Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lessons From a Missionary- Part 1

This week, I read Jonathan Goforth by his wife, Rosalind.  In order to cement in my mind the lessons I learned, I reviewed highlighted passages and noted which ones stood out to me the most.  Here are some quotes, followed by the lessons I learned:

1. "For two years previously to his entering Knox College, Toronto, he rose two hours earlier each morning in order to get time for unbroken Bible study, before getting to work or off to school." (Page 18)
Lesson: What an example of someone who went out of his way to daily spend time with the Lord.

2. He was "always keen, not only to take advantage of opportunities but to make them." (Page 25)
Lesson: I have trouble taking advantages, let alone looking to make them.
3. "Since he, from the first, insisted that the full time for language study must be uninterrupted, getting settled was necessarily slow work." (Page 41)
Lesson: It's reassuring to know that Brother Goforth saw language learning as vital.   

4. "When Mr. Goforth was preaching in the chapel, the Chinese men often pointed to Mr. McGillivray, saying, 'You speak, we don't understand him,' pointing to Goforth." (Page 49)
Lesson: Even great missionaries struggle with language learning.  This will be a help to me each time I struggle to communicate in my new language.  

5. "One of the snares in the path of a young missionary is the temptation to 'fritter' precious time away on nonessentials, instead of bravely facing the inevitable hard task of regular language study." (Page 50)
Lesson: I need to examine how I fritter away time and see how I can better face the grind of learning Russian.
6. "Since Goforth's plan to open up his own field was a most radical one, it was necessary to get the consent of his co-workers.  Keen contention followed, but Goforth was sure the plan was a God-given one." (Page 83)
Lesson: He did not stick to the status quo.  He had ideas of how to get the Gospel out, and he went after it!

Which of these stood out the most to you?


  1. I love reading books that I can use a highlighter in and take notes...reading your thoughts was equally thought-provoking and a blessing! Thank you!

    1. I rarely read a book without a highlighter in hand these days! Glad the thoughts were a blessing. I posted some more in Part 2 if you are interested.

  2. Thank you for the lessons here from a great missionary! It's good to read of the blessings, and struggles, of great men who went before us!

    1. You are welccome! I started reading the book hoping there would be things I would learn. I finished the book being greatly challenged by his life.