A flame of sacred love: mission involvement of women in the 19th century

22 June 2015

In the 19th century, women missionaries found acceptance in the public domain and opportunities for achievement that they were denied at home. Whilst they spearheaded movements for Christianising and modernising Asian (the focus of this article) and African societies through the evangelisation, education and physical care of women, many questions were raised about their motives and the way they executed their work. We need to rediscover the sacrificial dedication women had that made the 19th century the greatest century of Christian expansion. These were remarkable women who left everything behind − many of them leaving a permanent impression upon the people in whose cities they eventually resided − and who stand as examples to the present generation. Having lost most of the things the world prizes, they gained one thing they esteemed so highly. For them, the relative value of things temporal might go, provided that they could forever settle the eternal values. They lived out the words of Paul: ‘I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus’ (Phlp 3:14).