Sometimes we get fascinating phone calls at the Global Outreach office. This particular morning I had to research the first Presbyterian missionary to Cameroon during the latter part of the 19th century. Stick with me.
From his biography:
"…with his eyes shut he could see the uplands broadly plaided with alternating fields of winter wheat and plowed land, could point to the dip in the rounded hills where Pine Creek runs, or where the Little Mahoning marks a gap between forest trees…"
I got to this point and fairly shouted at Bruce, "HE WAS FROM NORTHERN INDIANA COUNTY!" This is where my parents live. Rural. Not flashy.
His name was Adolphus C. Good. He was licensed by the Kittanning Presbytery in 1881. He not only established the church in Cameroon (then a German possession), but opened a school for boys. Adolphus died at 38.
The effect of this life was enormous, though it appears he never got any accolades during his lifetime. The only biography I could find was the one published in 1897. He was even overlooked in the Foreign Missionary publication when he left for Africa, though he fulfilled the denomination's measly quota of one new worker each year! In fact, there's no mention of him in any publication for the first four years of his service. Ouch.
So enormous was his impact, though, that we got a call this morning from a pastor in Cameroon wanting to know the history of the Presbyterian churches in his country. He figured a random Philadelphia church would know the missionary because of the way it affected his entire country.
If you think your life is small and insignificant, think of Adolphus.
"'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me…Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me'" (Matthew 25:34-36 and 40b).
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