In the late 1780’s, the first Baptist missionary William Carey was obsessed with bringing the good news of Jesus to every nation. This was not a conviction shared by church leaders at the time and it took 8 years of persistence for a missionary society to be formed and Carey and Dr. John Thomas to be sent to India as missionaries. Carey’s commitment would go on to be tested through the death of 3 of his children, the mental illness of his wife, and seven years before seeing a single convert.
The legacy Carey and his fellow missionaries eventually brought is staggering. To mention a few accomplishments: the team translated the Bible into 34 languages, compiled dictionaries of Sanskrit, Marathi, Panjabi, and Telegu; started Serampore College; began churches, established 19 mission stations and 100 rural schools which educated girls; started the Horticultural Society of India; printed the first Indian newspaper; introduced a savings bank to assist poor farmers. Carey’s fight against the burning of widows helped lead to its ban in 1829. The work of Carey is but one demonstration of how the good news of Jesus is good for all dimensions of life. When people live under the Lordship of Jesus, not only do they have an eternal hope, but society is better off.
Carey lived out the words from his earlier, influential sermon: “expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” May Mission Month reminds us our whole world needs to come under the Lordship of Jesus and still needs passionate people like Carey to attempt great things for God.