Superheroes of the Faith – David Livingstone
Powerpoint Pictures: Backpack, Sleeping Bag, Water Bottle, Binoculars, Explorers Hat, Compass and Map
Here are some picture clues about a person’s job – can you guess what it is? [Backpack; Sleeping Bag; Water Bottle; Binoculars; Hat; Compass and Map]
An explorer of course! I want to tell you about one of the most famous explorers ever.
If you were to get an atlas out and look at central and southern Africa it would look like this [Show map of Africa today]. 200 years it would have looked something like this [Show map of Africa 200 years ago]. 200 years ago people thought that apart from the coasts, Africa was all desert with no-one living there.
But there was a missionary called Robert Moffat who was living in Cape Town in South Africa and telling people about Jesus who didn’t think this was true. On one occasion, when he had returned to Scotland and was going to different meetings to tell people stories of Africa, he said:
“I know the popular view is that the centre of Africa is a wasteland, but that’s only because no white man has ventured inland. But I can tell you this, some mornings I have got up and looked towards the vast plain to the north and seen the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has ever been!”
One young man who heard Moffat say this was David Livingstone. David Livingstone was a doctor, he was also a Christian, and felt called to be an explorer too.
He knew Jesus’ words about being a witness to the ends of the earth, “…you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8), and wanted to find these people who lived in these thousands of villages who had never heard about Jesus. So he went to Africa and started to explore, telling people about Jesus along the way and using his medical skills to treat sick Africans.
Over 30 years Livingstone explored Africa, travelling 29,000 miles, mapping out huge amounts of central Africa showing people where these villages were. He also discovered the source of the River Nile and a huge waterfall which he named after Queen Victoria.
He was a witness to the ends of the earth. But even more importantly, his exploring and maps enabled lots of missionaries to go to these villages in deepest darkest Africa to tell people about Jesus and today there are millions of people in these places who love and follow Jesus.
We might not be called to explore Africa, but there are lots of places close to us where people need to hear about Jesus. May David Livingstone’s example encourage us to do this.
More talks about Superheroes of the Faith can be found HERE.