World Shapers: A Treasury of Quotes from Great Missionaries

Compiled by Vinita Hampton and Carol Plueddemann

Amongst many who sought to deter me, was one dear old Christian gentleman, whose crowning argument always was, “The Cannibals! you will be eaten by Cannibals!” At last I replied, “Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die Serving and honouring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms.” — John G. Paton, SJP, 28

And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives.... and when the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they have wasted. — Nate Saint, JP, 158

I know enough about Satan to realize that he will have all his weapons ready for determined opposition. He would be a missionary simpleton who expected plain sailing in any work of God. — James O. Fraser, POF 10

Remember the miller’s donkey. the miller, son and donkey went to the market. The miller rode the donkey all the way and people exclaimed, “Cruel man, riding himself and making his son walk” So he got down and his son rode; then people slanged, “What a lazy son for riding while poor old father walks.” Then both father and son rode, and people then said, “Cruelty to animals, poor donkey.” So they got down and carried the donkey on a pole, but folks said, “Here are two asses carrying another ass.” Then all three walked and people said, “What fools to have a donkey and not ride it.” So let’s go ahead with our work for God and not care what folks say. — C.T. Studd, FAF, 29-30

Had I cared for the comments of people, I should never have been a Missionary. — C.T. Studd, CAP, 196

Young man, sit down: when God pleases to convert the heathen, he will do it without your aid or mine. — said to a young William Carey, WCM 63

For five years we never went outside our doors without a volley of curses from our neighbours. — C.T. Studd, CAP, 95

We need to look resolutely away from the impossibilities and to the Lord. His help will come, though often it cannot break through to us until the last moment. — Isobel Kuhn, ITA, 11

(Excerpted from chapter 2, entitled “Voices of Opposition”)