commission, which is preaching the Gospel, baptizing and bringing souls to Christ. Missionaries do not spread the Gospel by preaching only, but by being a help to other people such as aiding in an orphanage or providing medical support and so on Whatever support they give, their main focus is to bring people to Christ, their Savior.
It is not easy to be a missionary. Missionaries are exposed to all sorts of dangers and diseases, and they often have to leave their wives and children behind in order to accomplish their missions.
George Muller was born in Prussia (modern-day Germany) in the year 1805. His father was a tax collector.
Muller used to steal from his father at a very young age; not only was he a thief but also a drunkard and a gambler. Muller’s parents did not know the Lord so they were not able to guide him in the right way. In 1819, Muller lost his mother and was now living with his father only. In 1825, Muller attended a prayer meeting and that night was a turning point in Muller’s life. When he decided to be a missionary, his father did not agree with his decision, but Muller went against his father’s decision of becoming a clergyman and started to do Bible school, in order to be a missionary and he decided not to take any of his father’s money for that project.
Muller prayed that he might be able to find the money for his tuitions and the Lord was faithful! One day, some Americans came to Muller and asked him if he would like to be their translator, Muller immediately agreed when he found out that it would pay more than the amount normally paid to a translator. His first prayer request for tuition has been answered! After college, Muller went to train with the London Missionary Society to become a missionary to the Jews. He started preaching in Bristol and while he was there, he could not stop noticing the orphans on the streets. He had to do something in order to help the orphans. He had an idea to open an orphanage but financially it was impossible; where could he find the money? Muller prayed so that the Lord could provide the funds and workers for the orphanage. Once again, his prayer was heard and people started to donate in various ways.
In 1836, George Muller opened his first orphanage on Wilson Street, but soon the orphanage could not accommodate more orphans so he had to pray for a future home for the orphans. Eventually, the orphanage moved to Ashley down where there would be more room to accommodate orphans. On March 9, 1989, Muller was leading a prayer meeting at the church he preached in Bristol. The next day, March 10, Muller died at the age of 92. He contributed to the lives of many people by doing Bible schools for children and adults, distributing Bibles and books, and caring for the orphans. In total Muller established 117 schools that offered Christian education to more than 120,000 people. Through his stories, we learn that we should trust in God alone, He knows our needs before we even ask for it.
The second missionary Jonathan Goforth, the first Canadian Presbyterian missionary to China, was born on February 10, 1859, in Oxford County, Ontario, Canada. As a child, his mother was faithful, and she influenced him to pray, read and memorize the Scriptures. At the age of seven, Jonathan received a Bible from a neighbor lady, this made him love to read the Bible and made him want to know more about God, at the age of eighteen he finally accepted Christ as his Saviour. As a young man, he taught school in Thamesford, Ontario. Jonathan had the dream of becoming an accomplished lawyer and politician, but that dream didn’t last long; Jonathan was given a book (The Memoirs of Robert Murray M’Cheyne), this book changed his life completely. Through this book Jonathan understood that God was calling him to become a missionary, and as from that day, he started to be more involved in church, he taught at Sunday school, started family worship every night at his house, and this led to his father’s salvation.
Soon, he heard G. L. MacKay preach, and gave an invitation to become a missionary, this was the time when Jonathan decided to be a missionary in China. In the year 1885, Goforth received a copy of Hudson Taylor’s book, (China’s Spiritual Need and Claims), this book renewed his desire to be a missionary and he became to pray so that the Lord might guide him in this decision. In June 1887, Jonathan Goforth was appointed missionary to North China, and on October 25 of the same year, Goforth was he was married to Florence Rosalind Bell-Smith. On February 4, 1888, they sailed for China, it was not easy for them in china, they lost five of their eleven children due to sickness. In 1906 Goforth’s new work revivalism started, and this brought many souls to Chris, sometimes when he preached more than 25,000 people came to listen! Jonathan Goforth served in China for 46 years, he set up 31 mission stations, trained 61 native Chinese pastors and brought to Christ 13,000 Chinese people. Jonathan died on October 08, 1936, at the age of 77 years, he was buried in the Mount Pleasant Cemetery , Toronto.
The last missionary that will be stated in this essay is James Hudson Taylor. James Hudson Taylor, the founder of the China Inland Mission, was born on May 21, 1832; he would always be called by his middle name, Hudson. Hudson is best known for evangelizing in China and winning many souls to Christ. When Hudson was a child, he used to work in his father’s chemist shop and gained some experience in banking. In 1849 Hudson knew in his heart that it was the Lord’s plan for him to be a missionary in China.
Soon after, he moved to London to do further studies at the Royal Academy of Surgeons. The Chinese Evangelization Society offered him an opportunity to do mission work in China for them. When Hudson received this proposition he had not finished his studies yet but instead of refusing, he decided not to let go of this opportunity and he gratefully accepted their proposition. On September 19th, 1853, Hudson Taylor set off for China by boat and did not reach Shanghai until March 4th, 1854. When Hudson arrived in the villages he was not welcomed in a good manner because of his foreign appearance. In order to win their hearts, Hudson had to adapt his outfits according to the Chinese wardrobe, and this showed respect to the Chinese culture. Hudson even arranged his hair in a Chinese style which he maintained throughout his life. By doing so, his preaching attracted more and more people, and soon he saw that it was important for him to begin an organization in China.
In 1865, he and William Berger founded the China Inland Mission (CIM). When it had started, he prayed for exactly twenty-four volunteer missionaries to help him for his mission work in China. Not long after he prayed, the Lord answered his prayer by granting him exactly twenty-four missionaries. On top of being a missionary, Hudson had a medical degree and this was useful in healing great numbers of people who were sick. He used these visits as a means for spreading the Gospel which attracted more people.
Hudson Taylor has ministered greatly in the lives of people around him by bringing over 800 missionaries to China and began up to 125 schools. By what he had accomplished, he converted 18,000 Chinese citizens and this number increased. China Inland Mission, now known as OMF International, carries on the work Hudson began. Hudson Taylor died on June 3, 1905.
These three missionaries were men of great valor who ministered to the people according to God’s guidance and are great examples to follow. They did not look at dangers but they gave their lives for the people around them leaving behind their families and friends and going on a journey to win souls to Christ. They did not only contribute spiritually in the lives of the non-Christians but also naturally by establishing schools, providing medical support and building orphanages. Their contributions won many souls to Christ and what they have accomplished can never be forgotten.