James Gilmour was born in 1843 at Cathkin, just outside Glasgow, Scotland. He was the third of six sons. He was born into a family of godly parents who observed daily family worship. His mother delighted in gathering her sons about her in the evening and reading to them missionary and religious stories and making comments upon them. James Gilmore went to Glasgow University to study the Arts. He was a happy, cheerful student and an excellent scholar. Mr Gilmore was converted in his early college years and immediately set his eyes on mission work. Through a correspondence relationship with a missionary in Mongolia, James became burdened for the people there.
In 1870, Gilmour arrived in Peking a young Scotchman, James Gilmour by name, who had been sent out to China by the London Missionary Society to begin work in the capital. Within a few weeks of his arrival, massive results and riots broke out in the city. All around Gilmour, his acquaintances were packing up their most precious belongings, and holding themselves in readiness for a hurried flight to the south. It was at this moment that this bold new-comer resolved on a bold and original move. Instead of fleeing to the south in search of safety, he turned his face northwards and sought for an opening for Christian work among the Mongols of the great Mongolian plains. He was completely unfamiliar with the country and the language, but he had long felt a deep and romantic interest in that vast plateau to the North.
In the midst of his journey, he met a fellow Scotsman. But after settling in with the man and enjoying all the comforts he enjoyed, he began to realize that in order to be able to understand the Mongolian people and speak their language, he had to live with them. So he left the comfort of his European home and began to live in a tent with the Mongolian tribes.
This journey, which only lasted several months, would be the first of many of this great missionary.
Wholesome words (This article contains many detailed stories of his first voyage)
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