What are you doing right now for the kingdom of God? Are you actively involved in missional living and reaching people around you?

Maybe you need a little placement, context for you to see that you are smack dab in the midst of a great cloud of witnesses. [CLICK TO TWEET]

Here’s a look at those who have gone before you, pioneering the way from ages past to present to where you are now.

I see the bigger picture, the overall narrative of what God has been doing to reach every nation. God has called simple men and women throughout history to leave a mark of his glory upon his storyline, and you are an integral part.

King David said, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.”

Now, with simple faith, let us go too, leaving a mark of righteousness for generations to come.

Now, with simple faith, let us go too, leaving a mark of righteousness for generations to come.

Here’s a look back through the years at what happened in missions history in the month of September. [CLICK TO TWEET]


September 1, 1877 — Birth of Karl Ludvig Reichelt (1877-1952) in Norway. Reichelt went to China in 1904 and in 1922, with the goal of evangelizing Buddhists and Taoists, he founded Ching Fong Shan in Nanjing. After civil war broke out, he moved to Shatin, Hong Kong where in 1930 he started Tao Fong Shan Christian Centre. Reichelt is credited with leading hundreds of Buddhist monks to follow Christ. One of his goals was to create an institute that “as far as possible corresponds to that of a Buddhist monastery.”

September 2, 2003 — A house church in Nanyang County, Henan Province of China, is raided by Public Security Bureau officers. The 170 Christians at the service were fingerprinted, fined, and released, but 14 leaders were detained on more serious charges. These leaders may face torture and prison. Nanyang County is one of the strongest Christian areas in China with perhaps 40- 50% of the population believing in Christ.

September 3, 1889 — birth of Sadhu Sandar Singh in the Punjab.

September 4, 1977 — Trans World Radio’s Guam station makes its first broadcast from four 100,000-watt shortwave transmitters

September 5, 1810 — The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions was founded by the General Association of Congregational Churches. In 1812 the board sent out a number of missionaries, including Adoniram Judson, Samuel Newell, Samuel Nott and others, to India.

September 6, 1849 — E. R. Baierlein, German missionary to the Indians in Michigan, was ordained and installed. He erected a log church with a belfry and a log cabin for his home. As he cleared some land, he set some aside as “God’s acre” and named the place Bethany. In a remarkably short time Baierlein had mastered the Chippewa language and had a book including portions of the Lutheran Catechism printed in the Chippewa language.

September 7, 1890 — Swedish-American evangelist Fredrik Franson arrives in New York after holding revival campaigns in Germany. On October 14 he began a training course in Brooklyn with the announced purpose of sending missionaries to China. He taught similar courses in Chicago, Minneapolis and Omaha. About two hundred young people of Scandinavian descent attended. From those who offered themselves for missionary service, Franson selected fifty. By February 5, 1891, all were on their way to China, each supported by local churches. To direct this undertaking, Franson organized The Scandinavian Alliance Mission of North America. Today that organization is simply called TEAM — The Evangelical Alliance Mission.

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September 8, 1920 – In an article in his journal Young India, Mahatma Ghandi asserts, “It is my firm opinion that Europe (and the United States) does not represent the spirit of God or Christianity but the spirit of Satan. And Satan’s successes are the greatest when he appears with the name of God on his lips.”

September 9, 801 – Ansgar, “Apostle to the North,” was born.

September 10, 2001 — The Southern Baptist missionary count exceeds 5,000 for the first time.

September 11, 1922 — Death of 91-year-old Robert Henry Codrington, Anglican missionary to Melanesia who was among the most accomplished of the nineteenth-century missionary scholars who contributed significantly to the early growth of anthropology and linguistic research. Among his writings are The Melanesian Languages (1885), The Melanesians: Studies in Their Anthropology and Folk-lore (1891) and Story of a Melanesian deacon: Clement Marau (1906).

September 12, 2000 — Pastor Yesu Dasu is beheaded in Karimnagar, India, by unidentified assailants who struck him in the neck with an axe several times before he died.

September 13, 1888 — Jonathan Goforth who had arrived earlier in Cheefoo, sets out on an exploratory tour of the North Honan region of China. Goforth was not an easy man to work with, but he had success in planting churches and was associated with revival among Korean Christians in the early 1900s and with revival in Manchuria in 1908.

September 14, 1985 — Shiite Muslim kidnappers in Lebanon release Benjamin Weir, an American missionary. He had been their captive for 16 months.

September 15, 1921 — Raymond R. Brewer sails for Shanghai, China, where he becomes Dickinson College’s representative at West China Union University. He will give birth to the Dickinson-in-China program.

September 16, 1863 — Robert College opens its doors in Constantinople with Cyrus Hamlin as its first President. Hamlin — educator, inventor, architect and missionary — had gone to Turkey as a missionary in 1838 where he worked with the Armenian minority and established Bebek Seminary to train young men to become pastors and teachers among the Greeks and Armenians living in Turkey.

September 17, 1597 — In an uprising against Spanish rule, Guale Indian leader Juanillo goes to St. Catherine’s island off the Georgia coast and clubs to death Spanish missionaries Miguel de Aunon and Antonio de Badajoz. The two missionaries had ignored warnings from friendly Indians of Juanillo’s insurrection.

September 18, 1964 — Congolese rebels ransack a missionary hospital at Wasolo. They murder two of the Congolese nurses — Constant Kokembe and Boniface Bomba — and take Missionary doctor Paul Carlson hostage.

September 19, 1882 — The Salvation Army “invades” India. When the authorities in India heard that the Salvation Army was coming, they visualized the landing of a formidable force which might cause communal riots resulting in violence and bloodshed. Consequently, the Mumbai police lined up in force on the quayside at Apollo Bunder for the Army’s arrival. When the four Salvation Army officers on board the ship stepped ashore, the police superintendent approached, asking, “When will the rest of your army land?” Major Frederick de Lautour Tucker replied, “We are the whole Army.”

September 20, 1864 — Aaron Buzacott, a London Missionary Society missionary to Tahiti, dies. Born in 1800, Buzacott was sent to the South Seas in 1827. He was stationed at Tahiti, then at Rarotonga. With John Williams and Charles Pitman he translated the Bible into the language of Rarotonga.

September 21, 1992 — Islamic gunmen hit Christian radio station DXAS in the Philippines, killing pastor-broadcaster Greg Happala and technician Greg Bacabis.

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September 22, 1853 — Charles Carter arrives in Ceylon as a missionary of the Baptist Missionary Society. He made such rapid progress in language study that he was able to preach his first sermon in Sinhalese at Biyanwila just four months after his arrival.

September 23, 1595 — Led by Fray Juan de Silva, the Spanish begin an intensive missionary campaign in the North American southeast. In two years time, 1,500 Native Americans in what is now Florida, Georgia and South Carolina became Roman Catholics.

September 24, 1939 — Juji Nakada, Japanese evangelist, died. In 1901 he had invited Charles and Lettie Cowman of the U.S. to establish a Bible Institute in Japan. As a result of Nakada’s vision, the Oriental Missionary Society (now known as O.M.S. International) was founded in Tokyo, Japan, that same year. This interdenominational mission organization of Wesleyan tradition specializes in evangelism, church planting, radio/TV broadcasting and theological education. Headquartered in Greenwood, Indiana, O.M.S. operates in over a dozen countries, with a total overseas staff of more than 250.

September 25, 1856 — Methodist missionary William Butler reaches Calcutta.

September 26, 2002 — Jubilation replaces fear within the walls of a U.S.-led MK (missionary kid) school in battle-divided Ivory Coast, as French troops arrived to evacuate the mostly American staff and students. For days, nearly 200 residents of the school — including 160 children ranging in age from 5 to 18 — had been holed up as gunfire sounded outside their walls.

Sepember 27, 1995 — Missionary Sam Sasser dies. In 1960 Sasser began serving as a missionary in the Marshall Islands and Samoa, helping to plant 26 churches. He had requested that his heart be buried in the Marshall Islands.

September 28, 1870 — James Gilmour, Scottish missionary, completed his first Mongolian trip (from Peking to Kiachta). For much of the next 21 years, he would spend his summers with nomadic Mongols on the plains of Mongolia and his winters with Mongols in Peking.

September 29, 1968 — Christian and Missionary Alliance missionary Betty Ann Olsen, who is being held captive by the Viet Cong, dies and is buried by Michael Benge along a trail. Olsen, born to missionary parents in Bouake, Ivory Coast, had gone to Vietnam in 1964 as a missionary nurse. Eventually taken prisoner by the Viet Cong, Olsen and two other missionaries were were chained together and moved north from one encampment to another through mountainous jungles. The grueling months-long trip took its toll. Physically depleted, the missionaries became sick from dysentery and malnutrition and were beset by fungus, infection, leeches and ulcerated sores.

September 30, 1816 — John Williams (who would eventually be called “the apostle of Polynesia”), Robert Moffat (Africa) and 7 other young men are appointed as missionaries by the London Missionary Society.


Article by Howard Culbertson. For more original content like this, visit: http://home.snu.edu/~hculbert

David Joannes
Founder/President at Within Reach Global
David Joannes is the co-founder and president of Within Reach Global, Inc, which serves the advance of the Gospel in some of Southeast Asia’s most difficult places. He is the author of The Space Between Memories: Recollections from a 21st Century Missionary. David has a love for language, culture, and creative writing, and for the last 20 years, he has witnessed God’s Kingdom established in forgotten parts of the globe. David lives in Chiang Mai, Thailand, with his wife, Lorna, and their daughter, Cara.
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