To those who have not heard
My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. I have been following the plan spoken of in Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.”
Under a haystack
Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, was just twelve years old in 1805 when the Second Great Awakening reached the school. In the spring of 1806 Samuel Mills joined the freshman class with a passion to spread the gospel around the world. He began leading a group of four other students, who met three afternoons a week in a nearby maple grove.
One sultry day in August 1806 a violent thunderstorm interrupted their prayer time, and they took refuge on the sheltered side of a large haystack. God spoke to them as they prayed, and four of the five committed themselves to serving God overseas if he so led. The Haystack Prayer Meeting was not only the beginning of the first American student mission society but also the beginning of the American foreign missionary movement itself.
Two years later many of the group enrolled at Andover Seminary where they were joined by Adoniram Judson and others interested in foreign missions, but there was no foreign missions board in America to send them. Acting on the advice of a teacher, the students wrote a letter to the General Association of the Congregational Church. Two days later, on June 29, 1810, the association responded by forming the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
From that humble beginning the foreign missions force of the United States has grown to over sixty thousand missionaries sent out by hundreds of mission boards.
Adapted from The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale, 2003), entry for June 29.
Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House