No Ordinary Life

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No Ordinary Life

Category : Glenda's Soap Box

As is my custom, this blog will be a progressive one.  I will be adding to it occasionally a selection of those who did not live ordinary lives.  Why?  Because our standard has been so lowered that we highly esteem nice people who regularly attend church.  Nothing wrong with that, but that can easily be classified as those living ordinary lives.  Let us examine an entirely different group of individual believers whose time on earth was anything but ordinary.  These examples are simply offered in hopes of challenging and encouraging the readers to never, ever be content with an ordinary life.

No Ordinary Life/Example #1:
This young man was born in 1718 in America, and converted in 1739 before entering Yale University (when it was still a Christian university) to study for the ministry.  While there he amassed numerous misdemeanors for intemperate, indiscreet zeal.  His passion for Christ was too much for the system to bear.  Undaunted, he studies privately and was soon appointed as a missionary to the Indians, and was ordained in 1744 and began his work in New Jersey preaching to neighboring tribes with his newly converted Indian interpreter. 

His journals record over 130 converts in a period of only one year in what he called "an amazing work of grace among the Indians".  So anointed was his teaching that culturally distant, potentially hostile tribal villages would weep at his message.  So dramatic were the results of his preaching, that skeptical whites would come to the meetings to mock, only for themselves to get converted.  In village after village the power of God fell, converting the otherwise disinterested, animist Indians. 

In 1745, he traveled on horseback over 3,000 miles to reach Indian tribes in the backwoods of Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey.  He endured harsh weather, deprivation and personal suffering to share the good news.  He contracted tuberculosis, and still pressed on.

It was a common sight to see this man of God weeping and praying, laying prostrate on the snow-covered forest floor for days at a time.  He was calling out for God's mercy to save the Indians.  Witnesses recounted on more than one occasion that the white ground of freshly fallen snow was stained by the bloody spittle coughed up from his tubercular lungs.

He died at age 29 after only 5 years of ministry, but his example would usher many Native Americans into the Kingdom of God and inspire hundreds of others who would read his journal after his death to become messengers and bearers of the cross of Jesus Christ.

His name?  David Brainerd
(Excerpts taken from an article originally published in Discerning Times in 1985.)

No Ordinary Life/Example #2:
As a young child in Sunday School this woman decided she wanted to become a missionary even before she knew what a missionary was.  But as she grew up, she forgot about her childhood ambition for a while and became a student at the Royal College of Music. 

It was only when she started meeting regularly with other Christians in a friend's home that she thought about being a missionary again.  Then one night, she had a dream.  Here it is in her words...

"I saw a vision of a woman holding her arms out beseechingly as on a refugee poster.  I wondered what she wanted - she looked desperate for something.  Then words moved past like a television credit- WHAT CAN YOU GIVE US?"

After a series of dreams and vivid experiences, she decided to go to Hong Kong.  The trouble was, no one else would agree to go with her.

She applied to every missionary group she could think of, and also to church organizations.  She even contacted the Hong Kong government to see if they could use a musician.  But all doors closed in her face.  They all said "You are too young, you're too inexperienced, you have the wrong qualifications". 

She was about to give up when the vicar of a church she helped told her, against the received wisdom of everything else she had heard, to go to Hong Kong anyway.

In 1966 (at age 22) she gathered up all the money she had and bought a passage on the cheapest boat to Hong Kong she could find.  She only had money for a one-way ticket, so there was no turning back.  She found a job teaching at a primary school in the Walled City.  This was an area where the Hong Kong police had no regular jurisdiction.  It was Hong Kong's most deprived and dangerous area.

She began a pioneering work among the drug addicts and Triad gang members.  She set up the St. Stephen's Society, which continues its work in Hong Kong and south-east Asia today.  This organization has become one of the most successful drug rehabilitation programs in the word, rescuing hundreds of young people from a life of misery on the streets.  It began with her taking individual addicts into her own home and praying them through detox, trusting God to save and heal them.

What is now a powerful outpost of the Kingdom of God is there because one young woman believed the words "Go into all the world and preach the Good News' applied to her.  As a result untold numbers of people know from experience that the gospel of the Good News is true.   Can one single life change a city?  YES!
(Excerpts taken from 

Her name?  Jackie Pullinger.  If you want to hear her share her testimony, go to and you can hear it in her own words!

Check back for:  No Ordinary Life/Example #3

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