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Rate your Stickability

We had dinner with my family on Monday night and, amongst the vast array of silliness mixed with theological discussion with a dash of personal reflection, one of my sisters was telling us about the fantastic speaker she heard at the recent Out of the Valley conference. Louie Giglio is a guy who runs Passion student ministry in the US. He’s a well known speaker and it sounded like the ministry he heads up is really significant. I’m glad she shared it with us.

Anyway, it got me thinking about who my ministry heroes are. I’m not sure that I could pick one, despite James’ assertions that he would naturally be ‘at least in the top 5’. However, one man’s story in particular has continued to encourage me since I read about him. Here’s an excerpt from ‘Shining Like Stars entitled ‘Rate your Stickability’.

“Adoniram Judson sensed God’s call to serve overseas while a student at Yale. He was one of the founders of trhe Student Volunteer Movement, a forerunner of IFES, which was to send tens of thousands of missionaries. He and his wife Ann sailed from Massachusetts…. to Burma (now Myanmar) arriving in 1813. Judson’s suffering is almost unparalleled in modern mission history.
“It took over two years to grasp the rules of the Burmese language in a country where no English was spoken. It was six years before he saw the first Christian convert and in the rest of his lifetime he would see fewer than twenty-five, and perhaps only half that number had come to a living faith.
“Adoniram Judson was suspected of being a spy during the war with Britain, and thrown into the ‘Death Prison’ (1824-1825) where he was hung upside down in leg irons every night.
“Ann died in 1828 and this caused him to fall into a severe depression. For four months he sat by her grave contemplating her decaying body and writing ‘God to me is the great unknown; I believe in him but I cannot find him.’ We can barely imagine such depths of bleakness for this man of God, so far from home. Added to this, several who initially professed faith fell away in the face of opposition.
“Judson lost two wives and six children, and at least eleven co-workers. He died in obscurity. But one task was completed. The Burmese had the Bible in their own language…. They still use the same translation now!

One Burmese man, Matthew said, “‘Whenever someone mentions Judson’s name, tears come to my eyes because we know what he and his family suffered.’ He went on with great emotion, ‘Today there are six million Christians in Myanmar, and every one of us traces our spiritual heritage to one man – the Reverend Adoniram Judson.'”

What I found so amazing about this man was his incredible perseverance. How often do I feel like giving up after a few months or a year if things aren’t working! Yet he kept slogging it out, at considerable personal cost to himself, never seeing the fruit of his faithful ministry. What a challenge! This is the kind of person I aspire to be: someone who considers everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord and serving him with my life.

Categories: Uncategorized Written by Tamie

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Tamie Davis

Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at

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