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WILLIAM BORDEN: NO RESERVES, RETREATS, REGRETS


In 1903, a young, bright man named William Borden graduated from high school – a millionaire. He was the heir to the Borden Dairy fortune. Following graduation, William traveled around the world. Everywhere he went he was touched by the needs of people. He eventually wrote his parents to announce he would give up his fortune and devote his life to missionary service. In his Bible he wrote two words: NO RESERVES.


After enrolling in Yale in 1905, William quickly became the spiritual leader of the entire campus. He spearheaded a revival movement that led, by his graduation, to 1,000 of Yale’s 1,300 students becoming involved in weekly Bible fellowships. He led off campus, inner-city ministries as well.


Upon graduating from Yale he repeated his intention to be a missionary and enrolled in seminary. Upon receiving his ministerial degree he decided to take a one-way trip to Egypt where he would learn Arabic in order to reach Muslims with the Gospel. Leaving all his fortune behind, he set sail. On the way he wrote two more words in his Bible: NO RETREATS.


He arrived in Egypt full of anticipation and immersed himself in the tasks at hand. But within days of his arrival he became very weak and was soon diagnosed with spinal meningitis. A short time later, William Whiting Borden died at the age of 25.


Human logic can never understand his death, yet an ocean away hundreds were impacted because of his joyful, willing, sacrifice. That’s the way William would have wanted it. During the last fleeting days of his life, in labored handwriting, he had penned two more words in his Bible: NO REGRETS.

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