George Boardman –
It was on this day in 1801 that George Boardman was born. The place was Livermore, Maine and his father was the Baptist pastor in that community. George was ordained to the gospel ministry in 1825 and later that year, along with his wife Sarah, he set sail for the mission field. The two young Christians served the Lord in Calcutta, India for a year or so before sailing across the Bay of Bengal to Burma in order to assist Adoniram Judson, who had only days before their arrival buried his wife Ann. In April 1828 it was decided that the Boardmans should start a mission in Tavoy, a city of 9,000 souls and 1,000 Buddhist temples. Despite their confidence that God was sending them to Tavoy, the work didn’t have much success. However, in the hills near the city was another group of people known as the Karen. These people, often oppressed and ridiculed by the Burmese, had a tradition which said that people from the West would come with a message from God. The tradition may have been God inspired. Two Karen converts were soon won, and one of those became a Spirit-blessed evangelist. After a few months, Ko Thah-byu had prepared a large Karen village for a visit from Missionary Boardman. Brother George, however was extremely ill, but the Karens had sent a delegation who were willing to carry him and his cot up into the mountains. There were more than a hundred waiting to hear the missionary preach the gospel and fifty had already professed faith in Christ, wanting to be baptized. Brother Boardman, of course, was overjoyed. On February 11, during the return trip down from the mountains, George Boardman passed into the presence of his Savior. His ministry in Burma and among the Karens lasted less than three years, but history tells us that it continued to produce fruit for generations. And it produced fruit in another way as well. Sarah Boardman later agreed to become the wife of Adoniram Judson, and her presence in Burma was a tremendous blessing to the entire missionary enterprise there.