As we continue to look at the Mission throughout history, it is very important to look at another mission-focused group that arose during the eighteenth century called the Moravians.
This group of believers have a long history, but its origin can be traced back to 1467, to a man named John Huss. However, after many years of persecution, another leader emerged to give them refuge and safety in 1722. His name was Count Nicholas von Zinzendorf, and his zeal for the mission of God had a large impact on the purpose and culture of the Moravians. Due to this zeal and a spiritual awakening that occurred in 1727, a heart for the nations was born. In 1731, they sent their first missionary to the West Indies, after that they extended to Greenland and Africa.
The passion for the Mission was so great that these missionaries sold themselves as slaves within Western Indies so that they would be able to spread the gospel further. James A. DeJong described the Moravians contribution to history.
“Within thirty years the Moravians had begun missions in at least ten countries. By 1740 they had reached: The Virgin Islands, Greenland, Surinam, the Gold Coast, North America, and South Africa. Their self-sacrifice, love and total commitment to evangelization are unparalleled in the history of Missions. Despite the group’s small size, the Moravians sent out hundreds of Missionaries in the eighteenth century and inspired countless others… Whenever the Moravians went with the Gospel, their loving spirit, strong faith, and total commitment conveyed the true nature of Christianity so clearly that hundreds of converts were made. One historian has estimated that the Moravians missions achieved more in this period than all the Protestant efforts before them.”
When looking at the Mission throughout history, one must recognize the influence of the Moravians. The choices and commitment of these men and women were the catalyst to the great missions movements within the nineteenth century and for many of the missions movements that are in effect today.
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