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David Livingstone (1813-1873) was a Scottish missionary; doctor and explorer who helped open the heart of Africa to missions. His travels covered one-third of the continent, from Cape Town to near the Equator, and from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean. Here is what he had to say about his 33 years in Africa tormented by disease, theft, attacks from natives, attacks from soldiers, loss of his wife, loss of his possessions and supplies several times over, and a multitude of other suffering, all for the sake of spreading the Gospel throughout Africa:

“People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply acknowledging a great debt we owe to our God, which we can never repay? Is that a sacrifice which brings its own reward in healthful activity, the consciousness of doing good, peace of mind, and a bright hope of a glorious destiny? It is emphatically no sacrifice. Rather it is a privilege.

Anxiety, sickness, suffering, danger, foregoing the common conveniences of this life—these may make us pause, and cause the spirit to waver, and the soul to sink; but let this only be for a moment. All these are nothing compared with the glory which shall later be revealed in and through us. I never made a sacrifice. Of this we ought not to talk, when we remember the great sacrifice which He made who left His Father’s throne on high to give Himself for us."