Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Role

I got a call. Someone dropped out of playing the role of Ann Hasseltine in the Commemoration of the 200th Anniversary of the Sailing of the First U.S. Missionaries and I got asked to take her place!!

I am beyond excited. I also feel this as a big responsibility.

First, a little background. My favorite community, the Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park, has always held up Adoniram Judson and Ann Hasseltine (Judson), pioneer missionaries to Burma as vocational models of Christianity.  The women's camp is named after Hasseltine, the men's after Judson. Every year, the stories of these two extraordinary people are told so that the campers learn them well. Each camp chooses a graduating third year to honor as the one who best represents the qualities of their respective missionary. The story, especially that of Ann, has become very dear to my heart.

These two really were amazing. They lived lives surrendered to God, dedicating themselves to His work overseas at a time when that was very dangerous. Adoniram translated the Bible and prepared a Burmese dictionary/grammar that is still in use. Ann cared for young Burmese orphan girls. He preached, she taught. Together they worked seven years before making a single convert. They faced sickness and the loss of children. Adoniram was accused of being a British spy during a time of war and sentenced to death. Ann ministered to him in the death prison. Eventually he was released and they were briefly reunited but then Ann died, at age 37,  while Adoniram was visiting the Burmese Potentate.

They both did visit the US again, but when they left from the Salem Wharf in February of 1812 they believed they were seeing their home for the last time. It is a sense of excitement combined with sadness that I will need to convey that afternoon. It will be unscripted, more like a roleplay, but I will prepare. I am immersing myself once again in the story of the sending and a costume is being sought. I'll be ready.

I pray I can represent this awesome woman well.

Have a blessed day.

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