The Challenge of Livingstone Today
An Example of Excellence
Dr. David Livingstone is an example of excellence. His life, legacy and literature continue to speak to us today. The challenge of David Livingstone is most relevant to our times.
If Dr. David Livingstone was here today, what would he say to us?
We do not need to guess. We have his writings and published statements available. We know exactly what David Livingstone would say to us today. It is what he said to the people of his generation:
"The Salvation of men ought to be the chief desire and aim of every Christian!"
"All men have the right to hear God's Word. No nation ought to hoard the Gospel like a miser!"
Pioneer Missionary and Explorer
All the nations of the earth have been blessed by God through the descendants of Abraham. Through the centuries Isaac's sons have blessed the nations in many ways. One of the greatest friends Africa ever had was Dr. David Livingstone (the bicentennial of whose birth we will be celebrating this year.) 19 March 2013, will mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of David Livingstone. He was a great missionary pioneer pathfinder whose greatest desire was granted only after his death: the cessation of the slave trade and the opening up of Africa to Christianity and lawful commerce.
Livingstone the Liberator
He had the grace to see that his Mission was part of a Divine plan to set many souls free from slavery, both physical and spiritual. Livingstone’s great goal of bringing to the world’s attention the scourge of the Islamic slave trade in Africa was achieved largely through the work of his convert, American journalist Henry Morton Stanley.
Henry Morton Stanley
Henry Morton Stanley was one of the greatest explorers of all time. Throughout his incredible life, which was packed with adventure and conflict, he served as a soldier, a sailor, a journalist, an explorer, an empire builder, a statesman, author, politician, and lecturer and finally, he was even knighted by Queen Victoria.
“Dr. Livingstone I Presume?”
Stanley is most famous for having found missionary explorer, Dr. David Livingstone after he had been out of contact with the outside world for many years. His calm and most understated of comments, after having crossed half the continent: “Dr. Livingstone I presume?” must be one of the most famous statements in popular memory worldwide.
Livingstone 200 Mission
It was quite a contrast from my first visit to Livingstone in Zambia. In 1987 I had been arrested and abused. The Frontline Mission team I was leading had been arrested at Kazangulu after refusing to bribe Zambian officials. After an excruciating day and night of abuse at the hands of the Zambian security forces, we were thrown into filthy cells where the overpowering stench was nauseating. After a night of being attacked by swarms of mosquitos, my skin had been turned into relief maps of angry red bumps and bites. Then blindfolded and shackled, we were taken to Lusaka where weeks of interrogations and incarceration followed. That was October 1987, when Zambia was a one-party dictatorship under Kenneth Kaunda's UNIP. Their official policy was socialist humanism.