On this day in 1811, the founder of English Sunday schools, Robert Raikes, died. Raikes founded the English Sunday schools in 1780. This ministry became a movement reaching numbers of 1.25 million in attendance at various Sunday schools in Great Britain.

Raikes had been working in the local jail and got burdened for the people.The movement began with a school for boys in the slums. He saw that Sunday was the best time since the boys were working in the factories the other six days of the week. Girls were later added to the schools as well. The teachers were the lay people of the church and the text book was the Bible.

Raikes and the lay people reached out to the broken people of their community. One woman describes the students in the Sunday schools as, “multitudes of wretches who, released on that day from employment, spend their day in noise and riot.” The schools were derisively called “Raikes’ Ragged Schools.” Though their ministry faced a lot of opposition from people who disagreed with their methods, the ministry continued to grow.

How willing are we to be missionaries right around the corner? There are broken and needy people that live all around us. Will we be like Raikes and the lay people of his church and serve? Will we sacrifice our time and schedule to fit those of the needy? Will we be patient to love those who need it? Let’s open our eyes and be missionaries to the needy individuals of our communities.

 

On this day in 1885, missionary Henry Gerhard Appenzeller and his wife arrived in Korea. Appenzeller was one of three American missionaries that laid the ground work for a movement of Christianity in Korea. The other two missionaries were Horace Newton Allen and Horace Grant Underwood.

Appenzeller was born in Pennsylania. He graduated from Franklin and Marshall College and later attended the Drew Theological Seminary. After being ordained to the ministry, he was appointed as a missionary to Korea.

During his time in Korea, Appenzeller established churches, schools, and traveled around preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He was also able to participate in the translation of the Bible from English into Korean.

How willing are we to do the work of God, when the specific thing God wants us to do may have never been done before? Are we willing to be used to do ground breaking things for God? Let us face the struggles of serving God with hope in the fact that it is His work that He is doing. If He were to lead us to do so, let us step out by faith to do things for God that have never been done before.

 

On this day in 1922, Pandita Pamabai, a missionary among her own people in India, died.

As a young girl, Pandita seemed a very unlikely candidate to serve Christ as a missionary.  Her father was a Brahmin priest who, at age 44, married a 9-year-old girl. Wanting to educate his wife (which was highly looked down on in his culture), he took her to a remote forest in southern India, built a house, and, having removed all distractions, taught her all he knew. Here in 1858, Pandita was born. Her father determined to give her, too, an education; and by the time she was 12, Pandita had memorized 18,000 Sanskrit verses and had become fluent in various languages.

But the little family encountered mounting debts, then hunger.  Before the eyes on this little girl, first her father and then her mother starved to death.  Pandita fled her home and began to trek across India, sleeping ut in the open and eating whatever food she could find or steal.  As she traveled, She began doubting her father’s idols.  They had failed to provide for her father, who had served them so faithfully.  There had to be a God strong enough to provide for her.  Finally, when she arrived in Calcutta, she learned of Jesus Christ.

Pandita spent the rest of her life helping to meet the needs (both spiritually and physically) of the widows and orphans of India.  She opened the Mukti (Salvation) Mission, which was thronged by hundreds of desperate girls. She and her workers dug wells, planted trees, tilled the land, and preached the gospel. Hundreds were converted. Thousands were rescued from starvation. She also established schools to educate her girls. Then a church was built with these lines inscribed on the foundation: Praise the Lord. Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith Jehovah of Hosts. That Rock was Christ.

Her last years were spent translating the Bible into Marathi. She had almost completed the task when she fell ill. She prayed for ten more days in which to complete her work; and ten days later, on April 5, 1922, she died, having just finished the last page.

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365 amazing and inspiring stories about saints, martyrs & heroes

*Entries submitted and written by Edward de los Reyes

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