Eaten by Cannibals

You might as well know the end of the story now. James Chalmers was eaten by cannibals on Goaribari Island in the South Seas on April 4, 1901. But his death matched his life—both were invested in passionately inviting benighted souls to come freely to Christ.

Chalmers had heard God’s call to missionary service as a teen. His Scottish pastor had read a letter one Sunday from the Fiji Islands, telling of the gospel’s power to transform cannibals, followed by an appeal for more workers. James resolved then and there to go.

James’ conversion occurred three years later, at age eighteen, when a couple of Irish evangelists came into the area to preach. It was raining hard, but I started; and on arriving at the bottom of the stairs, I listened whilst they sang “All People That on Earth Do Dwell” to the tune “Old Hundredth,” and I thought I had never heard such singing before—so solemn, yet so joyful. I ascended the steps and entered. There was a large congregation intensely in earnest. The younger of the evangelists was the first to speak. He announced as his text these words: “Then the Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let him who hears say, ‘Come!’ And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” He spoke directly to me. I felt it much; but at the close I hurried away back to town.

James agonized over his spiritual condition for several days, describing himself as pierced through and through, and lost beyond all hope of salvation. The next morning, his minister, Rev. Gilbert Meikle, spoke to him of Christ’s blood, assured him of God’s love, and led him to the water of life.

Almost instantly James began preparing for the South Seas, never doubting his earlier call to missions. In time, he established 130 mission stations throughout New Guinea, and thousands came to Christ, including 64 men who became pastors, preachers, and missionaries.

Published by Intentional Faith

Devoted to a Faith that Thinks

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