*All entries submitted and written by Edward de los Reyes
On this day in 1812, Reverend Samuel Newell married Harriet Atwood. The pair of them would later sail to India as missionaries along side of Adoniram and Ann Hasseltine Judson. Sent out by the American Board of Commissioners, the Newells gave their lives for God’s service in India in 1813.
The Newell’s stay in India was a bit short-lived, however. Because the Anglo-American war of 1812 had just recently ended, British authorities in Calcutta became suspicious of the Newells and asked them to leave and go to Mauritias, an island off the southeastern coast of Africa. While there, Rev. Samuel Newell’s wife and only child died.
Despite this, Newell then left for modern-day Sri Lanka, an island off the southeastern coast of India. While there, he spent time in the district of Jaffna. Although he did spend the majority of his time in India, he became very instrumental in starting up the American missionary involvement in the city of Tellipalai in Sri Lanka.
What a testimony of a person who is willing to completely surrender everything to God. Not only did this man surrender one time to serve God, he had to constantly surrender to choose to follow God. How willing are we to continue to follow and serve God, even if it means that the things we love most in the world will be taken away from us. Will we still serve God then? This man did. Let’s let his life encourage us to decide to do the same.
On this day in 1930, American missionary to the Philippines, Frank Laubach wrote a letter including his personal reflection saying, “The sense of being led by an unseen hand which takes mine, while another hand reaches ahead and prepares the way, grows upon me daily.”
Laubach graduated and got his Master’s degree from Princeton, he went along to get his Doctorate’s from Columbia University, then he continued his education at Union Theological Seminary. Along with obviously being an educated man, he is recorded to be a God-loving man.
Sent out by the Union Congregational church under the American Board of Foreign Missions, he went to the Philippines and worked among an Islamic tribe in Mindanao known as the Moros. Through living among these people and growing in His relationship with God, Laubach was able to develop a technique of writing their own language and teach the Moro people to read, write, and teach their own language as well. Over the next few years, he became an international presence in literacy birthing the “Each One Teach One” program. Laubach also worked among the Christian FIlipinos teaching and starting churches.
How great to see a man who discovered the importance of learning the language and culture of the people he wanted to reach. Because of this, he was able to make a difference in those people and around the world. And what a privileged glimpse into the walk of this man with God as he records the sense of being led by God that would lead him to change lives.
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