On this day in 1871, Henry Stanley landed at Zanzibar to begin his search for the missing David Livingston. “Draw a £1000 pounds now; and when you have gone through that, draw another thousand, and when that is spent, draw another thousand, and when you have finished that, draw another thousand, and so on; but, find Livingstone!” This was the charge given to Stanley before he set out on a wild hunt for a missionary who had dropped all communications with the outside world nearly a year and a half earlier. After a letter sent in May of 1869, Livingston sent out no further communications. Many feared that he had been captured and killed and his location became an international concern. Newspapers around the world flashed headlines predicting what happened to Livingston. And Henry Stanley, a young reporter and explorer, was given the charge to find Livingston. Stanley took his group of men and divided them into five caravans, equipping them with the best of everything money could buy. For 236 Days, Stanley and his crew journeyed and search along Livingston’s last known paths. Finally, they heard a rumor of an old, sick white man living along the shore of Lake Tanganyika. When Stanley arrived, he found an extremely sick, weak David Livingston. For four months, Stanley helped nurse Livingston back to health and then spent time with the man, allowing Livingston to teach and mentor him in many areas.
On this day in 1819, Walter Medhurst arrived at the island of Penang to start a mission with the London Mission Society. The very first thing he did was to distribute a large number of tracts that he had brought with him. He soon started two schools on the island, one for the Fokein children and the other for the Canton children. After Walter laid the groundwork for the mission, two other missionaries from the nearby area of Malacca came to Penang to finish the work of starting the mission. Medhurst went on to the areas of Jakarta and Shanghai, where he founded the London Society Press. In each area he went to, he laid the groundwork for others to follow behind and build upon. He lived out the principle of I Corinthians 3:7, “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase“
On this date in 1859, Samuel Macfarlane, a Scottish missionary, set sail for the Loyalty Islands with his wife , who he had married less than two months earlier. In October, they arrived at the island of Lifou, where they set up their base. From the start, Samuel faced fierce opposition. The Loyalty Islands were under French control and lived in constant fear of a British takeover. They did not welcome some British missionary trying to control their people. The local catholic priest, who had just arrived a year earlier, also gave Samuel a hard time. Still, he pushed on for five years and saw a lot of fruit. In 1864, his mission station was destroyed by the government on a punitive expedition. Samuel, angered by this, began an aggressive paper war with the administration. His ruthfulness during this time alienated many officials and even some of his friends, but his bold stand for the mission allowed the work to survive and continue. However, the government made diplomatic demands to have Samuel removed from the Island. In 1869, he left the Loyalty Islands and started a work in New Guinea.
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