In the case of John Taylor, missionary to Siam (Thailand), one of the key events to his “success” was the death of his wife.
Taylor was raised a Congregationalist, becoming a Baptist while studying for the ministry. In 1828 he was baptized and joined the Federal Street Baptist Church in Boston. On this day two years later (July 14, 1830) he was married to Eliza Grew, and within a year they were on their way to Burma as missionaries.
While in Burma, Brother Taylor became proficient in preaching Christ crucified in both the Burman and Taling languages. He was especially drawn to the Taling people and eventually moved to Siam to minister to them more directly. In 1843 he completed the Taling New Testament which compared favorably to Carey’s Indian Bible and the Marshman/Judson version in Burmese. But the catalyst which brought the Talings to read the Bible was the death of Mrs. Taylor.
During his last visit to New York, Jones was quoted as saying – “There is one thing which distinguishes Christianity from every false religion. It is the only religion that can take away the fear of death. I never knew a dying heathen in Siam, or anywhere else, that was not afraid, terribly afraid of death. And there was nothing that struck the Siamese people with greater astonishment than a remark that my dear departed wife made, in Siamese, to her native nurse, shortly before her death: ‘I am not afraid to die.’ For weeks after her death, the Siamese people would come to me, as though incredulous that such a thing could be, and ask. ‘Teacher, it is really true that a person had died and was not afraid to die? Can it be possible?’ And when assured that it was even so, they would say, ‘Wonderful, wonderful, that a person should die and not be afraid.’”
The infinitely holy Son of God, took death upon himself, dying in the place of those He chose to save, leaving us with no reason to fear death ourselves.