American Minute with Bill Federer

The groans of a dying man kept him awake...  

The groans of a dying man kept him awake in the little inn outside New York.

But he was hardened to the cries because a college friend at Brown University, named Jacob Eames, had persuaded him to become a skeptic deist.

The next morning, when inquiring of the innkeeper, he learned the man who had died in the night was none other than Jacob Eames, his college friend.

This rude awakening led Adoniram Judson to become America's first foreign missionary to Burma, modern day Myanmar.

Adoniram Judson was born in Massachusetts, August 9, 1788.

At age 23, and his wife Ann Hasseltinem age 22, they sailed from New England on FEBRUARY 19, 1812, for Calcutta, India.

They were forced by the British East India Company to Rangoon, Burma.

They translated Scriptures, preached in Burmese, and started schools.

When war broke out between the British and Burma, Burmese officers burst into the Judson's home, threw Adonirum on the ground in front of his pregnant wife, tied him up with torture thongs.

He was dragged away and thrown into the infamous Ava death prison, accused of being a spy for the British.

After 12 months, Judson was marched with other prisoners, ill and barefoot, to a primitive village near Mandalay. All but one of the other prisoners died.

While Adonirum was in prison, his wife Anne, alone as the only western woman in the country, lived in a shack outside the gate, brought her husband, and lobbied the authorities to release him.

After 20 starving months of being in irons, suspended by his mangled feet, and suffering brutal treatment, Adonirum was finally released.

The British them pressed him into serving as an interpreter between the British and Burmese, where he gained respect from both sides.

Adonirum Judson compiled a Ba English-Burmese Dictionary and translated the Bible.

American Minute-Notable Events of American Significance Remembered on the Date They Occurred

Adoniram Judson suffered depression when his wife died.

He was joined by missionaries George Boardman and his wife

The first Christian convert from the Karen people was Ko Tha Byu.

The Karen people were a hunted minority scattered in the jungles.

Astonishingly, their ancient Karen people beliefs were that there was an all-powerful Creator of heaven and earth who made a man, then took one of the man's ribs and formed a woman.

The Karen people believed that as a result of temptation by a devil, the man and woman fell, but there was a promise that someday a messiah would come to their rescue.

The Karen people lived in expectation of a prophecy that white foreigners would bring them a sacred parchment roll.

Ko-Thah-a was ordained by Adonirum Judson as the first native Burmese pastor, who refounded the church at Rangoon.

By Adonirum Judson's death, there were 63 churches, 123 ministers and over 7,000 baptized Christians in Burma.

Each July, Baptist churches in Myanmar celebrate 'Judson Day.'

Adoniram Judson wrote:

"How do Christians discharge this trust committed to them? They let three fourths of the world sleep the sleep of death, ignorant of the simple truth that a Savior died for them."

American Minute-Notable Events of American Significance Remembered on the Date They Occurred

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Bill Federer
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