At his death in 1872, he was considered the most significant explorer of Africa. He had actually first dreamed of becoming a preacher, but opted at a friends urging for a career in medicine. Later he gave up the comfortable life of an English doctor to become a missionary. Over a twenty year period made three exhaustive trips throughout the African continent. He was the first European to see much of Africa.
Dr. David Livingstone is one of my heroes.
Through newspaper accounts, the whole world was captivated by his stories of safari and jungle life. Once Livingstone became lost while on a failed expedition to discover the source of the Nile River. For months there was no contact. Henry Morton Stanley, a New York Reporter, was sent with a team to locate him. It was Stanley who said those famous words when they finally met in the wilderness, Dr. Livingstone, I presume.
As a child, Livingstone wanted badly to become a great preacher. He first climbed into the pulpit of a little church in Scotland as a young man. He had sharpened his sermon, agonizing for hours over what to say and how to say it. But, when he got up to preach that night, he froze, becoming so flustered he finally forgot his sermon altogether. He apologized to the people and left in great shame.
Robert Moffat, a friend and later mission field partner, was there that night. Moffat found a dejected David Livingstone at home and encouraged him. You can be a great and wonderful servant of God. Why dont you go to medical school? Who knows but what God may use you someday as a medical missionary?
You can be a great and wonderful servant of God.
The rest is history.
Where would Africa be without Livingstone?
Where would Livingstone have been without his encourager?
Encouragement is not just what we want to hear, it is what we need to hear. But even more than that, good encouragement is like a word from God Himself.
Be an encourager. Only God knows the good that will come of it.