It’s early morning on my holiday and I sit and gaze out of our Air BnB window on the Isle of Wight at the small specks on the horizon, slowly, imperceptibly drawing closer to the Bembridge shore. Boats, liners, tankers each laden with precious people or cargo to be unloaded at Portsmouth or Southampton docks. In the evening this ritual is repeated, this time in reverse. Cruise liners and container boats pass only a mile from where I sit, heading off to holidays and to nations that I do not know. Suddenly, I am aware how comfortable and parochial I quickly become on holiday, Heather, myself and an island to explore. What a land we live in, green and pleasant, safe and secure, surrounded by beauty and every pleasure wealth affords, it all feels like heaven sometimes. I deliberately pick up a book beside me “The legacy of William Carey” and am transfixed.
William Carey, a cobbler of Northampton, who in eighteenth century as young man heard God’s call to India. He gave up everything, put every personal comfort on the line and worked tirelessly his whole life for the sake of Christ and the Indian nation. Reading this short book you are struck of his incredible confidence in the gospel alone to transform society, a reformer of all areas of life with wonderful understanding and insights into the Kingdom of God.
This single missionary translated the Bible into 5 Indian languages and smaller parts of the bible into 23 other languages. But perhaps what I had never known before was how he bought transformation to medicine, media, education, botany, industry and freedom for women. He took the light of the gospel to every corner of that nation and his legacy lives on.
Reading this biography after such a wonderful Westpoint event encourages me to reach for so much more in Commission. Let me encourage you to regularly read biographies of men and women who will inspire you to constantly reach for more of God and to look to the furthest horizons and ask in prayerful faith “let your kingdom come and your will be done” this day and every day of my life on earth.
It was John Wesley who said “the world is my parish” and so too must we in our day. We who wake each morning with a roof over our heads, a loved one to kiss us, a health service and emergency services who will risk their lives to save yours. Let us never take our nation for granted but realise our calling is to UK and to the ends of the earth.
There is much work to do, thousands of lives transformed, through hundreds of churches, in tens of nations.
Book: The Legacy of William Carey Vishal and Ruth Mangalwadi