Today 3,700 Baptist congregations in Myanmar trace their origins to the ministry of one man: Adoniram Judson. The only Burmese Bible in existence was translated by this Baptist missionary. Hundreds were set free from the oppression of Buddhism during his lifetime, many missionaries were raised up, and a legacy of gospel proclamation was laid in Burma.
But at what cost? Judson suffered from malaria, persecution, despair, imprisonment, beatings, starvation, and the loss of two wives and seven children. He left behind friends and family. He died at sea.
Are the lost and dying nations worth the cost of bringing them the gospel? Judson writes of the desperation of the Burmese:
“The Spirit of inquiry…is spreading everywhere, through the whole length and breadth of the land…Some come two or three months’ journey, from the borders of Siam and China—‘Sir, we hear that there is an eternal hell. We are afraid of it. Do give us a writing that will tell us how to escape it.’ Others, from the frontiers of Kathay, 100 miles north of Ava—‘Sir, we have seen a writing that tells of an eternal God. Are you the man that gives away such writings? If so, pray give us one, for we want to know the truth before we die.’”
This is his story. Count the cost with Mr. Judson.
Here are some further resources:
- Piper, John, Adoniram Judson: How Few There Are Who Die So Hard, Desiring God, 2012.
- Clement, Jesse, Memoir of Adoniram Judson : Being a Sketch of His Life and Missionary Labors, Auburn: Derby and Miller, 1852.
- Finn, Nathan, “Missionaries You Should Know: Adoniram Judson”, IMB.org.