Ion Keith-Falconer biography, “It is good for a man to bear the yoke in his youth” (Lamentations 3:27) is a verse that influenced Ion Keith-Falconer and also much reflected through his life. Born in a wealthy noble family, Ion had everything he wanted at his command, yet he chose to bear Christ’s yoke in his youth.
He was an accomplished athlete and a champion cyclist. He was outstanding in his studies and was fluent in five languages including Greek and Hebrew. Immediately after finishing college, he was appointed as Semitic languages lecturer in Clare college in 1873. But all his knowledge, fame, and wealth never subdued his inner desire to serve God.
While he was yet teaching in the college, he began evangelical work in the Cambridge slums. He conducted Bible classes and Sunday school for the slum dwellers. His earnest preaching changed the hearts of many wicked men including thieves and murderers. Ion also established a ‘Ragged School’ for the children in the slums with his own money. During the same period, he did not lose his interest in cycling and won the World Cycling Championship in 1878.
Ion Keith-Falconer ministry in Yemen, England
During his career as a teacher, his inability to communicate the Gospel to Muslims aroused his interest in the Arabic language. Naturally a linguist, Ion went to Egypt in 1881 to learn Arabic. There he met John Hogg, a Scottish missionary working among the Muslims. There he heard of young Christian converts returning to Islam in Yemen. Encouraged by John Hogg, Ion committed himself to serve among the Muslims in Yemen and establish them in Christ.
Along with his wife, Ion visited Aden, Yemen in 1885 for six months and spent time in personal evangelism. He returned in 1886 and prepared a roadmap for Gospel campaigns across Yemen. As the enthusiastic preacher immersed himself in evangelism and construction of mission station at Aden, he several times fell severely ill to Malaria. On June 7, 1887, he succumbed to the fevers and rested in the Lord in his sleep.
Beloved, are you letting your fame, wealth, and knowledge subdue your commitment to Christ?Take away from the article
“Lord, I’m ready to bear Your yoke and learn from You. Amen!”Word of Prayer
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