Monday, December 15, 2014

Unsung heroes of faith

John Horden is in the calendar of saints of the Episcopal Church, as I found from Mission St. Clare's site. He was initially a missionary to Moose Factory, and from then on to preach to the Cree and translate the Bible and Book of Common Prayer into Cree and Ojibwe.
On May 10, 1851, Hordern received a letter from them, informing him that the Bishop of Rupert's Land had made a request for a schoolmaster at Moose Factory, Ontario and that he had been appointed to fill the position. They also told him to prepare to leave within a month and indicated that they desired that he marry and take his wife out to assist him in his missionary work. Although he was less than enthused about the appointment, he immediately prepared for his new position. He contacted the woman of his choice, a young woman who herself had missionary inclinations, and she agreed to marry him. On June 8, 1851, they set sail for Canada.


Then in 1865, Horden and his family, which now included five children that he and his wife had had in Canada, sailed back to England so that his children could be educated.

Yes, he was an obedient servant of the gospel. But I'm really impressed by the faith and dedication of someone not named in the article--his wife Elizabeth Oke mentioned but not described here.

"Hello. I'm going next month to be a missionary in the wilds of Canada. Want to get married and come along?"

OK, it wasn't quite like that. From a history

On May 24, Horden left his work at school ; on May 25, he was married ; on May 28, he left for London on the way to his post in the mission-field.

Horden had not to choose a wife with the haste which this statement might suggest. At the time
when he first offered himself to the Church Missionary Society he became engaged to Miss Elizabeth Oke, who was not only a member of the same congregation as himself, but was filled with the same desire to be a missionary. She, too, had prepared for the foreign field by working at home. When the call to Moosonee came, the decision rested with her. With out hesitation she resolved to go, and the hasty wedding began a married life of singular happiness and of long duration.

I'll be interested to hear her story.

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