Ann Judson: Missionary Wife
In the early 19th century, the idea of a man leaving his home to take the gospel to the “heathen” was radical, but the idea of a woman accompanying him to such a call was patently absurd. Most people were entirely opposed to the concept, deeming it “wild and romantic in the extreme, and altogether inconsistent with prudence and delicacy.” Yet Ann believed that nothing could be more wise or “prudent” than to invest her life for the sake of Christ! Once she knew His redeeming love herself, it was unthinkable to Ann not to give her all for Him. Displaying a feminine strength that was anything but “absurd”, but rather pleasing in the sight of God, she wrote:
He has my heart in His hands, and when I am called to face danger, to pass through scenes of terror and distress, He can inspire me with fortitude, and enable me to trust Him. Jesus is faithful; His promises are precious. Were it not for these considerations, I should, with my present prospects sink down in despair, especially as no female has, to my knowledge, ever left the shores of America to spend her life among the heathen. But God is my witness that I have not dare to decline the offer that has been made to me. O Jesus, make me live to Thee, and I desire no more.”
Ann left for the mission field confident and enthusiastic – but she finished meek and lamb-like. Her sufferings for Christ transformed her into the image of the Lamb and fitted her to join the ranks of “those of whom the world was not worthy.” (Hebrews 11:38)
For His sake, she was put to death all day long (Romans 8:36). Following in His steps, she left for the mission field like a lamb to the slaughter. Yet she deemed Him worthy of this service and did not shrink back. For His name’s sake she bore up, quite alone, under horrific trials to body and soul that no human could undergo apart from the sustaining grace of God. Her devotion to Christ and willingness to follow Him wherever He led made this exemplary woman radiate with His beauty and display His worth.