Because of the high mortality rate of Western missionaries, the interior of eastern Africa was once known as “The White Man’s Graveyard.”
Diseases like malaria, yellow fever, and typhoid claimed so many victims, that most missionaries headed to this part of the world packed all their possessions in a coffin!
Still they pressed on with a God given sense of urgency.
In 1893, three such missionaries were Walter Gowans, Thomas Kent, and Roland Bingham. Within one year, Gowans and Kent had died of malaria, leaving Bingham the only one still alive. He, too, was sick with malaria and returned home to his native Canada.
Sometime after recovering, he visited with Walter Gowan’s mother to give his condolences. Her words back to him were ones that Roland did not expect to hear. She simply stated, "I would rather have had Walter go out to the Sudan and die there all alone than have him home today disobeying the Lord.”
Today, life has become pretty easy. We can get practically everything we want just the way we want it. We can choose the kind of car we want and how "loaded" we want that car to be. We can have computers custom built. We can go to restaurants and pick from large menus, buffets and salad bars. The list goes on and on.
There is certainly nothing wrong with all of that, unless this attitude seeps into our relationship with God. We must guard against believing that obeying God is a “pick and choose” affair.
We must do what God says. There are no other options.