Olivet Theological College & Seminary newly offered Exploring the Life and Theology of Influential Christian Missionaries over the Fall quarter.
Christian missionaries have impacted and shaped history in their relentless pursuit of the Great Commission. This course, conducted online and co-led by Dr. Sarah LaFleur in English and Dr. Rachael Mak in Chinese, explored the life, theology, and contributions of some of the most influential missionaries in history who continue to be an inspiration to believers today.
With the term coming to an end, reflections are pouring in:
"As a missionary in South Africa, I could understand the heart of David Brainerd who pioneered alone in the area of the Indians in America. Unlike him, I am here with my family. He is so great that he could overcome his loneliness. I can see that he adheres to this core doctrine in his heart: 'salvation can only be achieved by the redeeming grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.' In the end, the Indians saw the difference between their traditional sacrifice and the sacrificial love of Jesus Christ -only Jesus could give them ultimate peace in their heart," shared Terese He, student and missionary in South Africa.
"I was deeply impressed by William Carey's life, that even under the condition of repairing shoes, he did not give up learning all kinds of languages. Even his child died and his wife was mentally disturbed. He worked hard to learn Indian local languages so that the Bible can be translated for many people to know about God. Personally, I am also doing translation works, translating between Chinese and Korean. I learned from Carey that if I do my mission well, it can edify many people," said Pearl Li, a 3rd year M.Div. student from China.
"In this course, I really read a lot of missionary biographies and many missionary books. I think they all have one thing in common: 'for the Lord,' and, 'never retreat.' I think in our journey of faith, the most important thing in the path of discipleship is not turning back. David Livingstone said, "I determined to never stop until I had come to the end and achieved my purpose." We are also for the Gospel and for the Great Commission," said Mary Hu, a 1st year M.Div. student from Washington, D.C.
Missionary biographies are a valuable source for wise counsel. They let us peer into the lives and struggles of the very people who ran the race before us and finished well. May God bless the seminary students to receive the fire of the Holy Spirit in these missionaries and go with renewed devotion with the Great Commission.