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To the Golden Shore: The Life of Adoniram Judson

af Courtney Anderson

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This book tells how the 'golden shore' bought bitter hardships, imprisonment, and family tragedy.

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On February 12, 1812, Ann and Adoniram Judson sailed from Salem aboard the brig Caravan as two of the first missionaries to go out from North America. Watching the shoreline disappear from view, they could not have foreseen the impact of their journey on the future of the Christian world mission or on the thousands of men and women who would follow in their footsteps. After a short stay in India, they carried the Good News of Jesus Christ to the golden shore of Burma.

Drawing on letters and church records, Courtney Anderson paints a poignant portrait of Judson’s early life in dealing with the conflict between his desire for material success and the inner call to serve God. For Adoniram Judson the golden shore brought bitter hardships, imprisonment, and family tragedy. Yet, he never wavered in his commitment to win people to faith in Christ and to translate the Bible into the Burmese language.
This special edition recognized the 175th anniversary of the Judsons sailing on their historic voyage and celebrates the early years of Baptist mission overseas. Photographs and reproductions of Burmese woodcuts are used in telling Judson's story.
  OCMCCP | Jan 11, 2018 |
Just WOW, was an oasis to read about the life of Adoniram Judson and how GOD use his life to a greater purpose for the kingdom of God. An inspirational reading. ( )
  s3phiroth2006 | Jul 29, 2017 |
I enjoyed this but I think it could've been a little shorter. I have recently read a biography about Ann Judson and there was some overlap. I preferred the first book to this one maybe just because of the contemporary language making for easier reading.

There is no doubt that the story of Adoniram Judson and his wives is unique and fascinating. Judson faced many trials, disappointments and deaths whilst on the field. He faced a hostile Burmese nation of people who were living as Buddhists. They already had their own religious system and saw it as far superior to anything else that could be offered. It was necessary for patience, perseverance and prayer to lay the foundation for the many conversions to Christianity that took place in later years.

Judson, an intelligent man with a promising academic future renounced it all to serve as the first missionary to be officially sent out from America. He asked himself the question

How shall I so order my future being as best to please God?

Then he set about putting things in place to ensure that that was what happened. We would do well to ask ourselves this question....as many of us get distracted by other factors, but God's will is what is important when making our plans.

Judson and his co-workers were sent out with these words

My dear children, you are now engaged in the best of causes. It is that cause for which Jesus the Son of God came into the world and suffered and died. You literally forsake father and mother, brother and sisters, for the sake of Christ and the promotion of His Kingdom.

Many years later after facing dangers and difficulties they had their first convert to Christianity. But the Burmese converts also faced persecution which tended to originate from the secular rulers. It was hard to be a Christian in Burma but those that did make the decision to follow Jesus were sincere on the whole, their faith being constantly tested

In this country of Burma are many strayed sheep. Teacher Yoodthan (Judson), pitying them, has gone to gather them together, and to feed them in love, Some will not listen, but run away. Some do listen and adhere to him; and that our number may increase, we meet together, and pray to the great proprietor of the sheep.

My favourite part of the story was many years down the line when Judson had begun using tracts in an area that they were exploring for new ministry. The demand for tracts became impossible to satisfy, the missionaries having decided that they would only give tracts to those who asked them for them. They were giving away hundreds even thousands per day. They had to sit in a boat away from the shore for fear of being bombarded with the requests but people were still coming out to them in small boats to get tracts. A local leader later came to advise them that having walked around in the community in the evening all the wooden shack houses had little lights on display and the sounds of the people reading the tracts aloud could be heard throughout the area.

During a festival to a heathen god they distributed

Nearly ten thousand tracts, giving to none but those who ask. I presume there have been six thousand applications at the house. Some come two or three months' journey, from the borders of Siam and China - 'Sir we hear that there is an eternal hell. We are afraid of it. Do give us a writing that will tell us how to escape it.' Others came from the frontiers of Kathay, a hundred miles north of Ava- 'Sir we have seen a writing that tells about an eternal God. Are you the man that gives away such writings? If so pray give us one, for we want to know the truth before we die.' Others came from the interior of the country, where the name of Jesus Christ is little known- 'Are you Jesus Christ's man? Give us a writing that tells us about Jesus Christ.

If only people were as concerned about their spiritual welfare and eternal destination today! But it seemed that segments of these people had been prepared long before by a legend within their own culture which seemed to refer to the Bible. The legend stated that a sacred book that had been taken from the Burmese would one day be restored to them by a white man. They had a temporary book that they had been worshiping for twelve years which incredibly turned out to be a copy of the Oxford Book of Common Prayer with the Psalms! This reminded me of the redemption analogies theory suggested by Don Richardson in Peace Child and Lords of the Earth; that there is somewhere in every culture, tribe or nation something that can be used to point to Jesus. It makes sense as a sign of God's love and mercy, but it's always amazing to read about it being discovered.

This book is a must read for anyone interested in missions. I felt that in some places there was a little too much detail about superfluous matters but it still held my interest. It may also have been that I read the two biographies too close together and was familiar already with parts of the story. This book will inspire you to give everything for God and to persevere in tough times especially on the mission field.

( )
  sparkleandchico | Aug 31, 2016 |
The amazing biography of missionary Adoniram Judson and his family. This was the beginning of Christianity in Burma - but no easy road to evangelism. It was years before Judson had his first Christ follower; he spent time in prison, and encountered illness, and buried family members. Inspiring in the sense that we must have that same approach to missions even now. ( )
  Keith.Benjamin | Apr 13, 2014 |
  pastorroy | Jun 25, 2013 |
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