…marks 171 years since David Livingstone first sailed for Africa.

I recently had the opportunity to read another biography about Livingstone this summer. I was especially impressed as I learned that, in the minds of many, he didn’t have much “missionary promise” when he sailed for Africa. He wasn’t a bombastic preacher, and he didn’t have a charismatic personality. Not likely to succeed.

Much of what Livingstone did in Africa was tedious and slow-going. He preached the Gospel everywhere he went, but he was navigating unexplored territory, usually sick, often hungry, and sometimes deserted. He persevered and died without seeing the full fruit of his labor.

Yet, despite the misgivings of early critics and the lack of immediate results, every missionary in Africa today can thank David Livingstone for opening this “dark continent” to the light of the Gospel.

Livingstone’s faithfulness makes me wonder what difficult or tedious task we may be doing today that will bear unforeseen fruit tomorrow!