John Taylor Jones provided a great service to the people of Siam (today’s Thailand), when he translated the New Testament into their language. But it may have been the sacrifice that his wife made which was the initial catalyst toward the salvation of many of the Siamese people.

On this day (July 14) in 1830 John married Eliza Grew, and within seven months they were on their way to Burma as Baptist missionaries. Bro. Jones had a gift for quickly picking up foreign languages. In Burma he became proficient in Burmese and the tribal language of the Talings. In ministering to the Talings, he met some of the people of Western Siam. He not only saw their great spiritual need, but he and his wife fell in love with them. So he and Sister Jones left Burma for a new ministry. In October 1843, Brother Jones finished his Siamese translation. Sadly, while completing that work, his wife Eliza became sick and eventually died in the faith and with the joy of possessing eternal life. This was in sharp contrast to the way the natives looked at death. Bro. Jones later said that he had never met a single heathen in Siam who was not terrified of death. But as Mrs. Jones became weaker and weaker, she told her nurse and others “I am not afraid to die,” explaining why it was so. For weeks after her passing people would come and ask the missionary how anyone could die so peaceably. When he assured them that it was possible, they would say things like, “Wonderful, wonderful, that a person should die and not be afraid.” It took time and patience, but eventually the death of Mrs. Jones began to produce eternal fruit in Siam. And when the missionary himself passed away, there were many believers among the people of that nation.