When I think of those missionaries who have gone before, those that pioneered the work in China, I think Robert Morrison, Karl Gutzlaff, Samuel Dyer, Hudson Taylor and others.
Robert Morrison is considered by many to be the first Protestant missionary to China. Robert Morrison was born in 1782 in North East England, the youngest of eight children. His parents were Christians and raised the children to know the Bible. Robert was converted at the age of 15. His dream was to be a missionary. He spent time learning Latin, Greek, and Hebrew as well as studying the Bible.
Going overseas was difficult with many obstacles. His mother did not want him to go overseas. He honored his mother’s desire and did not go until after her death. He was 20 years when she died. After some further studying, he was ready to depart for China in 1807. He could not sail directly from England to China, as the policy of the East India Company was not to transport missionaries. Finally on September 4, 1807 Robert Morrison arrived in China. His problems were not over rather they were continuing. At that time it was forbidden for a Chinese to teach a foreigner the language and the only foreigners that could stay in China were those that there for purposes of trade. He was able to find someone to teach him Chinese and began work on translating the Bible.
Because of his language ability the East India Company hired him as a translator. It was not something that he necessarily wanted but in order to stay there he needed that.
Robert Morrison spent 27 years in China. His accomplishment was translating the Bible into China as well as a few converts. He died in China and was buried in the small Old Protestant cemetery in Macau. The Old Protestant Cemetery in Macau was one of our favourite places to visit during a trip to Macau.