solely John Eliot was a Cambridge-educated, Puritan minister who labored faithfully in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He arrived on American soil in 1631 and eagerly began his pastoral duties. While Native Americans were present, Eliot focused solely on his ministry to the English settlers. However, in 1644 his conscience was pricked, and he began outreach to the Algonquin tribe. For the next 46 years, he labored tirelessly for these neglected people, often at tremendous cost to himself.
Eliot’s missionary resume was impressive. He mastered the difficult Algonquin language well enough to translate the Scriptures, develop catechisms, and translate 20 other books into the local tongue. Eliot trained Native evangelists, established schools and fought for Native American rights. Eliot’s life is a testament to the impact that one can have when one gives themself in unselfish service to others. He truly earned the nickname “the Apostle to the Indians.”
One author noted concerning Eliot’s call to the Algonquin people: “There was no Macedonian call. There was no solemn commission. There was simply a need, and he was available.” Eliot saw the need and responded. I once heard someone say, “Not every need is a call.” However, sometimes the need is the call, as was the case for John Eliot.
Have you considered the needs of those who have never heard the gospel? For example, 21 of the 50 largest unreached people groups in the world live in the country of India. Each of these groups contains more than 10 million people! Who will tell these people about Jesus? Missionaries are needed! YOU are needed!
Maybe you want to be a missionary but have been waiting for a direct “call” from God. Will God give you a dramatic call to missions? He may, but He will more likely speak to you through “the still small voice” of His Holy Spirit and ask you to step out in faith to meet a need.
We invite you to follow the example of John Eliot and many other missionaries who felt compelled to go to the unreached because of the great need. Don’t wait for a bright light from heaven; go and be the light among the billions of people who sit in darkness. The needs are great, and God is calling for missionaries. The need is the call; will you answer?
God is calling for men who are willing to leave their farms, their business, if need be their families, to become missionaries for Him. And the call will be answered. In the past there have been men who, stirred by the love of Christ and the needs of the lost, have left the comforts of home and the society of friends, even that of wife and children, to go into foreign lands, among idolaters and savages, to proclaim the message of mercy – Acts of the Apostles p. 370.
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