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Joined: 2005/5/25
Posts: 258

 Re: The Moravian slaves

I listened to a sermon (not on this site) by a man who met a descendant of one of the converts on the slave island. He explained in a little more detail the fruits of the labours of these two men.

apparently all of the slaves on that plantation were born again as a result of their sacrifice. Glory to God. they went forth weeping, bearing precious seed, and doubtless came again with rejoicing, bringing their sheaves with them. bringing the rewards of His suffering.

 2008/1/15 17:44Profile

Joined: 2008/5/1
Posts: 2


The story by Paris Reidhead is very exaggerated...

check out the Moravian History Archive site...

It's amazing how many stories are passed along with people never checking them out....embellished sermons to make a point that doesn't need to be made...

The only stories I believe these days are written in the B I B L E


 2008/5/1 0:27Profile

Joined: 2008/6/24
Posts: 1


Sadly I have heard accounts of Mahatma Gandhi also that when examined for facts weren't true. It seems we are often quick to find our human illustrations and not so quick to make sure that the human actually did what is professed about them...

Though we errantly love to create icons for ourselves, the story (though not factual according to the moravians) still provoked a lot of conversation and exposed some of our messed up western logic. Someone became critical about leaving wife and children. Jesus, Himself, mentions this, after Peter asks about his reward. We try to take our values and expect that God will back our values. But God has values that are infinitely greater than ours. His ways aren't ours, and He won't change to adjust to our values--even if it offends some people who think differently...

Serving In Christ with Love,


But, the

 2008/6/24 13:07Profile

Joined: 2010/4/17
Posts: 2

 Re: David Nitschmann

I just watched a movie that is available at Netflix that is called "First Fruits". The film is about these sold out Moravian young men. In the film things are portrayed a little different than what I have read online and heard from Paris Reidhead. David Nitschmann was one of the two first missionaries from the Moravian group but he only stayed on the island of St. Thomas with Leonard Dober for 16 weeks and as far as what I learned so far he intended for this to be a short term mission thus he was not leaving his wife and family for more than a long, "short term" mission. After he left, Leonard fell ill of the same fever of malaria that he had been treating many of the slaves for. While he was feeling this was the end, some of the slaves came to minister to him at Christmas time that year. As he began to recover, the first convert, a young orphan named "Obie" was joined by three others who came to know Christ. Shortly after this another dispatch of 18 Moravians came to relieve him as , according to the movie, he had been elected the chief teaching elder back in Germany.
The man who left his family behind, David Nitschmann later, after returning to Hernhut for a time landed at Philadelphia, in 1741 and was instrumental in the founding of Bethlehem, PA where he died in 1772.

As for Leonard, I have not found what happened to him, but he would have been free to leave the plantation. He realized that he must be willing to be a slave to reach these people and would have sold himself into slavery if necessary but it was illegal to be a white slave in the North Indies Isles. So they were bond slaves of Christ but never actually, as far as I know sold themselves or would have even been able to sell themselves into slavery.

 2010/4/17 1:30Profile

Joined: 2010/4/17
Posts: 2

 Re: what happened to these rave men

here is some history of these two missionaries, what was the end of their faith journey

you can read it all at

Dober and Nitschmann arrived on St. Thomas on
December 13, 1732. Nitschmann returned to Europe four
months later; Dober remained until 1734 when he was
called back to become General Elder, a position he would
hold until September of 1741.
Dober served the Moravian Church in many places. He
worked in Amsterdam where he tried to evangelize the
Jewish inhabitants of that city (1738/39). He was
appointed head of Moravian activities in the Netherlands
(1741-45), in England (1745-1746) and later in Silesia
(1751-58). He was also ordained a bishop of the Church in
1747. After Zinzendorf's death Dober became a member
of the Directorate of the Unity – a position he held until
he passed away in Herrnhut on April 1, 1766.
Dober lost his first wife, Anna Schindler (1713-1739),
after only two years of marriage. He remarried in 1743
with Anne Gertraut Engel (1713-1787).

 2010/4/17 1:39Profile

Joined: 2008/7/24
Posts: 613


[...Somehow leaving his family behind like this does not sit right with me. How were they being provided for in his absense? Were his own little ones less important then the pagans across the sea? Does 1Tim. 5:8 apply here? (1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.) Well, ah reckon, this is not my call to make....this belongs to God, but it does raise some serious questions in my mind....]--by Ginnyrose

Ginnyrose, perhaps I can shed some light. The reason why it raises serious questions in your mind is likely because you are understanding the bible verse in a legalistic sense rather than the essence of the bible/GOd's heart even though I guess you are probably unaware of it.

God is the one that provides us and our family with our physical needs. Many times he gets the head of the family ie the husband to work (ie earn an income). However, there are some that he will call them to go out to become missionaries (leaving their families) or to allow their families to live in poverty/danger so that they can minister to others. When God does that, then God will use other means to provide for the missionary's family (eg :getting other Christian brothers/sisters to support them or even through anonymous people etc). Ask God to open up your heart to His thruth and not just head knowledge.

I will give real life examples below. But really these examples will still not be enough for one to really understand unless God opens up one's heart (and not just headv knowledge) to His truth. Pray to God for this.

1) In Brother Andrew's book Secret Believers, recently there were some Christians deaths. One of the Christian missionary was thinking of stopping his work there as he feared for his wife and child's safety. But when he prayed, God wanted him to continue. He asked how about his wife and child's safety--GOd was silent on it. He continued his Christian work.

2)Read the book End of The Spear. There 5 missionaries with their families went to the jungles of Ecuador to minister to the fiercest tribe ie the Huorani tribe (they kill others and killed themselves often). 1 of the missionary's son asked if they will shoot if they are attacked. The missionary (ie Nate Saint) answered that they would not as they were ready to meet GOd but not the tribe as the tribe did not know GOd yet (if he were to think how he was going to provide for his family if they were dead instead of doing God's will--it would be better for him to stay at home). They died as they were killed by the tribe members (they refused to shoot the tribe when the tribe attacked them) leaving the wives (either pregnant or with children). Later on, 1 of the wives and 1 of the sister of 2 of the missionaries went and converted them to CHristianity. THe son Steve Saint also lived with them for a while and now helps the tribe to spread Christianity in far reaching places. When they were making the film (the book is way better than the film), they found out that when the missionaries died, angels were there singing a song which later one of the Huorani tribe member picked out. Also, 1 of the wife was comforted by God that God was still with the missionaries when they died (and she held to that conviction even though when told of her husband's death).

3) View again Soul Survivor for China. Google for it. There, there's a woman where her husband was imprisoned. She had to care for a large family and her mother/MIL. When she ran out of money, there was always anonymous people giving her money and even extra money (with the instruction to give to others).

4) The Moravian person--if he was called by God, I'm sure he and any person would have make provisions on how his family were to be provided for--most probably by the other Moravian Christians staying at home. Its very unlikely that he will just leave like that without making any provision. Just because he is not the one providing for the family doesn't mean that it goes against bible teachings.

5) Many Christians in persecuted countries like Asia and Islam countries countinously put their own lifes and their family's lifes in danger just because they go to church or minister to others. If they held on to the bible verses (in the way you think), then wouldn't it make sense for them not to minister to others, after all they may die and who will take care of ther families.

6) Brother Paul Washer related the story of those that were put in (I think that's in Peru) prisons. When the missionaries were captured, if nobody from outside bring them food or clothes they will die. But for those people that bring them food or clothes, there's a good chance that they will be captured and put in prison also. But you know what, these Christians were willing to risk their lives (whether they had family or not).

7) A Christian in Vietnam I think, was imprisoned and tortured for spreading the gospel. But God provided for his wife and child by getting others to provide for her and also by allowing/getting her to work harder. Its not easy, but that's God's will and they will get crowns in heaven.

8) There's another real story where just before Communist China came to confiscate the bible, another Christian was told to go to the family's house and there the family passed him the bible. They were beaten and 1 of their son's died due to beatings. THe mother prayed not to take her son's life but He did. But because of this, the people in the hospital believed that their God was real because they saw how the son behaved.

9) An Indian Christian in India had a good job. But on God's calling, he moved his whole family to a very bad slump in India to minister to others. Now, that slump is full of diseases, danger etc. In our eyes, he is putting his family at risk, but don't you realise, God is in control, when He ask you to do something, he will provide for you (though its very likely that one will encounter physical difficulties eg: diseases, germs, violence etc).

There are plenty of other real life stories too. The thing is we tend to read the bible/judge things based on our own understanding rather than God's understanding. Only when we have God's understanding, then are our eyes truly open.


 2010/4/22 11:41Profile

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