William Carey

“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”   This is William Carey’s most famous quote.   It reminds me of another quote from another great missionary in India, Mother Theresa, who once said, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love”.   I find myself wondering whether Mother Theresa would have ever gone to India, if not for the work of William Carey.  
You’ve probably never heard of William Carey, but you have heard of Mother Theresa.   I want to tell you today about the man whose life’s work inspired people like Mother Theresa and sparked a missionary movement that spans the globe today.  
Looking back through William Carey’s life, I stand amazed at what one man attained because he attempted to do a great thing for God.   Born to poor parents on August 17, 1761, Carey grew up in the small village of Paulserpury in Northampshire, England.   He developed a skin disease as a child that made him sensitive to the sun.   At the age of thirteen, he left school and was apprenticed to a shoemaker, later becoming a shoemaker, a job that would keep him indoors.  
One day, while working as an apprentice, William received a counterfeit shilling as a tip and tried to replace it with a real one from the money box, but was caught by his employer.   William was filled with shame and began attending prayer meetings.   At one of these meetings, he was struck by Hebrews 13:13, “Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing his reproach.”   This created a desire in William to follow Christ and to proclaim the Gospel to those outside of the established church.  
He became a Baptist and married his wife, Dorothy, in 1781.   Their daughter Ann was born in 1782 and died the following year, when William became very ill also and lost his hair.   He and his wife had two sons and another daughter and William eked out a meager existence as a cobbler.   He applied for ordination among the Baptists and was finally accepted as a pastor in 1787.   He...