Peter Cameron Scott, who founded the Africa Inland Mission was born in Glasgow, Scotland in 1867, but grew up in Philadelphia. He had been so tormented, before his surrender to the call of God, by the Bible verse “You are not your own, you are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit which are God’s.” that he tried to erase it from his Bible
He attempted to pursue a career in music and when on his way to try out for a chorus God spoke to him saying, Would you see a life of self-glory and applause or will you dedicate your life to My service. Peter promptly enrolled in the Missionary Training College and set his sights on Africa.
Upon his arrival in Africa, he contracted malaria and had to take the boat back home. After he got well he went to Africa, this time with his brother John. He was delighted to be with his brother ministering and to not be alone, until John contracted the fever and died. Peter, all by himself, digs his brother’s grave, covers him, and stands alone.
He makes up his mind to continue the mission, until he gets sick again and has to go back home. As he recovers he goes to Westminster Abbey and happens upon the tomb of David Livingstone. Upon his grave he read these words: “Other sheep I have which are not of this fold. Them also, I must bring.” This reignites the missionary flame in Scott who returns to Africa and founds the Africa Inland Mission which is a very strong and stable mission 130 years later.
This struck me in two ways.
- The almost vicious nature of God’s Divine Providence, allowing even his most hungry and active servants to dwell in such agony of the heart. The man lost his brother while trying to reach the lost in an unforgiving continent. Almost reminds me of Job and God’s allowing Job to suffer to settle a bet with Satan. But oh! the care God takes of His servants and the rewards He lavishes on them for their suffering. Peter Cameron Scott desired to reach Africa and went through many trials to even begin ministering there. And the harvest of that seed of missions and suffering is a mission that survived him 130 years later.
- The fact that there are sheep that are not of this fold. It reminds me of Paul at Corinth in Acts 18 when God tells him that there are many of His people in this pagan city, the same city in which the Jews had resisted him and later would bring him before the tribunal. God has lost sheep all around me and He has decreed that they are to be found and I must get them. I must be as a city set upon a hill that cannot be hid, I must proclaim the Gospel in everything I do and in every word I say that the sheep would hear the voice of the Shepherd and come to Him.
“Jesus answered them, “I told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness about me, but you do not believe because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.” – Jhn 10:25-29 ESV