William Elmslie

William Elmslie biography, Kashmir was a princely state during British rule in India, and the Maharajas then were intolerant of any missionary activity. But when Maharaja Ranbir Singh came to the throne, he felt the need for modern medicine for his people and allowed missionaries into the state during the summers. One of the pioneer medical missionaries to serve in Kashmir was William Jackson Elmslie.

Birth: 29-06-1832
Home Calling: 18-11-1872
Native Place: Aberdeen
Country : Scotland
Place of Vision: India

Elmslie was a medical graduate from Edinburgh University. At the request of the Church Missionary Society, he immediately set out to serve in India. He arrived in Kashmir in 1864 and was alarmed by the situation of the ordinary people.

Although known for its natural beauty, Kashmir was reeling under poverty and terrible diseases. Without much ado, Elmslie immediately opened a dispensary for the local people and started treating them.

William Elmslie ministry in india

Although there was an initial hesitance to take western medicine, soon hundreds of people started visiting the hospital for a cure. Elmslie also made important medical research contributions and identified the deadly Kashmir-Cancer. Since Elmslie was given permission to work in the summers, he returned to his country in winter. But the unrelenting doctor came back to serve in Kashmir the following summer.

He continued to do so till 1872. Elmslie told the people that the reason why he kept on coming to Kashmir was Jesus. He preached the Gospel and won many Kashmiris to Christ. Coming to know about the conversions, the Maharaja threatened Elmslie to stop his work. He once offered money if Elmslie stopped his missionary work and concentrated only on the medical work.

Despite all this, Elmslie never separated the medical work from the Gospel. He was lovingly known as “Padri Doctor Sahib” by the locals. In 1872, Elmslie was late leaving Srinagar and got trapped in the snow along with his wife. Despite his wife’s struggle to keep him up, his already ill body couldn’t survive the cold. He entered the heavenly realms in November 1872. His wife Margret continued to do his good work till 1878.

Beloved, does the love of Jesus compels you to work for the gentiles?

Take away from the article

“Lord, despite my personal disappointments, help me to always find happiness in serving You. Amen!”

Word of Prayer

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