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David Livingstone: The African Missionary “Compelled by the Love of Christ”

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Published on: March 6, 2015

David Livingstone was an African missionary. Someone asked him why he became a missionary to Africa and he replied, “I was compelled by the love of Christ.”

David was born in Scotland on March 19th, 1813. He was the second child of seven kids.

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David started working at the age of ten in a mill. His father taught him to read and David taught himself Latin. He loved to study about natural history.

When he was 19 years old, David had finally earned enough money to go to Anderson’s University in Glasgow to study medicine. Two years after he started school, he stopped to spend a year at the London Missionary Society.

In 1840, he moved to London to complete his medical studies. He was also ordained as a missionary by the London Missionary Society.

Livingstone was a missionary, a doctor, and an explorer all put together!

From 1841 until he died, David explored central and southern Africa as a missionary doctor who helped people who were sick and told them about Jesus. He was the first medical missionary in central Africa.

David was also married to a woman named Mary. Together, they had three kids. Their names were Robert, Thomas, and Agnes. They spent their time in Africa teaching people about Jesus, building homes, making planks, teaching in the school, doctoring the sick, repairing guns, wagons and much more.

They also experienced trials as well.

For example, on one occasion, their family went for four days without water because there was an accident with their wagon which was carrying all of their water barrels and they lost the water.

Also, one time, while David was building a house for his family, a rock fell on his arm and it almost broke. There was also a time when a lion drove his teeth into David’s shoulder and it left 11 teeth marks on him. Although he was very badly injured, he survived because God was looking out for him.

As he came towards the end of his life, his health wasn’t very good, but even then, he refused to leave Africa. David died of malaria and dysentery at the age of 60 on May 4th, 1873.

After his death, his body was returned to Britain for burial in Westminster Abbey.

David Livingstone was a brave man of God, who did what the Lord commanded and showed people in action the love of Christ (I John 3:18).

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