missionary biographies & adventures
John Paton

On a farm in Scotland years ago little John Paton first saw the light of day. When he grew up, he felt a call to go as a missionary to the New Hebrides Islands and tell the cannibals who lived there about Jesus the Saviour. His friends tried to persuade him not to go, afraid lest the cannibals would eat him. But nothing turned him from his purpose, for he trusted the Lord would watch over him. At first the natives did not like John G. Paton, and several times they tried to kill him.

One night they came with flaming torches to set fire to the little mission he had built. They set fire to the reed fence which went from the building to Mr. Paton's house. Mr. Paton and a missionary friend were inside watching the armed savages. They prayed to God for His protection knowing that the house would be on fire in a few minutes. Suddenly John Paton rushed out of the house and began to fight the fire. The natives danced and yelled wildly, urging each other to strike a blow at the missionary. But it seemed as if he was standing behind an unseen shield held by the Lord!

Suddenly there was a roaring sound, and when the native turned to see where it came from, they saw a black cloud coming through the sky toward them. An awful storm of wind and rain was coming. Almost instantly the rain began to pour down. Filled with fear the natives cried out, "It is God's rain! Truly the missionary's God is helping him. Let us go away!"

Throwing away their torches, they disappeared into the bushes, and John Paton was left standing alone. Together he and his friend praised God for preserving them in the time of great danger.

The natives left the missionary alone after that, and as time went on many of those poor savages confessed their faith in the Lord Jesus. Some of the old chiefs in the islands became Christians. They began to wear pieces of cloth for clothing to show that they were true Christians and no longer cannibals.

One time water was very scarce on the island, and John Paton decided to dig a well there. The natives were afraid and said the missionary was trying to bring "rain from below!" At first Mr. Paton dug alone, but then he hired men to help him and paid them with fish-hooks. While the digging was gong on, Mr. Paton was praying, asking God to give him a well of water.

Finally the water began to run in deep down in the well—plenty of water for everyone. When the natives saw it, they cried out, "Mr. Paton's God is the true God!"

John Paton lived to be 83 years old. How glad he is now that he set out early in life, when just a boy, to serve the Lord Jesus who loved him and died for sinners everywhere.

"This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." (1 Timothy 1:15)


Copied with permission for WholesomeWords.org from Messages of God's Love published by Bible Truth Publishers.

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