“Direct me in Thy service, and I ask no more. I would not choose my position of work, or place of labor. Only let me know Thy will, and I will readily comply.”
Born on December 22, 1789, Ann Hasseltine was just an ordinary girl who became a remarkable wife, mother, teacher, translator, and the first woman American missionary to travel outside of the country.
Ann was saved at age 16. During her twenties, she met a man studying missions at a seminary near her home. His name was Adoniram Judson. Two years later, they were married, and the day after their wedding, they left for the mission field of India.
Aside from her husband, Ann was alone in a sense on the mission field. She lived in India and then Burma with no family, no friends, and no children. A baby boy was eventually born to her, but just eight months later, little Roger William Judson died of terrible cholera. Ann did not complain.
Adorinam Judson was once accused of being a spy and was put in “death prison.” Despite her own illness at the time, Ann continued to take care of him, taking him food every day. Her husband likely would have died without her faithfulness in caring for him. Imagine the souls that never would have been saved! 63 churches and 7,000 converts might have reason to be grateful to God for giving Judson such a self-sacrificing, servant-hearted wife.
Judson recovered for a time and got to go home, but Ann never got truly well again. She died on the mission field. When Adoniram Judson had originally written to Ann’s father to request her hand in marriage, he asked Mr. Hasseltine whether he could be willing to part with his daughter forever. In those days, travel was by sea-voyage, so it was awfully limited, long-lasting, and expensive. Missionaries did not come home every four years or so for a break. And life overseas was so physically dangerous that usually, a commitment to missions was a lifetime commitment – many missionaries never returned home alive from the field. By God’s grace, Mr. Hasseltine was able to say “yes,” and Ann also willingly gave the rest of her life to Jesus Christ, her husband, and to spreading the Gospel for God’s glory.
What are you willing to sacrifice for Christ? What items or people do you hold so dear that you would hesitate before trusting and obeying God’s leading for your life? If Jesus Christ truly is our greatest possession, sharing Him with the lost should be our greatest joy.
1 Timothy 6:7 – For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.