3 August 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide



“And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west, and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. 12But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” Matthew 8:11-12 (KJV)


In days past, ocean liners approaching Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka) would encounter the brilliant sweep of light from the Light of Asia. The Light of Asia is a great Lighthouse on the shores of Ceylon that stands near the northern coast of the Indian Ocean on its approach to the Bay of Bengal. It was the first sight many travelers had of the exotic land of Asia – thus its name, the Light of Asia. It has been the salvation of numberless ships for many, many years who have encountered unfriendly seas and immoderate storms. The Light of Asia was so bright that its beams pierced fogs and mists that smothered the rays of other shore lights. But the Light of Asia was restricted to that one limited vestige of Asia and no more.

There has been another Light of Asia, and indeed of the world, that penetrated every darkness and looming cloud – the Light of the World! Asia has been the beneficiary of hundreds of self-less missionaries many of whom have given their lives in the service of the Lord and of his lost sheep of Asia. These are the ‘lower lights of heaven’ who serve as reflectors of that great Light of the World. The pages of the Book of Life are filled with names of such missionaries who forsook the comforts of home and plenty to live in near poverty among the people of Asia teaching them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Adoniram Judson is one such young man who, at the age of 25, devoted his life to the ministry in Burma (now Myanmar). During the forty years of his ministry, he wrote a completed translation of the Grammatical Notices of the Burman Language and the following July, the Gospel of Matthew, in 1817. By 1823 (after ten years of ministry in Burma) Judson had acquired eighteen members in his church. In the same year, he completed a complete translation of the New Testament in Burmese.

After almost forty years as a missionary in Burma, Judson developed a serious lung disease and doctors prescribed a sea voyage as a cure. On April 12, 1850, he died at age 61 on board ship in the Bay of Bengal and was buried at sea, having spent 37 years abroad with only one trip back home to America. A memorial to Judson was built on Burial Hill in Plymouth, Massachusetts. He had lost his three children in Burma, his three wives (who alternately died of diseases), had served twenty months in the harshness of a Burmese prison for his work, and had had no connection to the outside world except for one short visit home. The fires of his service still burn brightly in Burma and, today, are being rekindled in a fervent evangelistic movement. We have our own missionary in Burma today – the Rev Titus Hlieh of Rangoon, who travels the land carrying the Gospel.

There is an endless number of other missionaries who have planted the Gospel Seed in China, India, Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and the Solomon Islands, etc.  All sacrificed comfort for duty and service.

There is a sad, but inspiring account, of two missionaries who suffered greatly at the hands of the Communist after serving for twenty-five years in the China Inland Mission – John and Betty Stam. These two were captured in their mission house by the Communist rebels in 1934 and marched as captives over much of China. Their baby daughter, Helen, was arrested as well. In one encampment of the Communists, the baby’s crying disturbed the guards who suggested killing the baby. Another prisoner present demanded a reason why the baby should die. The guards asked if he would rather die in the baby’s stead. The prisoner was hacked to death and the baby allowed to live. The Communist finally beheaded John and Betty Stam on a hill of Miaoshau, China – the same upon which the two were buried. Some Chinese Christian woman secreted the baby Helen away during the excitement and turned her over to other missionaries in a distant part of China. She was later returned to her aunt and uncle in America who raised her. The Stams’ gravestones read:

“John Stam, January 18, 1907, “That Christ may be glorified whether by life or by death.” Philippians 1:20

“Elisabeth Scott Stam, February 22, 1906, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Philippians 1:21

“Dec. 8, 1934, Miaosheo, Anhui, “Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life.” Rev 2:10

The story of their martyrdom was widely publicized and inspired many to become missionaries.

There are many other such accounts of sacrificial service, and even martyrdom, of Christian missionaries who traveled to lands and peoples of whom they knew nothing beforehand, except for a burden to lead out of darkness into the brilliant Light of the World. They gave all, and received all beyond the Gates of Splendor.


Who have each of us led into that Light of Splendor and Grace?



By |2023-08-09T19:13:39+00:00August 9th, 2023|Blog|Comments Off on LIGHT OF ASIA

About the Author: