|adoniram and ann judson|
he had a dilemma. he knew that the calling on his life was one of full surrender and sacrifice. and he knew the dangers of taking the message of jesus to the unreached burmese. he was willing to die for the mission... but take a beautiful young woman with him?
but ann was a passionate follower of jesus as well, and fully committed to the cause. they believed God had placed them together for this very purpose!
here's the fascinating letter that judson wrote to ann's father, asking her hand in marriage:
“I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world ? Whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”
ann's father ultimately approved, and many of the risks judson spoke of in his letter would be fulfilled. ann lost 3 children while living in burma, from sickness and complications during childbirth, and she eventually died from smallpox. judson would write in her eulogy, "she left her home and died for the sake of He who left his home to die for us."
was it worth it? is foreign missions worth it, no matter the cost?
judson was beaten, tortured, and imprisoned throughout his life, and died (61) on a sea voyage from lung disease. but when he died, he left 100 churches and 8,000 new believers in burma! (there were none when they arrived.) today, burma has 2.5 million evangelical christians (modern day myanmar). judson also translated the first burmese bible, which took him 24 years to complete.
judson and ann's love story is breathtaking! but not because of dreamy dates and fairy-tale romance. it's an amazing love story because together, they were willing to sacrifice everything for the One who first loved them.
God is love. he is the creator and author of the greatest love story of all time. and Jesus - the savior and sacrificial lamb - is that story.