Monday, March 22, 2010

Small world... ?

While reading a Joshua Harris book on courtship, I realized he was quoting Elisabeth Elliot several times on the roles of men and women in our society. I knew that name, so I started checking into it, just to refresh my memory.

Elisabeth Elliot is the woman who was married to Jim Elliot, who was one of a group of five missionaries killed in Ecuador in 1956 (film - End of the Spear). She later went back as a missionary to the same people. In checking this out I found a website that mentions her as having been an influence for Joshua Harris.

The same website shows Elisabeth Elliot as being influenced by Amy Carmichael (1867-1951), who lived her life as a missionary to India. In fact, Elisabeth Elliot authored her biography.

Both are women of influence. And both of these women have been quoted on the subjects of femininity and purity. This bears witness with me as both my wife and my daughter have stood for what they believe God has spoken to them individually, about modesty and purity. They are often misunderstood p and I personally want to honor them for their conviction.

Continuing... for Amy Carmichael, I thought it was notable to learn Hudson Taylor was an influential person to her as a young woman. Later, I learned she worked alongside with Dr. Angus Ian Kinnear who was one of the barefoot doctors in Dohnavur Hospital (southern India 1938-48).

I then remembered Dr. Kinnear was the name of the person who translated some of the important writings of Watchman Nee from Chinese into English. Dr. Kinnear was very good in languages.

The writings of Watchman Nee were an influence for me as a young Christian in the 1970s. Books like, The Normal Christian Life, Song of Songs, The Release of the Spirit, Twelve Baskets Full, Against the Tide and others.

Watchman Nee was strongly influenced by Margaret E. Barber (1866-1930), a Christian missionary in Foochow China.

And finally, M.E. Barber believed to her dying day, that Jesus would soon return, maybe even this day. It was through her teachings that she influenced "the little flock", a group of Chinese Christian believers with Watchman Nee in Maoist China, to rise up each morning before the sun rose and watch for His return. When the sun was up they would go back to their daily lives and work. Their faith was pure, simple, and based on the biblical promise to those who "hold fast to what you have", that is the gift of the Morning Star; which they believed was a prophecy describing the way of Jesus soon return (Rev 2:28). This may have been the beginning of the practice of the Morning Watch among some believers.

This whole thing seems like a bit of a "ramble" but I personally find it very interesting. Could it be, that an inner confirmation I have for Joshua Harris' writing is a result of these circuitous connections through the influence of one believer to another?

After examining all of these connections between people in history and around the world. Some might call it a small world, or a perhaps a coincidence, but I see a single hand orchestrating it all.

Here are a few of the websites I found:

Elisabeth Elliot

Amy Carmichael

Angus Kinnear

Watchman Nee

CLC Ministries

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  1. Makes me wonder who's next in the "influenced" line?

  2. His Word will never return void. We may not see or hear of the influence when we share His Word but it will prove itself later as you have discovered.


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