Last week the Maile Wreath, the newsletter of the Hawaiian Mission Houses, was completed and mailed. This was the first issue I had to write something for and I though a few people would enjoy it.
As I am very new to the Hawaiian Mission Houses, and new to Hawaii, I have spent my first few weeks trying to make connections. I have been meeting individually with trustees and have found that I have lots of connections here - from families who owned property in the Imperial Valley, where I have just come from, to the many connections to Ohio, where most of my family still lives.
The connection that has perhaps been the most surprising is my connection to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions. When Samuel J. Mills shared his vision for foreign missions with his friends, James Richards, Ezra Fisk, John Seward, and Luther Rice, the five college students formed a secret society that they called “The Brethren.” It was not long after this that Mills, Rice, and Richards moved to Andover Seminary where The Brethren was reorganized and new students recruited, including Adoniram Judson. It was within this small group of friends that Henry Ōpūkahaʻia became a catalyst.
Adoniram Judson became one of the first five missionaries to be sent out by the ABCFM. Arriving in British India right at the beginning of the War of 1812, this original mission faltered and Judson moved on to Burma as a Baptist missionary. He studied the Burmese language, wrote a Burmese grammar book, and translated the Gospel of Mathew. In 1817, a printing press was sent to Burma and Judson oversaw the first materials printed in Burmese in Burma.
The history of Adoniram Judson was a fixture in the mission-oriented American Baptist churches pastored by my father. Judson University is an American Baptist college where my father served as a trustee, where all four of my siblings attended, and where all three of my children graduated. This past September, my family received a Legacy Award from Judson University. Connections are important, I am glad to have made this one.