JANUARY 5 – GOD’S PREPARATION FOR HIS OWN
God has a deep love for His people. He is continually making preparation or smoothing the way for the ones He loves. Genesis 45:7,8. Joseph tells his brothers, “God sent me before you…”. God uses man to prepare and preserve His own.
I remember when my father went on the mission field to St. Louis. There were Missionary Baptists in that great city of wickedness. They had left the south for the opportunity to provide for family. Yet there was not a Missionary Baptist Church there.
My father was led to start a mission there with his family. I believe there were six of us and if I am wrong, one of my brothers or sisters can correct my faulty memory. As my father wore out shoe leather knocking doors, we found these Missionary Baptists. Maybe I should say, God put them in our way so we could find what God had put there for us. A church was built from those that God had sent before us. God continues to lay down a path for us to follow if we will follow Him. He never neglects us or sends us somewhere for us to fail. Sometimes our own desires get in the way of what God has prepared for us. There are times we are mislead by our wants, desire and wishes. This I know, we never fail while following where God has prepared for us to go.
God has already been there. God has prepared the way for Joseph to go through some trials and tribulations so that he would be in a place to be used by God in the employ of Pharaoh. God has prepared the way for each of us. We do not have to be a missionary to have God’s preparation in our life. We simply need to be faithful and yielded.
There are times we may not understand why things are the way they are, but patiently enduring and maturing will yield God’s ultimate plan for us. We may even be unhappy with where we are but being in the will of God and accomplishing his purpose will bring happiness and joy and fulfillment. May our desires and wishes be subjugated to His purpose and completion of the preparation God has made.
1 John 2:1, 2
“My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous,” 1 John 2:1.
While on a mission trip in Thailand, some of the team members with us were curious about the Buddhist temples. We took them to see a couple of the temples.
The doors of the temple are usually open during the day and evening and anyone may enter. Before entering, one must remove his shoes. The buildings are cool even though there is no air conditioning because the ceilings are steeply pitched and high. Large, carved, wooden chairs line the sides of the main room. These are where various monks, according to their rank, will sit on Buddhist holidays. On these days, people gather to bless the monks with gifts. In return, the monks will sprinkle water on their heads with some sort of good luck blessing. The monk cannot forgive any transgression the people may have committed. For that, they must do good deeds for merits.
Conversely, we go to church to worship the living God, praise Jesus and be convinced or convicted by the Holy Spirit through a biblical message. Furthermore, Jesus is our constant advocate, not just on Sundays. He makes intercession for us to the Father. I am so glad; more than glad, I am ecstatic that we have Jesus on our side!
REFLECTION – God demands no money, gifts or favors, only faith, in Jesus as our Savior.
They “Held the Rope”
1792 – Is a day that should live forever in the hearts of Bible believing Baptists, for it was on that day that the first modern-day mission agency was founded. William Carey, Andrew Fuller, and a small group of Baptist pastors from the Northhamptonshire Baptist Association in Great Britain formed the Baptist Missionary Society, or the B.M.S. for short. Dr. John Collett Ryland, Jr. was to become the driving force behind the eventual success of the B.M.S. He was the son of Rev. John C. Ryland, Sr. and was born in 1753 in Warwick and educated in his father’s school. He served for fifteen years as his fathers assistant at the College Lane Church, Northhampton, before succeeding him as pastor of that Baptist congregation in 1786. It was while assistant to his father that he baptized William Carey in the River Nen on Oct. 5, 1783. His diary entry said, “I baptized a poor journeyman cobbler.” In 1792 he became pastor of Broadmead Baptist in Bristol and principal of Bristol Baptist College where many men were trained for the ministry and missions. He followed Fuller as the Secretary of the B.M.S. and traveled extensively and preached nearly 9,000 sermons, much of it for the cause of missions. Twenty-six of his students went on to the mission field. Carey had challenged Ryland, Sutcliff, Fuller, and Pearce to “hold the rope” while he went into the mine of India. They didn’t disappoint him. Dr. Ryland died in 1825 at 72 years of age. [Norman S. Moon, Education for Ministry-Bristol Baptist College 1679-1979 (Rushden, Norrthhamptonshire: Stanley L. Hunt, Ltd. 1979), p. 113. This Day in Baptist History II: Cummins and Thompson, BJU Press: Greenville, S.C. 2000 A.D. 539-40.]
Prepared by Dr. Greg J. Dixon
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Native warriors melted in her presence
Mrs. M.B. Ingalls has been called “The Queen of female missionaries” by Dr. S. F. Smith. She sailed for Burma as the second wife of Rev. L. Ingalls. The couple was transferred from the Arracan Mission and labored as a team until the death of her husband on March 14, 1856. She remained on the field and the most remarkable success followed her labors-in some respects unparalleled in the history of the Burmese Missions. Mrs. Ingalls remained for forty-six years longer in Rangoon and Thonze. She endured two fires that destroyed nearly all of her personal property, but she continued on. She returned twice to America to raise support and stirred great interest in missions. It took her two years to regain her health. Over great protests she returned to those that she loved. While she was in charge of a lonely station, she was holding an evening class in her bungalow when a chief of a hostile tribe and his warriors burst in upon her. She diverted their attention by telling stories about America. The chief listened with scorn. She also told stories about the Colt revolver that her late husband had given to her. Again the chief listened with scorn and then suddenly picked up a piece of paper and stuck it on the wall and said, “Shoot.” Her heart trembled, she didn’t know what to do but she fired It not knowing whether it was even loaded. Thankfully it was, and she got a bulls eye, right through the center. The Natives, with a whoop, rushed from the place. In April 1890 she showed a group of ladies in America a placard that the “Dracoit” had nailed to the door of her chapel offering $10,000 for her head.” Believing that she was immortal in the hands of God, Mrs. Ingalls served the Lord faithfully amid great dangers. We honor her as one of the great soldiers in the Lord’s missionary army.
Missionary to the Outcasts
We are familiar with many of our great forefathers. Frequently, however, we are unaware of some of those who assisted and worked alongside those better-known men. George Bana Boardman is such a person. He was born in Livermore, Maine, on February 8, 1801, the son of a Baptist pastor. He was ordained at North Yarmouth, Maine, on February 16, 1825. With his wife, he sailed on July 16 of that same year for Calcutta, India. There they remained until March 20, 1827, when they embarked for Amherst, Burma, to assist the well – known Adoniram Judson. They arrived in Burma only days after the burial of Mrs. Ann Judson.
It was decided that the Boardmans should move to the province of Tavoy and establish a mission at its principal town, which was also called Tavoy. In April 1828, they began their missionary work in that place. The Karens, who had long been oppressed by the Burmese, held a tradition that at some time messengers from the West would bring to them a revelation from God. They were prepared to receive our missionaries and their message. Two converts were soon won, one of whom was Ko Thah-byu, who served as an evangelist to his own people.
Just days before George Boardmans death, he was carried by a cot on the shoulders of the Karens for a three day journey to a zayat built by faithful disciples. More than a hundred were already assembled, nearly half of whom were candidates for baptism. At the close of the day, his cot was placed at the riverside as they gathered to witness the first baptism ever held in that region. The Boardmans left the next day to return to Tavoy, while on the second day of the journey, February 11, 1831, George Boardman went to his eternal rest.
Dr. Dale R. Hart, adapted from: This Day in Baptist History III (David L. Cummins), pp. 79-80.
He was called “the man with the twenty hands.”
December 01, 1817 – John Mason Peck arrived with his family in St. Louis, Missouri after a 129 day journey by wagon, by boat, and on foot. They had to carry him, sick with a fever off on a stretcher. He had surrendered to the mission field under Luther Rice. He began by gathering children for a school and doing evangelistic work among the black population and make excursions into the surrounding areas to preach. He planted the earliest Baptist churches west of the Mississippi River. Limited in his own education, he founded the first College in the West. So great was his energy, he was called “the man with the twenty hands.” The following entry from his 1925 journal gives an example: He said that he had been gone from home for 53 days, had traveled through 18 counties in Ill. and 9 in Ind., rode 926 miles, preached 31 regular sermons, besides several speeches, addresses and lectures. He revived three Bible societies, and established seven new ones, aided in forming three Sabbath-school soc’s., and in opening several societies where none existed. The family had to live frugally on $5 per month from the Mass. Baptist Missions Soc. Peck eked out a living through other means including manual labor. When the interest in the Baptist Mission Societies in the East waned Peck and Jonathan Going doubled their efforts and laid the foundation for a new Missions Society in a period of strong anti-mission sentiment. We owe much to this man who built the first Baptist church in the city of St. Louis.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 501-02.
Joshua labored with Mr. Carey in translating the Scripture
December 04, 1837 – Joshua Marshman died, and was laid to rest in “God’s Acre.” That plot in India that is now consecrated by the mingled dust of generations of missionaries who await the resurrection. Marshman, born in a Baptist home in Wiltshire, England, on April 20, 1768 knew early the message of saving grace. When he was 24, he moved to Bristol to supervise a school of the Broadmead Baptist Church. While there he also took classes at the Seminary, and for five years studied Hebrew and Syriac. Carey had gone to India in 1793, and the missionary reports had stirred the hearts of the Marshmans for the cause of missions. The Marshmans applied to the mission, were accepted, and sailed in May, arriving in Calcutta in Oct. of 1799. They opened a young ladies’ boarding school which became the largest of its kind in India. This supplemented their support, and all the profits went to the Serampore Mission. They also established two more such schools which work was carried on by Hannah Marshman. She continued on until her death in 1847. Joshua had not been robust in his youth, and at the time of his leaving had been in poor health but the Lord undertook for His servant and he said that he had not paid out a single sovereign on medicine in 36 years. Joshua labored with Mr. Carey in translating the Scripture, preaching and other missions work. He mastered Chinese and translated the Scriptures into a Chines Bible. He printed the works of Confucius and used the profits to place God’s Word in the hands of the disciples of Confucius. On one occasion he was mobbed and on another he was arrested. The Carey’s and Marshman’s used £80,000 of their own money to save the property when the young men took over the mission after the old men died off.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 505-07.
“determined to invest his life in winning souls to Christ”
November 11, 1790 – Thomas Baldwin, was installed as the pastor of the Second Baptist Church in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1791 seventy were added to the church, and they later experienced several glorious revivals, one in which resulted in 21 receiving Christ. His mother left a fine moral and intellectual character on Thomas. His father was attached to and rose to some distinction in the then Colonial Army. When Thomas was 16, his father having died and his mother having remarried and moved to Canaan, N.H., Baldwin represented the town in the state legislature at an early age and commenced his studies to fit himself for the legal profession. After the death of his first son in 1777 he resolved to make religion his first concern. It was not until 1780 that two Baptist preachers came to labor in the neighborhood that he came to a full understanding of the grace of God. Having been educated among pedobaptists, he struggled with the subject of Baptism. He became convinced of believers baptism and was determined to follow through to be baptized in the latter part of 1781 no matter how much disapproval and alienation he received from his friends, which was considerable. Baldwin determined to invest his life in winning souls to Christ and building up the cause of Him who had by His grace brought him to the saving knowledge of the truth. In due time he was set apart for the work of an evangelist and then for 7 years he pastored the Baptist church in Canaan with no stipulated salary. All he received did not average to more than $40 per year. He spent a considerable amount of time preaching in destitute places, sometimes as far as 100 miles in the dead of winter. He became a prolific writer, editor, and apologist for the principles of the Word of God.
Dr. Greg J. Dixon from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I: Cummins Thompson /, pp. 469-70.
“The Father of Western Africa Missions”
November 10, 1828 – Lott Carey, “The Father of Western Africa Missions” died of an accident less than ten years from the time that his little missionary group sailed from Norfolk, Virginia, aboard the “Nautilus” for Liberia, on Jan. 23, 1821. His farewell sermon, preached in the meeting-house of the First Baptist Church had made a lasting impression on Deacon William Crane who had begun a school for black men in 1815. Classes were held 3 nights each week. 20 black men were enrolled, including Lott Carey. The regular course was supplemented with articles on missions. Now here was the result of that effort taking root in the hearts of this black slave who had lived so frugally that he had purchased his and his two children’s freedom for $850. He purchased a farm for $1500 and worked for an annual salary of $800. He was offered a 25% raise to stay instead of going to Africa which he rejected. Crane had recommended Carey and Colin Teague, another former slave, to the American Board of Foreign Missions and they were both accepted. Teague had told Crane that he should be surprised to hear Carey preach. Carey preached from Rom. 8:32. Mr. Crane said that he had such a vivid memory of it that Carey “at the close dwelt on the word, freely, and rang a succession of perhaps a dozen changes upon the word in a manner that would not have dishonored Whitfield.” In Liberia, Lott planted the Providence Baptist Church, which was the first Baptist church in Africa. He served as medical officer, soldier, and governmental inspector while leading his church in evangelism and education. He had been intemperate and profane as a young man but had been converted through the preaching of Rev. John Courtney, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Richmond Virginia.