Aiming,though often failing 'to become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some'. Join with me in these reflections,discussions, videos and even humour about how we might become truly authentic in mission:Contextual yet Biblical:Passionate, but also Compassionate:In Word, as well as in Deed.The Spirit of Jesus within is calling each of his followers to reach out and fulfil the Missio Dei in a world of pain and need.
Tuesday, 26 January 2016
'In the very embrace of death itself, have you a Friend that will not fail you then?'The testimony of John Paton, missionary to the New Hebrides, on being pursues by hostile natives.
John Paton was an old school missionary who suffered tremendous hardship and suffering bring the gospel to the people of the New Hebrides. His first child and wife were to die out in the mission field within two years of his arrival. The suffering as well as the fruit that was bore by this man of God can never be over estimated. See also
'Being entirely at the mercy of such doubtful and vacillating friends, I, though perplexed, felt it best to obey. I climbed into the tree and was left there alone in the bush. The hours I spent there live all before me as if it were but of yesterday. I heard the frequent discharging of muskets, and the yells of the Savages. Yet I sat there among the branches, as safe in the arms of Jesus. Never, in all my sorrows, did my Lord draw nearer to me, and speak more soothingly in my soul, than when the moonlight flickered among these chestnut leaves, and the night air played on my throbbing brow, as I told all my heart to Jesus. Alone, yet not alone! If it be to glorify my God, I will not grudge to spend many nights alone in such a tree, to feel again my Savior’s spiritual presence, to enjoy His consoling fellowship. If thus thrown back upon your own soul, alone, all alone, in the midnight, in the bush, in the very embrace of death itself, have you a Friend that will not fail you then?' (John G. Patton: Missionary to the New Hebredies, An Autobiography Edited by His Brother [Edinburgh: The Banner of Truth Trust, 1965, orig. 1889, 1891], p. 200)
John Gibson Paton (24 May 1824 - 28 January 1907), born in Scotland, was a Protestantmissionary to the New Hebrides Islands of the South Pacific. He brought to the natives of the New Hebrides education and Christianity. He developed small industries for them, such as hat making. He advocated strongly against a form of slavery, which was called “Blackbirding”, that involved kidnapping the natives and forcing them to work in New Zealand and elsewhere. Though his life and work in the New Hebrides was difficult and often dangerous, Paton preached, raised a family, and worked to raise support in Scotland for missionary work. He also campaigned hard to persuade Britain to annex the New Hebrides. He was a man of robust character and personality. Paton was also an author and able to tell his story in print. He is held up as an example and an inspiration for missionary work.