On this day in 1797, Henry Nott conducted the first Christian service ever held on the shores of the dark island of Tahiti. The meeting was held under cover of some enormous trees. The king, Pomare, and a vast concourse of people were present.
Pomare said he had been “dreaming about the Book of God which the missionaries had brought” and was eager to hear its message. Realizing the importance of this first meeting, Nott delivered a powerful message from John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
As its majestic syllables were translated by Peter, the Swede, and its momentous truths explained, Pomare nodded his head in approbation and exclaimed, “My ty! My ty! Very good! Very good!” And this sentiment was echoed by a host of dark-skinned natives.
“We are an ignorant people and this message is good for us,” said the king.
“The Bible is the only sure and efficacious remedy for the ignorance and superstitions of mankind,” said Henry Nott.
“My ty! Very good!” agreed the people.
Neil Livingstone, David’s father, was extremely committed to Christ. He taught Sunday school and would often, while going door to door as a salesman, would hand out tracts at the same time. He was constantly reading books on theology and updates on the new missionary movement that was shaking the churches. It wasn’t long before this love rubbed off on his children.
David,at the age of ten, was employed at a local cotton mill. Here, he would have to work twelve-hour days as “piecers,” tying broken cotton threads on the spinning machines. This work was monotonous but gave him persistence, endurance, and a natural empathy with all who labor. Another advantage of this job was that it was near the local limestone quarries, where the young boy would love to scour on his free time, studying the animal, plant and geological specimens.
So as a young boy, David was taught to work hard and never give up. He was given a love for reading, for his Savior, and for the work of World Evangelism. He was also given a deep interest in science. All of these traits would play an essential role in molding David into the great missionary he would become.
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