The groans of a dying man kept him awake in the little inn outside New York. He was hardened to the cries because a college friend at Brown University had persuaded him to be an atheist. The next morning he learned the man who died in the night was none other than his college friend. This rude awakening led him to become one of America’s first foreign missionaries.
His name was Adoniram Judson, born in Massachusetts, August 9, 1788, and he became one of America’s first overseas missionaries.
At age 23, and his wife 22, they sailed from New England on FEBRUARY 19, 1812, for Calcutta, India, but were forced by the British East India Tea Company to Rangoon, Burma. They preached in Burmese, translated Scriptures and started schools. Enduring hardships, Adoniram was imprisoned during the Burmese War. He later gained respect from the Burmese and British officials, translating his English-Burmese Dictionary and the Bible.
By his death, there were 63 churches, 123 ministers and over 7,000 baptized Christians in Burma. Adoniram wrote:
“How do Christians discharge this trust committed to them? They let three fourths of the world sleep the sleep of death, ignorant of the simple truth that a Savior died for them.”
Self-Educated American contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.