“Expect great things; attempt great things.”
William Carey truly attempted great things for God. Known as “the father of modern missions”, Carey had a zeal to see the world evangelized with the gospel.
Carey grew up in the countryside of England in the village of Paulerpury. As a young man, he apprenticed in a nearby cobbler shop. It was here where Carey made the most life-changing and pivotal decision. He called on the name of the Lord and was saved.This decision affected his entire life’s purpose! Shortly after he got saved, he was determined to teach himself New Testament Greek, from a Greek grammar book he borrowed.
After the man he worked for died, he moved to Hackleton to continue in the shoemaking business. Here he met his wife and was married. Shortly thereafter, his wife Dorothy Plackett gave birth to a girl. Hardship came and the couple lost their daughter at the age of two years old. They also sunk into deep poverty, as Carey was not making enough money to sustain them, even after he took over the shoemaking business. Despite the difficult circumstances, he maintained faith in God.
Later on, William Carey became a preacher with the Particular Baptists. He continued studying Greek and began learning Hebrew and Latin as well. He was also very interested in the religious aspects of other cultures.
As his heart for missions grew, he wrote An Enquiry not the Obligations of Christians to Use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens. He wrote this in response to his fellow Protestants, as they had no interest in missions whatsoever. He strongly wrote, “Multitudes sit at ease and give themselves no concern about the far greater part of their fellow sinners, who to this day, are lost in ignorance and idolatry.” Though his friends did not seem to care about the lost nations, he knew he had to do something about it.
William Carey and John Thomas set sail for India in 1793. Unfortunately, they did not expect it would be so expensive to live there. Thomas abandoned the mission and the Carey family spent the first couple of years in misery. Though they were all alone with no friends and essentially no funds, they trusted God.
Carey quickly learned Bengali and began translating the Bible as well as preach to small groups of people.
After extremely difficult family problems and struggles, including the loss of his five year old son and the confinement of his wife, the tide started to turn.
Carey was accompanied by William Ward, who was a printer, and Joshua and Hanna Marshman, who were teachers. Finances were finally stable as Ward secured printing contracts of the government, Carey took a job teaching at Fort William College, and the Marshmans started schools.
After years of struggle, Carey had something to rejoice about. He was able to baptize a man by the name of Krishna Pal he led to Christ!
In 1818, he and the Marshmans started Serampore College, a school where Indians could study theology. Over the years, not only did he publish the Bible into Bengali, but also Oriya, Marathi, Hindi, Assamese, and Sanskrit, a huge triumph!
Carey spent forty-one years in India without a single furlough and witnessed over seven hundred Indians come to know Jesus. His example also led missionaries such as Adoniram Judson and Hudson Taylor to go to the mission field.
William Carey surely attempted great things for God. He stepped out in faith and expected God to work. Because of Carey’s obedience and faithfulness, hundreds of Indians’ lives were eternally changed!