July 13, 2013, will mark the 200th Anniversary of the arrival in Rangoon of Adoniram and Ann Judson. More than a year earlier they had set sail in the brigCaravan from the safety of New England, but their lives were dedicated to Christ and to taking the gospel to the Burman empire. Their plan had intially been seen as ‘a wild, romantic undertaking’, but undeterred they had won over the support of the Congregationalists. Eventually they embarked on a long and arduous voyage via Calcutta to Rangoon, which Judson described upon his arrival as ‘dark and unpromising’.
Thence began one of the most stirring stories of Christian heroism and devotion ever to be recorded. Judson was to give his life to the work of the gospel in Burma over the next three decades. Mastering the Burmese language and Pali script he laboured for 30 years translating the Old and New Testaments from the original Hebrew and Greek. He endured domestic trials beyond imagination and suffered periods of the most horrific imprisonment and torture.
Despite the efforts of the despotic regimes of the last 40 years to expunge all memories or records of Judson’s existence, his legacy and the gospel he so unwaveringly proclaimed lives and thrives in Myanmar today. A conference to mark the anniversary has been organised by several Presbyterian churches. A few of us from Australia will have the privilege of attending and ministering at this event. May we humbly ask the Banner and her readers to draw attention to this anniversary and to continue to remember the work of the gospel in Myanmar in their prayers?
Julian Bull is Pastor of Grace Fellowship, Perth, Australia.
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