What is the likelihood that our service for Christ in this place might become a blessing to someone on the other side of the globe? And if it was, how would you feel, if no one even knew your name in regard to that service?
There was a young Irishman, whose name has been lost to history, who joined the British army – probably in an effort to escape his family’s poverty. He was soon stationed in Madras, India. In 1830 he was sent on special assignment to Moulmein, Burma. While in Burma, the young Catholic attended the Baptist mission lead by Eurgenio Kincaid. There he came under conviction and was born again. Meeting Adoniram Judson and growing in Christ, he asked about Christian service. Judson recommended that upon his discharge from the army, he move to the United States to attend seminary. This he did. Upon the completion of his studies he was ordained in Broadalbin, New York in 1838. He pastored in that state for a short time before being led to become a missionary.
He and his young wife moved to Janesville, Wisconsin, arriving in late autumn. He purchased a small piece of land outside the community, complete with the shell of a house, around which he banked dirt and sod.. He dug potatoes for a neighbor and was permitted to keep a seventh for his family. He threshed wheat and took his wages in grain. He built and sold wooden chairs with which he bought a little pork to eat. The family survived the winter without eggs, butter, cheese, sugar, milk, fish or foul. Having no candles they used lard from the pork as lamp oil.
Despite their privations, the missionary organized the Janesville Baptist Church on this day in 1844. To reach the services he was forced to walk 35 miles into Janesville. The church struggled for some time with thirteen members, two of which were men. And then another young man named Dearborn moved into Janesville and joined the church. This man brought a new zeal which sprang from a tender heart. The church began to grow. O.J. Dearborn was eventually ordained and became the pastor of the church.
Of course, Bro. Kincaid, in Burma had no way of knowing he was helping to start a church in Wisconsin, but the Lord did. And the Lord also knows the name, and the struggles, of that first missionary/pastor.