David Livingstone was a doctor, an explorer and discoverer, a philanthropist who did much for humanity, and, most of all, he was a missionary hero, who gave his life for Africa.
The little David was born of sturdy, earnest Christian parents in the town of Blantyre, Scotland in 1813. His father, Neil Livingstone, was a traveling tea merchant in a small way, and his mother was a thrifty housewife. Like his family, David loved Jesus. Before he was ten, he received a prize for reciting the whole of the one hundred and nineteenth Psalm, "with only five hitches". He began early to be an explorer, and went all over his native place. He loved to collect flowers and shells. He climbed one day to the highest point in the ruins of Bothwell Castle ever reached by any boy, and carved his name there. (விளையும் பயிர் முளையிலேயே தெரியும்)
David Livingstone and his six siblings lived with his parents in one room in a building that housed cotton mill workers. From the age of 10, David had to work 14 hours a day in the cotton mill to help provide for his family. In the evenings and on weekends he studied school. He bought a study-book out of his first week's wages. When David could have the master's help, he took it, and when he couldn't, he worked on alone. In this way he mastered his Latin. He was not brighter than other boys, but more determined to learn than many. He used to put a book on the spinning jenny, and catch sentences now and then, as he passed the place in his work. In this way he learned to put his mind on his book no matter what clatter went on around him. (How are we?)
When nineteen, he was promoted in the factory. At twenty the young man became an earnest Christian.David learned that missionary doctors were needed in China, so he studied Greek (the language the New Testament was originally written in), theology (the study of God), and medicine. But when wars broke out in China, he wasn’t able to go.
Then Robert Moffat (a missionary from Africa) came home and Livingstone heard him plead for Africa and say that he had "sometimes seen in the morning sun the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary had ever been," and this settled the question for him. David was convinced and he was ready to go and serve as a missionary on that dark continent.
David loved Africa and the African people. He tried to be a “normal” missionary and do the same things the other missionaries did, but that wasn’t quite right for him. He wanted to explore. He knew there were many more people further into Africa who had never heard of Jesus. He was determined to open up a path into Africa, where no European had gone before, so these people could learn of Jesus. Unlike many Europeans, David treated the African people kindly and respected their culture. Sadly, many African people were being sold as slaves. David understood that this was wrong and wanted to help stop it by showing that people could buy and sell the wonderful natural resources found in Africa, not the people. His efforts eventually helped end the slave trade. (If we love God, we will love His people too)
To help spread the gospel and open up Africa for trade, David explored the continent, opening up “God’s Highway,” as he called it. He made many amazing discoveries, including his most famous, Victoria Falls, a thundering waterfall that is part of the Zambezi river. People back home were fascinated by David’s discoveries. He became very famous and even wrote several books. In 1873 David Livingstone passed away during one of his expeditions in Africa. Even though his body was buried in Westminster Abbey in England, his heart was buried in the country he loved.
Do we take time to memorize sciptures ?
Are we concerned about others ? Do we take time to help our neighbours ?
May God give us a serving heart like David Livingstone.