People who sacrificed their lives to God

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Charles Thomas Studd

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Charles Thomas Studd, was an English missionary, often known as C.T.Studd, was born 2nd December 1860 at Spratton, Northamptonshire in England. In 1888, he married Priscilla Stewart and they survived four daughters and two sons who died in beginnings. Studd was remembered both as a cricketer and missionary. As a cricketer, he represented England's Cambridge University as a Gentlemen of India, Middlesex at Cricket (1879-82). In the 1882, Studd played in the original Test against Australia and won by Australia which was the origins of Ashes. As a British Protestant Christian missionary to China, he was part of the Cambridge Seven and later was responsible for setting up the Heart of Africa Mission which became the Worldwide Evangelization Crusade, now Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ International (WEC International).

Father Edward Studd became a Christian during a Moody Sankey campaign in England and in 1878, a visiting preacher to the Studd household converted Charles Thomas and his three brothers to the faith while they were students at Eton. According to his conversion narrative, the preacher asked him if he believed God's promises and as Charles' answer was not convincing enough, the guest pressed the point. Studd continued from Eton to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1883. In 1884 after his brother, George was taken seriously ill, Charles was confronted by the question, "What all the fame and flattery is worth ... when a man comes to face eternity?" He had to admit that since his conversion six years earlier he had been in "an unhappy backslidden state." As a result of the experience he said, "I know that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worthwhile living for the world to come."

Priscilla Studd
Studd emphasized the life of faith, believing that God would provide for a Christian's needs. His father died while he was in China and he gave away his inheritance of £29,000, specifying £5,000 to be used for the Moody Bible Institute, £5,000 for George Muller mission work and his orphans, £5,000 for George Holland's work with England's poor in Whitechapel, and £5,000 to Commissioner Booth Tucker for the Salvation Army in India. Studd believed that God's purposes could be confirmed through providential coincidences, such as a sum of money being donated spontaneously at just the right moment. He encouraged Christians to take risks in planning missionary ventures, trusting in God to provide. His spirituality was intense, and he mostly read only the Bible. Another work that influenced him was The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life. Although he believed that God sometimes healed physical illnesses through prayer and the anointing of oil, he also accepted that some ailments were chronic, and in his last years he regularly took morphine, causing some controversy. Studd also believed in plain speaking and muscular Christianity, and his call for Christians to embrace a "Don't Care a Damn" (DCD) attitude to worldly things caused some scandal. He believed that missionary work was urgent, and that those who were unevangelised would be condemned to hell.

The Cambridge Seven
Studd wrote several books, including "The Chocolate Soldier" and "Christ's Etcetera's". Studd began as an evangelist and among those he influenced were Wilfred Grenfell and Frederick Brotherton Meyer. In 1885, he spoke at an evangelistic meeting to university students in England. As a result of his brother's illness and the effect it had upon him, he decided to pursue his faith through missionary work in China and was one of the "Cambridge Seven" who offered themselves to Hudson Taylor for missionary service at the China Inland Mission, leaving for there in February 1885. Cambridge seven means, seven Cambridge students, C.T.Studd, Montagu Beauchamp, S.P.Smith, A.T.Polhill-Turner, D.E.Hoste, C.H.Polhill-Turner and W.W.Cassells who became missionaries to China. In 1886 he traveled along with Hudson Taylor to Hangchung when a riots in break apart against foreigners and he reached safely at Chungking, is a major city in Southwest China.

Of his missionary work he said, some want to live within the sound of church or chapel bell; I want to run a rescue shop within a yard of hell. In 1887, Brother George Studd arrived in Shanghai, is the most populous city in China and worked with Studd for several months. In April 1888, he was married Priscilla Livingstone Stewart, who born in Lisburn, near Belfast, Northern Ireland, at Tientsin in North China and opened mission station in the inland city of Lungang-Fu. When birth of Grace and four children born in China (one son, Paul, who lived a day and four three daughters: Dorothy, Edith, and Pauline). While in China he married Priscilla, in a ceremony performed by a Chinese pastor and four daughters were born. Studd believed that God had given him daughters to educate the Chinese about the value of baby girls.

In 1894, he returned from China to England, because poor health, he was invited to visit America where his brother Kynaston had recently arranged meetings which had led to the formation of the Student Volunteer Movement in 1897. He also here influenced John Mott. Between 1900-1906 Studd was pastor of a church at Ootacamund, now at Udagamandalamm in Nilgiris District of Southern India along with Mrs.Studd and his daughters under auspices of Anglo Indian Evangelization Society and although it was a different situation to the pioneer missionary work he had undertaken in China, his ministry was marked by numerous conversions amongst the British officials and the local community. However, on his return home Studd met a German missionary named Karl Kumm and he became concerned about the large parts of Africa that had never been reached with the Gospel.

In 1910, he went to the Sudan and was concerned by the lack of Christian faith in central Africa. Out of this concern Studd was led to set up the Heart of Africa Mission. His speaking on the subject inspired Howard Mowll, the Bishop of China and later Archbishop of Sydney, Arthur Pitts-Pitts of the Church Missionary Society in Kenya and Graham Brown, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem. In 1913, the Heart of the Africa Mission was founded by Studd and he was the first director and as an HQ for the venture, the Studds chose 17 Highland Road in Upper Norwood, South London. Like Hudson Taylor, Studd believed that funds for the work should not be directly solicited. Finances were often tenuous. However, he enjoyed the support of Lord Radstock.

Against medical advice, Studd first visited the Belgian Congo in 1913 in the company of Alfred Buxton and he established four mission stations in an area then inhabited by eight different tribes. In April 1915, Studd returned to England when Priscilla fell ill, but when he returned to the Congo of Central Africa in 1916 she had recovered sufficiently to undertake the expansion of the mission into the Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade with workers in South America, Central Asia and the Middle East as well as Africa. In 1921, his attention was turned to missionary effort in Ituri Province and in 1922, supported by his wife's work at home, Studd built up an extensive missionary outreach based on his headquarters at Ibambi in Ituri Province, the region of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Priscilla Studd made a short visit to the Congo in 1928. In 1929, that was the last time they met; she died while her visiting Spain. Studd’s daughters, Grace Studd married Martin Sutton and after his death David Munro (who converted to Christianity only later), Dorothy Studd married the Rev.Gilbert A.Barclay, Edith Studd married Alfred Buxton and Pauline Studd married Norman Grubb. In 1919, Rev.Gilbert A.Barclay, son-in-law of Studd joined Heart Africa Mission as its Home Overseer became part of Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade. Studd was joined in his work by his daughter Pauline Studd and son-in-law Norman Grubb.

Studd's Old age
In 1929, Studd completed a simple translation of New Testament and Psalms into Kingwana. In 1931, he was honored by King of the Belgians for his labors in the Congo. In 1931, still labouring for the Lord at Ibambi at the age of seventy, Charles Studd died 16th July 1931, Ibambi, Belgian Congo from untreated gallstones, but his vision for China, India and Africa was maintained by Norman Grubb, who took charge of WEC. His last years, were marked by controversy; some missionaries dissented from his methods and leadership style and several either left or were dismissed. Studd's use of morphine including supplies which may not have been declared at customs also scandalized some.

In total, he spent some fifteen years in China and six in India on his missionary work and then he devoted the rest of his life to spreading the Gospel message in Africa, founding the Worldwide Evangelisation Crusade, now WEC International. To this day, his name remains linked with the evangelisation of the Congo Basin and in 1930, he was made a Chevalier of the Royal Order of the Lion by the King of the Belgians.

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