Christ the True Refuge
1847 – Rev. and Mrs. I.J. Stoddard, appointed by the American Baptist Missionary Union, sailed from Boston on the Cato to serve the Lord in Assam. Rev. Stoddard’s expertise was in the field of education, however, he preached extensively, until nine years later when ill health forced them back to the states in 1856. After returning to America, their hearts were so burdened for Assam, that they returned to that heathen darkness in 1866. The sacrifice that they made was nearly unbearable, as they made arrangements for their children to be left in the states. After arriving in Assam they were assigned to Gauhati, and then removed to Goalpara where they reaped a great harvest of souls. It is reported that no work excelled his, up to that time, on any mission field of the ABFMU. Then another great sacrifice was made as the Stoddards had to separate, that they might serve in two different areas. In 1871 when her health failed again, his wife had to sail alone for America, leaving I.J. to continue without her. Following is one of the examples of “So Great a Salvation.” An English evangelist had gone to a bazaar and gave a tract True Refuge to an old man who had been a village bard. He learned the tract by memory, and he and his wife traveled many miles, often through waste deep water and mud to Gauhati to find the teacher. All the way he would cry out, “Life, life, eternal life! Who will tell us about it? People would laugh and mock. At Gauhati he found the missionaries and they told him about Jesus, the Way of Life. He was discipled and baptized. From then on he would go throughout the land singing the praises of God. [Helen Barrett Montgomery, Following the Sunrise Philadelphia: Louis H. Everts, 1881), 2:1112. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 600-02.] Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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