John Paton’s wife and child died before the boxes were unpacked.
He and his family had been on the tiny South Pacific island of Tanna for less than three months, beaming with hope that the cannibals would some day be converted. But while God’s hammer may break the heathen heart upon the anvil of his Word, the sparks often strike the ones we love most.
Paton’s wife was in her early twenties—his only child but six weeks.
In the wake of this unimaginable sorrow, nearby missionaries assembled on the island to pass a resolution. Was it a pact for greater protection? Was it a pledge to greater vigilance over physical health and comfort? In part it was. Most notably, however, it was a commitment to a greater focus on evangelism. Read More