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The “Failed” Commission October 12, 2006

Posted by pastorsbc1303 in Devotional.

Robert Thomas, the first Protestant missionary to North Korea, was killed before discipling a single convert.  Many felt his life was a waste. 

Robert has spent years preparing for this mission.  In 1865, he arrived on the coast of Korea for the first time to learn all he could about the people and their language.  Lacking Korean language material, Robert handed out tracks and New Testaments in Chinese.  He soon had to return to China, where his wife died the following year. 

In 1866, Robert armed with 500 Chinese Bibles, undertook his journey to Pyongyang, the current capital of North Korea.  He was on an American Navy gunship called the General Sherman.  That August, the ship sailed up the Taedong River.  Robert tossed gospel tracts onto the river bank as the ship proceeded.  When the ship ran aground on a sandbar, Korean soldiers on the shore believed the foreigners had hostile intentions, and set the trapped ship on fire.   They slaughtered all those who came on shore.  Sensing death was near, Robert held out one of his red Bible and said in Korean, “Jesus, Jesus!”  The attackers cut off his head and threw it in the river. 

In 1891, a discovery in North Korea revealed God’s conclusion to the so-called “failed commission.  A visitor noticed some interesting wallpaper on the walls of his guesthouse–pages of a red Chinese Bible.  The owner of the guesthouse was named Park, and he was the soldier who ended Robert Thomas’s life.  Sensing the missionary was a good man, he had picked up the red Bible,  read it and later dedicated his life to Christ.  Park wanted to preserve the Bible’s writing, so he pasted the pages on the walls of one room.  Park said, “Many people have come from all over Korea to read my walls.”

Today, nearly 100 North Korean families secretly worship Christ near an area where Robert Thomas, the first missionary to North Korea, was martyred.  Through Robert Thomas’ example, God revaled His creativity in sharing the gospel.  His feet will walk where our feet cannot, His Words will be written on hidden walls.

–From Voice of the Martyrs  October 2006



1. Perry McCall - October 17, 2006

I briefly read this post the other day but my kids were ready to play so I didn’t really digest it. I really needed this testimony of encouragement after the actions of Patterson and the Trustees at SWTS today.

How is your project coming? I begin my first seminar Jan.

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