Passion for Souls

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

Walter Gowans had a passion for Souls. A passion inspired in large measure by his mother. Gowans, born in Toronto on this day in 1868, had dedicated his life to missions. But his burden was to reach Souls who had been neglected.

As author Ruth Tucker has described, Gowans “became convinced that the Sudan, with its more than sixty million people without one Christian missionary, was where God wanted him.” As he dug deeper, the reasons for this neglect seemed obvious.

The Sudan was particularly noted for deadly diseases. But he was not deterred. Gowans recruited two colleagues to join him, Thomas Kent and Rowland Bingham, and the three sailed for Africa in 1893.

After arriving in Nigeria, they were warned that the disease problem was real! Indeed, after contracting malaria, Bingham was sent back home. Gowans and Kent proceeded toward the inland, but Kent died after contracting malaria. After being captured by a slave-raiding tribe, Gowans was released but soon died, also from malaria. Gowans was 25. Kent was 23.

It might have seemed that they wasted their lives. But they had inspired Bingham who returned and established camps for Christian outreach, and a ministry that still is impacting lives.

Gowans knew that some might conclude he had failed. But, writing shortly before his death, he declared not feeling defeated. “We shall have the victory. . . I have no regret for undertaking this venture.” He knew his life had “not been thrown away.”

Who are the people today who have this level of commitment? Who don’t pay lip service to their faith but truly seek first the Kingdom of God? Who really have committed their lives to spreading the Gospel? Who will let nothing stop them from serving their Lord?