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David Livingstone

Map of Africa

Parts of Africa had never been explored when David Livingstone was born in Scotland on March 19, 1813. Livingstone and explorers who followed him helped people better understand Africa and the needs of African people.

David started working at a cloth factory at age 10. His work day began at 6 a.m. and ended at 8 p.m. But after 14 hours of work, he didn’t go to bed. Instead he went to night school after work! Seventeen years later he finished all his schooling, including medical school. In 1840, he sailed to Africa to become a medical missionary.

He sometimes carried a “magic lantern” with him in Africa. Magic lanterns projected pictures on a screen, wall, or other surface. Dr. Livingstone showed pictures of Bible stories. He hoped many Africans he met would come to Christ.

But that never happened. God used Dr. Livingstone in other ways. He traveled to places in Africa that no map maker had yet visited. He loved exploring. He said that one of his trips in Africa reminded him of an endless picnic.

Future missionaries brought the good news of Jesus to Africa after Dr. Livingstone’s explorations prepared the way. His wrote reports, speeches, and books about his work that led many young people to answer God’s call to the continent called “the white man’s graveyard.”

To Think About
Would you be discouraged if you told a number of people about Jesus and no one seemed interested in what you had to say?

Some people have to hear the gospel many times before they understand how to trust in Jesus. They might have heard the gospel many times before you talk to them, and they might be ready to become a follower of Jesus. Or you could be the first person who has ever talked to them about their need of a Savior. God can use your obedience to Him, even when you don’t know how He is using you.


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