Adoniram Judson was one of America’s first foreign missionaries. In 1812, at the age of 22, he left America for India, (eventually ending up in Burma), burning in his heart to obey his Master’s command to make disciples of all the nations (Mt 28:20). For a wonderful and riveting summary and application of his life, listen John Piper’s biological sermon for the 2003 Pastor’s Conference here. This quote is awesome. Where are the Christian men with a zeal and passion like this? Where are the Christian women with a faith and love like this?
...[Adoniram] was losing no time trying to secure the friendship of Nancy. One month from the day he met her he formally "commenced an acquaintanceship" with her, which mean that he formally declared his intentions as a suitor. This he did in a letter...Her reply was not encouraging but neither was it a flat rejection. Evading the issues, she wrote that her parents would have to consent before she could even consider Adoniram.
...Adoniram promptly sat down at his table and wrote to Nancy's father urging ...
"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, 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 the crown of righteousness, brightened with the acclamations of praise which shall redound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?"
It was a letter that must have made John Hasseltine's eyes pop nearly out of his head. ...With many misgivings, he left it to Nancy to make up her mind. ...Thrown back on herself, Nancy did not know what to do. She was beginning to love Adoniram — what woman could withstand such a combination of impetuosity and tenderness? — there must have been something irresistibly appealing about sharing his adventures in far places. But the hazards were appalling. Surely she would have children, she must have reflected. What of them? But on the other hand, how better could she serve God?
...Mr. Emerson told her that the issue was not as complicated as she thought: if she really loved Adoniram and wanted to submit herself to the Lord, there could be no better way of serving His will. Encouraged, she wrote confidentially to Lydia Kimball in Salem:
"I feel willing, and expect, if nothing in providence prevents, to spend my days in this world in heathen lands. Yes, Lydia, I have about come to the determination to give up all my comforts and enjoyments here, sacrifice my affection to relatives and friends, and go where God, in his providence, shall see fit to place me."
Anderson, Courtney. To the Golden Shore. Copyright by Courtney Anderson, 1987. Published by Judson Press, 1987. pg. 82-84