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COMING SOON!

REVISITING NATIVE AMERICAN MINISTRY & KEYS TO PARTNER MORE EFFECTIVELY

by Stuart Simpson

This insightful new book revisits ministry among Native Americans and highlights 5 keys that not only address the errors of the past, but as Native Americans rise up to fulfil their God-given destiny, will also facilitate more effective partnering with the non-native Church in order that God's Kingdom purposes might be realized.


TAKE COURAGE (a series of 4 books!)

- FINDING COURAGE IN GOD FOR LIFE

by Michelle J. Simpson

Full of stories and anecdotes, along with biblical truth, this book will be a great source of help and encouragement to many.

 

THE SECOND ACT

- THE REMARKABLE STORY OF MISSIONARY JAMES O. FRASER'S SUCCESSOR

by Stuart Simpson

This is the story about Stuart's close association with one of the most successful missionaries in the modern era, along with 20 key principles and lessons we can learn from Fraser's life and ministry, still applicable today.

FINDING GOD IN CHINESE CHARACTERS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 by Stuart M. Simpson

A unique pack of 25 Chinese characters with bi-lingual explanatory guide.

A great tool for anyone with Chinese friends and in ministry to Chinese!

 

William Carey

'Father of Protestant Missions' and Pioneer Missionary in India

"Sit down, young man! When God pleases to convert the heathen, He'll do it without your help or mine." This was the curt response William Carey received at a ministers' meeting in Northampton, after Carey had suggested that the Great Commission, once given to the apostles by Jesus, was still a binding command to every succeeding generation of Christians, including their own.

This rebuke, however, apparently given by Doctor John C. Ryland, a senior baptist minister in the 1780s in England, did not deter Carey but prompted him to write a pamphlet about the needs of the world. It's long title- An Enquiry into theObligations of Christians, to use means for the Conversion of the Heathens in which the Religious State of the Different Nations of the World, the Success of Former Undertakings, and the Practicability of Further Undertakings, are Considered - would hardly be considered eye-catchingtoday but this pamphlet became a classic in Christian history and challenged the prevalent Protestant culture of the day that world missions was not important. Carey not only wrote about his convictions, but become a model of them by givinghis life to what he believed in. He formed the first Protestant missionary society and invested his life in serving the Lord in India, bringing transformation to numerous areas of Indian society. In so doing, he became a catalyst for what is now considered the era of modern missions, changing the Christian Church's general attitude towards missions forever.

A Vision for the World
Carey hardly had the credentials to be a world-changer. Born in 1761 in an insignificant village in Northamptonshire, England, and with only a primary school education, Carey began an apprenticeship as a shoemaker at the age of 14. During this time as an apprentice, he gave his life to Christ and continued to develop his interest in the world. As a child, Carey had often dreamed of travelling to faraway countries, his imagination having been stimulated by hearing about the travels of his uncle Peter, and reading books about the discoveries made by Christopher Columbus and Captain James Cook.

By his early twenties Carey had married a young uneducated girl,Dorothy Plackett,who he had met at the "dissenter" church he attended - a non-conformist church not affiliated to the Church of England -and was also running his own shoe shop. Friends such as Thomas Scott, a noted Bible scholar and teacher of Latin, Hebrew and Greek, and Andrew Fuller, a Baptist preacher, provided Carey with new opportunitiesto travel and preach and encouragement to continue his language studies - he was now learning Greek, Latin, Italian, Dutch and French. In his workshop, which Scott referred to as "Carey's college", Carey had hung a huge homemade world map, on which he indicated the latest religious and political statistics of different countries. He also had a globe made out of leather scraps and would ignite the imaginations of his pupils by telling them of different heathen peoples (termed 'unreached people groups' today) who had never heard the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Carey's preaching eventually led him to become a pastor of a Baptist church in Leicester, while still running a shoe shop to support his family. Then, to Carey's delight, another shoe dealer in Kettering named Thomas Gotch, who Carey sometimes hired himself out to, offered to support Carey financially in order that he could give up shoemaking and focus on his language studies. This proved to be a key moment in Carey's calling as he became increasingly aware of his wider call to be a catalyst for world mission among the many indifferent Christians in the churches he was serving.

A Missions Manifesto
Carey was 25 when he challenged the other church leaders about the responsibility to take Jesus' Great Commission seriously. By this time he had developed a biblical perspective on missions and had become convinced that foreign missions was not an option, but a central responsibility of the church. His ideas were considered revolutionary, given that many eighteenth-century English church leaders were convinced Calvinists and believed that the Great Commission was only given to the first apostles and that the preaching of the gospel to those overseas was none of their business.

After receiving the infamous 'put-down' from Dr Ryland in 1786, Carey's preaching and persistent lobbying finally won over one of the most prominent Baptist ministers of his day, Andrew Fuller, and with his support the first foreign missions organisation - The Baptist Missionary Society - began in 1792. This was a huge step of faith as those involved, like Carey, lived on very low incomes. Involvement in foreign missions would mean huge financial sacrifices for both them and their congregations.

By this time, Carey was 32, married with three sons under 9 years old, but his pregnant and almost illiterate wife did not want to leave family and what was familiar, to go to a place thousands of miles away called India. His father, although a Christian,did not understand and thought the whole idea was madness. However, for Carey, going to India was simply a matter of obedience to the Great Commission and later confessed he had no justification for saying 'no'.

Work in India
After one aborted attempt to try and sail to India with a missionary colleague, John Thomas, a medical doctor who knew the Indian language and culture having previously worked for the British East India Company, Carey, this time with his wife and children, completed the five-month journey and arrived at the Danish colony of Serampore, outside of Calcutta.

Carey and his family faced many setbacks and hardshipsduring their early years in India. Thomas had to leave to resume his medical practice due to pressure from his creditors, the family had to be uprooted several times and the climate took its toll - five year old Peter became sick and died; Dorothy became mentally ill; and Carey himself fought sickness, as well as depression.There had been no communication from England for almost two years and when a letter finally did arrive, the mission society at home was critical of Carey's work. However, during these dark and lonely days, a party of new missionary recruits arrived in 1799, including William Ward, a printer from Derby, who Carey had challenged seven years previously to come to India to print Bibles. Due to the refusal of the British East India Company to grant the missionaries residence permits, Carey was invited to join them in the small Danish colony of Serampore. This proved to be the perfect place for Carey to realise his vision of a missionary community alongside a printing shop to print Bibles in the Indian languages.Many years of fruitful ministry followed and this shoemaker from Northamptonshire grew to become a linguistic genius and one of the greatest scholars of his century.

In 1801 the British governor of India asked Carey to become professor of Bengali at the prestigious Fort William College in Calcutta and for the rest of his life, Carey divided his time between the college and the mission. When he started his lectures there was not even one book of Bengali prose or grammar, so the first textbook he introduced to his students was the Bengali New Testament, that he had translated himself. Within a few years he had produced dictionaries and grammar books in the Bengali, Punjabi, Marathi, Telugu, Karanese and Sanskrit languages. Nothing was published by the government without his approval. By 1825, Carey and his staff had translated the New Testament into 34 languages, and the Old Testament into eight. In the next seven years there would follow another ten new translations.

A Discipler of the Indian Nation
Carey was more thanjust a missionary in the traditional sense. As well as evangelising the Indian people, Carey also sought to outwork Jesus' command to also 'disciplenations' (Matthew 28:19)by impacting different spheres of Indian society, as follows:

  • Family - lobbied to see the killing of unwanted babies and the horrific practice of burning widows alive on their husbands' funeral pyres outlawed. These were achieved in 1804 and 1829 respectively.
  • Religion- started churcheswhich continue to multiply today; founded Serampore College, which trained the first Indianpastors; oversaw the translation of the Bible into nearly 40 languages, so that Indians could read it in their mother tongue.
  • Education - started schools forchildrenof all castes and for women, in addition to Serampore College which became the first liberal arts college inAsia with teaching in vernacular languages.
  • Celebration (the Arts) - promoted literature by translating and publishing great Indian classics; authored the first Sanskrit dictionary for scholars; elevated the Bengali language, previously considered "fit only for demons and women", into the foremost literary language of India; and wrote Bengali ballads to effectively communicate the gospel.
  • Public Communication - brought mass media to India, setting up the first printing press and teaching Indians how to use it, as well as how to make their own paper; established the first newspaper ever printed in an Asian language.
  • Economy- introduced the idea of savings banks and encouraged reasonable interest rates and foreign investment; introduced the steam engine to India; in medicine led the campaign for humane treatment of lepers, demonstrating a biblical concern for individuals; in science he founded the Agri-Horticultural Society, carried out a systematic agricultural survey; introduced modern astronomy to offset Indians' bondage to astrology; as a dedicated botanist he published India's first books on science and natural history.
  • Government - in spite of formidable obstacles, given that all missionary activity was banned when Carey first entered India and that the British had done nothing to bring about reform since 1600, he gradually helped bring about a more 'civil service' in their colony, and to initiate reforms.

After the death of his wife, Dorothy, Carey married an educated Danish woman, Charlotte Rhumohr, who became a great help with his translation work as she spoke several languages fluently. After 13 years of marriage, Charlotte died and Carey later married his third wife, Grace Hughes, seventeen years younger than him, who nursed him during the last 11 years of his life. Three of Carey's sons became missionaries in Burma, the Moluccas Islands, and in India.

As well as being a true 'nation builder' in India, Carey is probably best remembered as the 'Father of Protestant Missions'. God used Carey to help launch the modern missions movement on the back of the Evangelical Awakening led by George Whitefield and John Wesley in England, and Jonathan Edwards in America. Following the establishment of the Baptist Missionary Society in 1792, several other British missionary agencies were formed, and other similar societies formed elsewhere in Europe and America. God also used commercial interests in the New World to help the missionary cause. As Protestant England gradually became the dominant maritime power of the world, the way was opened for new colonial enterprises and subsequent Protestant mission efforts. Today, following the political independence of these former collonies, the spiritual influence remains. The Third World Church has grown to become the largest and perhaps most vital expression of the gospel of Jesus Christ today.

Sources and Further Reading:
Heroes Who Changed the World by Ben Alex, published by Scandinavia Publishing House, 2000
The Book that Transforms Nations by Loren Cunningham, published by Youth With A Mission, 2006
The Legacy of William Carey: A Model for Transforming a Culture by Ruth & Vishal Mangalwadi, published by Wheaton: Crossway, 1999