Thank you to all who came to the Tea@2 talk on Dan Crawford today!
Crawford (1870 - 1926) was an indefatigable Scot who preached the Gospel in what is now the Dem. Republic of Congo. He was a man of prodigious energy and ability - preaching, teaching, building, shepherding, translating - and was loved by thousands of African converts. They gave him the name Konga Vantu - literally "The Gatherer of the People" - as he became the gathering point for many distressed and dispossessed Congolese during the turbulent and brutal years of Belgian rule.
Dan Crawford was converted as a teenager of 17 years in Gourock. Although religious, he had never heard the Gospel clearly preached. Upon hearing of his need of salvation and being pointed to Christ, he trusted the Lord and famously stepped over a line drawn on the floor by a believer anxious to help him! From the moment of his conversion Crawford had a burning desire to tell others about the Saviour.
Two years later he accompanied F S Arnot on his return to Africa. It would be 22 years before Crawford stood again on British soil. His labours in Africa are legendary. Although he left school aged 14 with no further education, he was naturally a gifted linguist and was proficient in many African languages. He was able to present the Gospel in a way suited to the Africans of his time, and this became the subject of his fascinating book Thinking Black.
He died aged only 56 as the result of a minor accident. His body was laid to rest near the scene of his exertions, and his head was pillowed on a copy of the New Testament in the Luba language - which he himself had translated.
I think we all felt the challenge of a life lived to the full with one object - to tell others of Christ.