December 6, 2010

For Parents

Imagine you and your spouse receiving this letter from a young man bold enough ask for your daughter's hand in marriage:

"I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring to see her no more in this world. Whether you can consent to her departure for a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life. Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean, to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress, to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death. Can you consent to all this for the sake of Him who died for her and for you?"

(Kind of puts parenting into perspective, doesn't it?)

Burma, aka Myanmar [photo credit: Hartfried Schmid]

This is an excerpt of a letter written by Adoniram Judson (1788-1850), missionary to Burma, to the father and mother of Ann Hasseltine, whom he would later marry and take with him to the mission field. Ann Hasseltine Judson was later to suffer most of the things Adoniram mentioned in this letter. She buried both her infant children, then died herself at the age of 37 on foreign soil.*

It took Adoniram Judson 24 full years to translate the entire Bible into Burmese. It is, to this day, the only translation of the Bible into the Burmese language.

*Great Women of the Christian Faith by Edith Deen

[Photo credit: National Geographic]

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