ON THIS DAY in MISSIONARY HISTORY
16 April 1858 – John Paton and his wife sailed from Scotland to become missionaries to the New Hebrides islands. His wife soon died, along with their infant son, both of whom, Paton had to bury. He wrote: “But for Jesus and His fellowship, I must have gone mad beside that grave and died.”
10 April 1829 – William Booth was born. A Methodist, he founded the Salvation Army to reach those working in the slums, who were missed by the churches. He wrote the book In Darkest England.
5 April 1811 – Robert Raikes, one of the founders of the Sunday School movement (he wanted to provide boys and girls from the poorest homes with the gift of literacy and the riches of the Scriptures), died on this day.
4 April 1868 – Scottish Missionary, William Chalmers Burns, died in Niu Zhuang, China. He worked together with Hudson Taylor, evangelising in the Chinese interior. During his preaching the Gospel in China, Burns was imprisoned in Guangzhou and died in Liaoning province.
3 April 1826 – Bishop Reginald Heber died in India. Amongst his influential hymns composed, are: “Holy, Holy, Holy” and “From Greenland’s Icy Mountains,” which was reputed to have inspired more people into foreign missions than any other hymn in history.
2 April 1952 – American Missionary to the Muslim Middle East, Samuel Marinus Zwemer died in New York City. He had set up four mission stations in the Middle East. The National Evangelical Church of Bahrain, which he established, continues to this day. Through the work of the Student Volunteer Movement, with which he was strongly connected, over 14,000 young people were mobilised to the Mission field.
1 April 1815 – William Chalmers Burns was born in Forfarshire, Scotland. He was a Scottish Evangelist and Missionary to China with the English Presbyterian Mission. Along with Robert Murray M’Cheyne, he was associated with the Revival in Scotland in 1839.
1 April 1860 – Jonathan Goble and his wife, arrived at Kanagawa, Japan, becoming some of the first Protestant Missionaries to enter Japan. Goble is accredited with inventing the Rickshaw.