Monday, May 03, 2010

History of Missions and Pioneer Church Planters

This past week I have been in the northeast state of India called Meghalaya. One of the things I wanted to do on this trip was to visit the place where the first Welsh missionaries served, a place called Cherrapunji. Thomas Jones, a Calvinistic-Methodist, came to work among the Khasi people in 1841 and established the first Christian church in the northeast. Jones, and his wife Mary, who passed away a few years later, was joined in ministry in 1843 by Rev. and Mrs. William Lewis and Dr. Owen Richards. It was not until 1846 that they saw their first converts. Now over 150 years, it continues to be the largest church in the area. They say there are more Christians in this area than in Wales today.

I had the opportunity to speak at the Saturday night prayer meeting and afterwards spoke to the students who attend the Thomas Jones School of Missions.

The history of missions is interesting. As a pioneer church planter in Kenya, I have a certain affinity to guys like Jones, though in no way did I suffer the hardships of those who served 100 years ago. I don’t care about a plaque on the wall or a monument in the front of the church, but I do hope that, if the Lord tarries His return, that after another 100 years the works we established among the Pokot and Turkana would be just as strong as the church the church among the Khasi’s.