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A Difficult Place for Missionaries

Adoniram Judson was a missionary to Burma (Myanmar) in the 1800s. Most of the people were Buddhists, and they were suspicious of the few Christians in their country.

So Judson decided to visit the king of Burma. Perhaps the king would help the Christians and make it easier for Judson and other missionaries to share the gospel.

He hoped to please the king with a special gift. He took six Bibles covered with gold leaf. During Judson’s visit, a servant handed the king the Bibles.

“Take them away!” ordered the king. “I have no use for (such) books in my realm.”

So Judson understood that Burma would still be a difficult place for him and for other Christian missionaries to work. But he continued to serve God in harsh circumstances.

(Source: Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma.)

Gold leaf is a thin sheet of gold, just as aluminum foil is thin aluminum. Buddhists press small pieces of gold leaf onto statues of Buddha. Some statues are covered with several layers of gold leaf. Buddhists believe that decorating Buddha statues with gold leaf will bring them merit. Merit is somewhat like points saved up toward earning spiritual rewards. Buddhists hope to earn a better “next life.” They believe after they die, they will come back to life in a different body.

Christians know that we have one life on earth. Also, apart from God and Jesus, no one is righteous and deserving of rewards, no matter how many good works they do.

(Source: Bold Believers in Burma, available in the Downloads section)

Find a chart about Buddhism here.

Learn more about Adoniram and Ann Judson from the Torchlighters DVD, The Adoniram and Ann Judson Story. Find out more about Torchlighters DVDs here.


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