As Titus grew older, his future grew clouded. He went from being a teacher to joining to military to working in the textile industry to being a Sunday school Superintendent . But nothing seemed to fulfill his inner drive. He wrote of this indirection in his life:
Still I had not chosen my life-work. Four paths lay before me. My brother wished me to become his partner in the mercantile business. A good physician in Rochester, and several in other places, advised me to become a physician, offering to teach me free of charge. Some said I was made for a school teacher, and many clergymen and Christian laymen urged me to go into the Gospel ministry.
What should I do? What could I do? The subject pressed heavily upon my mind and heart. I said that teaching is pleasant in youth, but for life it would not satisfy me. As for the medical profession, I was not adapted to it, and I dared not make the trial. But how of the sacred ministry? I felt utterly unfit and unworthy—my natural talent, education, piety, were all unequal to the exalted calling. As Moses, Isaiah, and Jeremiah shrank from the offices of legislator and prophet, so I from being an ambassador of Christ, yet I was willing to work hard as a layman, and even longed to go as a servant among the heathen to help the honored missionaries.
But in 1829, while attending a revival in his home town, Titus give his life to the Lord to do whatever He desire for him to do. Titus called this meeting the “turning point, the day of decision”. He had the opportunity after this to spend time with Charles Finney and to attend seminary. When the opportunity came to go to Hawaii as a missionary, Titus jumped at it.
At the age of 35, Titus arrived at the city of Hilo, on the island of Hawaii. His assignment was to take over a small, struggling church church there that had been started by another missionary. The church only had 23 members. But Titus threw himself into the work with a love for the Lord and his people than few men have had since. A friend of Titus said of him, “Love was the driving force in his life: he loved his wife, he loved Christ, and he loved his work.”
Titus would often preach three or four times a day. “Many listened with tears, and after the preaching, when I supposed they would return to their homes and give me rest, they remained and crowded around me so earnestly, that I had no time to eat. And in places where I spent my nights they filled the house to its entire capacity, leaving scores outside who could not enter.” People would crowd around Titus long past midnight, wanting to be taught more of the kingdom of God.
Titus traveled to cities and villages all over the island, teaching, preaching, and starting churches. For 46 years, he labored in love. By the time of his death, fifty-six thousand Hawaiians had become Christians—80 percent of the entire population of the island.
The Appenzellers were the first Methodist missionaries to Korea and were among the first of any group to go there. In fact, their daughter would be the first American baby ever born in Korea. They set up their mission headquarter in Seoul, but Henry found himself traveling throughout the country, preaching in different towns nearly every week. As Henry traveled, he was disheartened to see that very few of the Koreans were being educated. Only the rich could read, and they read Chinese. If the Koreans were to know Christ, they would have to be able to read his word in their own language! But how could they learn if they could never read it?
In an attempt to fix this problem, Henry raised funds to start several schools for children who were bright and aspiring, but couldn’t afford to go to school. His schools soon became very popular and his students grew rapidly. He only taught the students to read Korean and their main textbook was a Korean Bible Henry had worked to translate. Several Koran pastors and government leaders, including a future president, were graduates of Henry’s school.
Henry also discoverd that there were no books written in Korean. They were all in Chinese. So he built a printing press and a bookshop, so he could supply his people with books and Bibles in their own language. Appenzeller greatest legacy was helping the Korean people re-discover their own language.
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