John Chau’s Story
(Source: VOM Radio. Edited for length, clarity, and appropriateness)
Todd Nettleton of VOM Radio recently interviewed Dr. Mary Ho, the leader of All Nations, a Christian ministry that sends workers on missions around the world. (See the previous post.) Dr. Ho talked with Todd about John Chau, a 26-year-old missionary who gave his life on earth in November 2018 while trying to take the gospel to an isolated tribe on an Indian island. You can read parts of their conversation below.
Todd: Some people think that John just sort of woke up one morning and decided to go to North Sentinel Island — that he was a thrill seeker and totally unprepared to go.
Dr. Ho: John was actually one of the most prepared missionaries I have ever met.
Since he was 18 years old, he knew that God had called him to share the love of Jesus with the North Sentinelese. He knew it was dangerous.
When he went to college, he majored in health, in sports medicine, because he wanted to prepare himself to go to the North Sentinelese. He got himself trained in wilderness training, emergency medical training. He went to the Summer Institute of Linguistics to get trained in linguistics.
He would read 40 to 60 books a year on anthropology to prepare himself. He worked at a national park so he could physically train. He could climb high mountains and swim in the seas. He did short term mission trips to places like Iraq and South Africa.
One of the reasons he came to All Nations to get training was, first of all, he wanted prayer. We trained him in how to make disciples, how to live among the people, and how to share Jesus in a way that does not impose our culture, but to really live out Jesus among them. We also put him in touch with others who had gone on similar missions in that part of the world.
Todd: John didn’t wait to get involved in missions until he went overseas. Even when he was training in the United States, he wanted to share Christ with people around him. Let’s talk about North Sentinel Island where John went. What is it going to take to get the gospel to the North Sentinelese people?
Dr. Ho: First of all, I think it’s going to take a lot of prayer. Since John passed away, I hear of prayer groups and churches rising up and praying for the North Sentinelese. Also I think it has stirred up many hearts to take the gospel to the North Sentinelese. I believe that John’s life has opened the door to the gospel, and I don’t think it will be very far off before we celebrate there being lovers of Jesus among the North Sentinelese.
To Talk About
*In what ways did John Chau prepare to be a missionary?
*Read posts on this site about how to prepare to serve God. Name five ways suggested in the posts in this section.