On Sunday, December 13, 1732, after almost ten weeks at sea, the ship sailed into the harbor of St. Thomas. According to their plan, Nitschmann was only to remain long enough to help Dober find lodging—or to build a cabin if need be—and begin missionary work among the slaves. So, in April 1733 Nitschmann said goodbye to Dober. The dedicated potter would labor alone for 15 months; once he almost starved to death and at another time a fever rendered him helplessly dependent on others. But he persisted in talking with the slaves one by one and led a few to confess faith in Christ. One of these, Carmel Oly, returned to Herrnhut with him the following year as one of the “first fruits” of the gospel.

Christian History Magazine-Issue 1: Zinzendorf & the Moravians. 1982. Worcester, PA: Christian History Institute.

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