There are numerous volumes in the “Missionary Heroes” series, consisting of short biographies written to inspire and challenge young people by their examples. The “heroes” covered in this volume are:
My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this public domain book for digitisation.
- Prefactory Note
- “The Hero of Uganda”
- The Lion-Hearted Bishop
- Pioneers in Nyasaland
- Wortrekkers in Barotseland
- A Pioneer in Garenganze
- A Tramp Through the Great Pygmy Forest
In a “foreword” which he contributes to Dr. Jacob Chamberlain’s attractive missionary book, In the Tiger Jitng-le, Dr. Francis E. Clark expresses the opinion that one need not patronize sensational and unhealthy fiction to find stirring adventure and thrilling narrative, and then goes on to say:-
“There is one source which furnishes stories of intense and dramatic interest, abounding in novel situations and spiced with abundant adventure ; and this source is at the same time the purest and most invigorating fountain at which our youth can drink. To change the figure, this is a mine hitherto largely unworked; it contains rich nuggets of ore, which will well repay the prospector in this new field.”
The field to which Dr. Clark refers is the history of modern Christian missions. His meaning is that the adventurous and stirring side of missionary experience needs to be brought out, and emphasis laid upon the fact that the romantic days of missions are by no means past.
There are stories which are now among the classics of missionary romance. Such are the expedition of Hans Egede to Greenland, the lonely journeys of David Brainerd among the Indian tribes of the North American forests, the voyage of John Williams from one coral island of the Pacific to another in the little ship which his own hands had built, the exploration of the Dark Continent by David Livingstone in the hope of emancipating the black man’s soul.
But among missionary lives which are more recent or less known, there are many not less noble or less thrilling than those just referred to; and the chapters which follow are an attempt to make this plain.
There is, of course, a deeper side to Christian missions-a side that is essential and invariable – while the elements of adventure and romance are accidental and occasional. If in these pages the spiritual aspects of foreign mission work are but slightly touched upon, it is not because they are either forgotten or ignored, but simply because it was not part of the writer’s present plan to deal with them. It is hoped, nevertheless, that some of those into whose hands this book may come will be induced by what they read to make fuller acquaintance with the lives and aims of our missionary heroes, and so will catch something of that spirit which led them to face innumerable dangers, toils, and trials among heathen and often savage peoples, whether in the frozen North or the burning South, whether in the hidden depths of some vast continent or among the scattered “islands of the ocean seas.”Pages 9-11