On this day in 1906, Elisabeth Alden Scott Stam, aka, “Betty” was born in Albion, Michigan. Her ancestors were Pilgrims who had come over on the “Mayflower.”

When she was still a toddler, her parents were sent to China as missionaries.  Betty grew up in China, where two younger sisters and two younger brothers were born.  Their parents built a strong environment of Christian faith, where their children grew physically, mentally, and spiritually. By their example, their parents laid a solid foundation of faith for their children. As they came to school age, each was sent to the school for foreign children at Tongzhou, Hebei.

When Betty was 17, her parents returned to America on furlough.  While she was back, Betty enrolled in Wilson College in Pennsylvania to study literature.  But her heart still belonged in China.  She would constantly pray, “If it is Your will, please allow me to return to China without any obstacle.”  After graduation, she enrolled at the Moody Bible Institute.  It was here, at a home prayer meeting, that she met John Stam, who also shred a vision for China.  The two would later marry and begin a powerful, but short, ministry in China.

When Betty was only 28, she and John were captured by Chinese rebels and beheaded with sharp swords.  The final letter they wrote to their mission board, the China Inland Mission, ended with these words, “May God bless and lead you. As for us, whether by life or by death, may God be glorified.”


Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christians

On this day in 1800, Ainsworth Blunt was born in Amherst, New Hampshire.

At the age of 22, Blunt set out from Boston to help start a mission among the Native American with the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.  The mission was located in  Chattanooga, Tennessee and was named Brainerd station, in honor of David Brainerd.  It was built a top a beautiful, picturesque height.  This location would later be called “missionary ridge” and would, nearly fifty years later, be the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

The mission grew rapidly.  At one time, more than 500 Cherokee children were being taught at the schoolhouse there.  The influence felt by the mission was so immense that, at one time, the President of the United States, James Monroe, made a surprise visit to the Mission to see if the stories he heard about it were true.  While he was working there, Blunt met a young woman, Harriet, who had come to the mission to work with her brother.  The two were married in 1821.

The Blunts continued to work among the Cherokee until 1838.  At that time, the Cherokee were forced to move off their homeland and to relocated.  This event became known in history as the trail of tears.  Blunt and his wife accompanied the Cherokee along the trail and helped them along the way.

Due to health issues, they were forced to return to Chattanooga.  In 1847, Blunt was elected the first mayor of Dalton, Georgia.


Ainsworth Blunt

The Pittsburgh Press

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