On this day in 1890, Edward Topping Doane, missionary to Micronesia, died on Honolulu.

Thirty-five years earlier, Doane graduated from Union Theological Seminary and was commissioned and sent out by the the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.  The field he was sent to was Micronesia, specifically to an island called Ascension Island or Ponape.  He worked here for several years, until he was reassigned to the Marshal Islands and then Japan.  But despite the field he was at, Doane’s heart always returned to the people he first labored among.  So when the opportunity arose for him to return to Micronesia, he gladly accepted.

Once back in Micronesia, Doane threw himself into the work.  His dedication and love to the people soon won him their love and respect.  And the work began to grow!  Several churches were started on the island and many of the people came to Christ.  Doane noted that he was able to observe a major change in the behavior and lifestyle of the people, without him trying to create it.  It all came from a changing of their heart by Jesus Christ.

In 1887, the Spanish sent a fleet to Ponape and took control of the island.  Viewing Doane as a potential political danger, the Spanish took him prisoner and sent him to the Philippines as a prisoner.  But this act angered the  islanders even more than the occupation and soon they were protesting and rioting against the Spanish.  It came to a point that the Spanish had to release Doane and return him to the island.

This ordeal, however, completely broke Doane’s health.  When word reached the Board of his poor state of health, they sent their famed missionary vessel, the Morning Star, to pick up Doane and bring him to Hawaii, for recuperation.  But, after two weeks in Hawaii, he breathed his last.  He served as a missionary for over 35 years.


The Encyclopedia of Missions

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