John Sung was a Chinese evangelist. He travelled to the US, where he earned a Ph.D. from Ohio State University before studying theology at Union Theological Seminary. Ralph R. Covell, writing in the Biographical Dictionary of Christian Missions, notes that…
After his return to China in 1927, he engaged in widespread evangelism, teaching, and training throughout all of China and in most of the countries of the southeast Pacific. He did much of this work as a part of the Bethel Band, an indigenous revivalist organizatiion. Whereever he went, his work resulted in widespread conversions and in renewal of the church…
This is the standard biography of this remarkable man, kindly provided by Book Aid for digitisation. This book is still in copyright, so I am grateful to OMF International-UK for granting permission to place it on-line.
A life more varied than that of James Chalmers cannot be found in the annals of Christian service. Many of its highest acts of heroism are unrecorded. He was one of the few men who have gone to foreign shores that answer to the popular conception of an ideal missionary. His journeys among the islands were those of a daring pioneer, his life among the savages that of an intrepid adventurer. But he was also a noble servant of God, a humble man of prayer and faith, a fearless saint in the face of danger, a wise counsellor in the midst of trouble, a contented man in the monotony of the humdrum.
The reference to his work in Rarotonga is necessarily brief. Numerous reforms were introduced into the Mission there. He was not the man to rest con – tent with a round of duties which might be helpful only to those who voluntarily came to church, or lived near the Mission premises, but regarded every soul upon the island as put by God under his care, and having. equal claim for spiritual help. Thus he interpreted his Lord’s command, “Go ye … and preach the Gospel to every creature.”
Those ten years in Rarotonga were a fitting prelude to the more difficult work performed in New Guinea. The perils attendant upon much of it we can but imperfectly realise.
His labours ended by his gaining the martyr’s crown, but the result of his life’s work was the marmarvellous transformation which was wrought in the character and lives of the savage people among whom he had lived.
The life of a man such as James Chalmers can never fail to be a source of interest, inspiration, and noble resolve to every one. May he “being dead, yet speak” to those who would “serve the Lord Christ.”
Dr John Thomas [1757-1801] was a founding member of the Baptist Missionary Society and accompanied William Carey to India in 1793. Charles Bennett Lewis’s biography is one of the standard works on Thomas. The original from which this digital copy was made is held in Spurgeon’s College Library. This book is in the public domain.
The “Stone of Fire” of the title are the Lisu people of the Tibetan plateau, amongst whom Isobel Kuhn served. This title is still in copyright and appears here by kind permission of OMF International-UK. My thanks to Book Aid for providing a copy of this book for digitisation.
Stones of fire. The first time I ever saw them was in a setting as unique as unexpected.
It was many years ago, in the days of youthful agnosticism, and while travelling with the Players’ Club of our university. A yachting club had sponsored our play that night, and after the performance they gave us a dance at their clubhouse on the waters of a lovely lake.
A member of the club, given as partner and until then unknown to me, said, as the orchestra ceased playing, “Come out on to the verandah a moment. I want to show you something.” Dancing up to the clubhouse door which opened on to a balcony over the lake, he led me on to that unlit piazza. Electric light from the ballroom streamed through the doorway, whilst out on the lake the moon was making a softer brilliance on the rippling waters. Giving a quick glance at my puzzled face, this strange man thrust his hand into his trousers pocket, pulled out something and held it in the light from the doorway for me to look at.
“Have you ever seen anything like this?” he inquired. On his open palm lay about ten little pale stones, but as I gazed I became entranced, for each little stone was shooting fire ruby lights, emerald lights, golden lights, amethyst-they were indescribable. It was as if tiny living rainbows had been captured and put into pale translucent prisons from which they were sending forth rays of fire. I was enthralled.
“Oh how beautiful! What are they?” I cried.
“Mexican opals” my partner replied casually. “I like them, and so I carry them loose in my pocket. I like to put my hand down and feel them, even if there is not time to take them out and look at them. I carry them with me wherever I go.”
That was all; but I never forgot those beautiful stones. Not long after that, Christ challenged me and I yielded. In course of time He took me to the end of the earth, and there, in a setting as unique and as unexpected as in the first instance, I found the living counterpart of the little opals from that scene of my youth. The pocket this time was a canyon, thousands of feet deep in mother earth, tucked into the foothills of the Tibetan plateau. The geins were simple unpretentious tribesfolk, rock-like in their fidelities but flashing fire if the depths of their love was touched. Stones of fire. While watching them battle with untoward circumstance, the analogy dawned on me, sweeping me back a quarter of a century in time and over half the world in space. But there it was, perfect. Let us look at them in the light of a comment from Dr. Campbell Morgan….
This text-book is the fifth in a series of textbooks issued conjointly by the leading rnissionary societies in Great Britain for the use of Study Circles. Like its predecessors, “The Uplift of China,” “The Desire of India,” “The Reproach of Islam,” and “The Decisive Hour of Christian Missions,” the book has been written and edited with its special purpose in view. It is designed primarily for the use of those who study it chapter by chapter and meet periodically in Study Circles for discussion.
Editorial Note, page iii.
Donald Fraser, noted missionary to Malawi, discusses mission work among the pagan races of Central and South Africa. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.
From time immemorial Africa has held its fascination or the hum.an race. Greece embodied Africa in myth; Rome sent her legions thither in lust of conquest; Gaul sent her traders in search of barter and commerce; in North Africa there were reared some of the earliest leaders and saints of the Christian Church. Looking down the early centuries we search vainly, however, for further records of Africa than dim hints of futile attempts to cross her sealed threshold The spent waves of past humanity seem but to have swept to her edge, and then to have broken and retreated with the tide.
If we turn from yesterday to to-day, what have we? Africa-but yesterday chiefly a name and a by-word, to-day assuming rank as a great world force, covered with an advancing network of civilisation, a region of illimitable possibilities. The causes that have furthered this development, the purpose that underlies it, the responsibility the Christian world bears towards its furtherance, such questions constitute the theme of this book. Africa of to-day presents a complex picture. In area, a “vast ill-formed triangle,” the continent covers eleven and a half million miles in space. Each side of the triangle is pierced by a mighty river; on the north the Nile, on the west the Congo, on the east the Zambesi. An African traveller has roughly classified the great continent thus: North Africa where men go for health, South Africa where they go for wealth, Central Africa where, they go for adventure. Its population of about one hundred and sixty millions seems enormous. Yet, in comparison to the area it is small, and computed at fifteen to the square mile. Its races are innumerable; its dialects a vast confusion. The climate of Africa is modified by its elevation above the sea-level, but two-thirds of the continent lies within the tropics. The religions of Africa may be unequally divided under three heads: Christianity, Mohammedanism, and Paganism. Africa’s territorial divisions are, in the main, a matter of recent history. Eight million square miles of its area are partitioned amongst the various European powers.
To Britain the appeal of Africa is specially strong. Pioneers, missionaries, traders, travellers, soldiers, civil servants, serried rank upon serried rank have flowed out from this tiny island kingdom, many of them to live and die for that far country. For all types of men, Africa holds an abiding fascination. The student, the trader, the hunter, the philanthropist, firstly and lastly the evangelist, each and all have felt it, and in each case it differs. The riddle of the human race, its origin and development, the greed of gain, the desire for sport and adventure, the love of fellowmen, the sense of the mysterious awful responsibility of millions of souls still ignorant of Christ. All this is embodied in Africa and has its significance for the readers of her story….
Robert & Louisa Stewart served in China’s Fujian province with the Church Missionary Society (C.M.S.), where they developed a number of innovative evangelistic techniques.
… Using Christian materials as a major part of the curriculum in day schools for boys and girls, education became their major means for establishing indigenous churches. The employment of single women missionaries to open many inland stations was another distinctive strategy. In addition, Louisa was a pioneer in training mature Christian women to become indigenous missionaries called “Bible women.” Convinced that illiterate women could be taught to read more quickly through a romanized colloquial text. Louisa was also a major figure in the translation and publication of the romanized New Testament in the Fuzhou dialect.
Lauren Pfister, “Stewart, Louisa,” Evangelical Dictionary of World Missions, page.908
My thanks to Redcliffe College for making a copy of this public domain title available for digitisation.
Various proposals have been made as to writing a Life of Robert and Louisa Stewart; but they have all been declined.
Lives so truly lived in secret with God are not easy to record. And even if the attempt were successfully made, is there not a danger of exalting the human and losing sight of the fact that ” all things are of God?”
It has been thought, therefore, that it is sufficient for God’s glory, to print some letters lately received, and supply a few details of the earlier times. Their letters were not kept, at Mr. Stewart’s earnest request.
Feeling that anything too personal would have been repugnant to the feelings of our dear brother and sister, we refrain from writing their biographies; but we know their wish would be that we should write and print anything that would awaken love and sympathy for China and the Chinese-anything that would show the friends who have helped through prayer and by their gifts that the need now is not less, but greater. Their voices seem to plead with us from the glory, “Fill up the ranks.” Who will be baptized for the dead?
They went out to Foochow in September, 1876, just after their marriage. Learning the language was of course the first work.
Then Mr. Stewart was given charge of the school for native catechists belonging to the Church Missionary Society.
Mrs. Stewart, after a time, opened a school to train native Bible-women. The money to build it was given by personal friends.
Then came the pressing need of English ladies to teach and superintend their Chinese sisters.
After eight years abroad Mr. and Mrs. Stewart came home, and the matter was taken up by the C.E.Z.M.S., who agreed to send ladies to China, arranging that the funds for India and China should be kept separate.
The all-absorbing thought was, “How can the Gospel be preached to this generation of the Chinese?” And visions rose of devoted English ladies residing in every one of the many cities of the Fuhkien province, superintending hundreds of native Bible-women.
The Police Court Mission was a forerunner of the UK Probation Service that was founded in 1907, but its importance is often overlooked. I was very pleased to find a copy of this rare and significant book recently at Book Aid and am endeavouring to ensure that the hard copy finds a safe home in a Bible College library within the UK.
Follow the link below to visit the Police Court Mission page, where you will find a download link for this book and a helpful article which explains the mission’s significance.
A biography of the Presbyterian Missionary to Macao, Bible translator and Lexicographer Robert Morrison by the Editorial Secretary of the China Inland Mission. My thanks to Redcliffe College for providing a copy of this public domain title for digitisation.
“The pioneer is forgotten” wrote Robert Morrison in a fit of depression. To him in his lonely post it seemed so, but the statement is not true for all time. The pioneer, like the prophet, may be despised or even slain by his contemporaries, but posterity will build his tomb. In Morrison’s case he lived to be honoured beyond most missionaries, and time has only added lustre to his name.
It is fitting that his life and work should be again recalled, for a new and promising chapter in the evangelization of China has commenced. The Christian Church which Morrison set forth to found in the land of Sinim has lately claimed the right to administer her own affairs where able to do so. The great gulf between a land with no followers of Christ – we speak of the Protestant Church alone – and a land with a Church strong enough to desire self-government, has, thank God, been bridged. On the one side of that great span stands Morrison, the dauntless master-builder, and on the other side the first National Christian Conference which met at Shanghai less than two years ago.
On 19 October in Leuven, Belgium, Operation Mobilisation International (OM) will formally signify the transfer of the organisation’s records to EVADOC, Belgium’s archive for Protestantism and Evangelicalism. The archive will include sixty years of material which covers Bible smuggling into Soviet Russia, shipwreck, overland passage to India, mountain adventures in the Himalayas, and the growth of a movement estimated to have touched the lives of nearly one billion people worldwide. Linked with KADOC-KU Leuven, Catholic University of Leuven, Evadoc is a leading research unit in the history of evangelicalism and protestantism in the Low Countries. Evadoc’s first task will be to catalogue the materials. OM’s formal declaration of the transfer of its archives will take place at Evadoc’s 10 year anniversary Study and Meeting day, at the Evangelical Theological Faculty, Sint-Jansbergsesteenweg 95-97, 3001 Leuven, Belgium.
Aaldert Prins, spokesman for EVADOC, said today: “The OM archive is one of the greatest treasures of the modern protestant missionary movement. I am delighted that OM has chosen to entrust its records to EVADOC.”
George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilisation, said today “Dr. Louis Palau said the story of OM is ‘one of the most thrilling, visionary, motivating stories in the history of Christian missions’. More than 100,000 young and older people have now served with this movement – often among the least reached peoples on earth. It’s their written reports and stories that have shaped OM’s legacy. That’s why today I’m thankful to EVADOC for this significant step we have taken together to conserve our history. As OM’s archives move to Leuven and become more widely available for historical missions research, my prayer is that many will be encouraged to believe God for even greater things than OM’s early pioneers could ever have imagined!” Dr. George Verwer, founder of Operation Mobilisation
OM was founded by three young students, still in their teens, in 1957, who took a Dodge truck full of Christian literature down to Mexico from Moody Bible Institute, Chicago. In 1960 the mission organisation, then called Send The Light (STL), began to work in Europe, opening a Christian book store in Spain despite religious restrictions imposed by General Franco. The pioneer workers went on to smuggle Bibles and Christian literature into Soviet Russia and Eastern Europe. Shortly afterwards the organisation was renamed Operation Mobilisation. During the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, OM teams travelled overland from Zaventem, Belgium, to the Middle East, North Africa and the Indian sub-continent.
In 1971 OM launched its first ship, Logos. This was followed in 1977 by the Doulos, then the world’s oldest still operating passenger vessel and largest floating book-shop. In 1988 the Logos sank off the coast of Argentina, resulting in the dramatic rescue of all on board. Within a year, Logos was replaced with Logos II, and in 2009 Logos II was replaced by a much larger ship, Logos Hope. OM ships have visited 483 different ports in more than 150 countries around the world. 48 million visitors have come on board.
From 1989 to 2001, OM’s Love Europe programme saw more than 30,000 young people travel to cities and rural areas ranging from Lisbon to Moscow and Oslo to Istanbul to share a message of hope and love through, music, art, dance, the printed word and intercultural contact.
OM Belgium celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2015 and OM international its 60th anniversary in 2017. EVADOC is therefore delighted to participate in conserving the heritage of this significant international mission organisation.
Further information on OM is available at www.om.org.
For further media information and interviews, please contact Martin Turner, national director of OM, Belgium, at [email protected], or on +447753683337 (English, French and Dutch)
Notes for editors:
EVADOC vzw is the Protestant-Evangelical Archive and Documentation
Centre for Belgium and works closely with KADOC-KU Leuven, Catholic
University of Leuven.
2 Operation Mobilisation (OM) is an international Christian missions organisation, separately registered in the USA, UK, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, and most other countries in which it operates. In Belgium, OM is based at Fabrieksstraat 63, 1930 Zaventem, and registered as Operatie Mobilisatie vzw, Opération Mobilisation asbl.