Title: Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma
Author: Janet and Geoff Benge
Series: Christian Heroes: Then and Now series
Major Themes: 1800s, Missionaries, Biographies, Burma, Myanmar
Synopsis: Adoniram’s life is full of ups and downs—can he learn to trust and obey God no matter where He leads?
Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma is another superbly written story in the Christian Heroes: Then and Now series. My school for the past while has been about Church history, so when I saw this book in our family’s collections I was excited to get to read it. I’d read a little about Adoniram Judson before, but this shared his life in a way that I’m sure I’ll never forget.
With his father a minister, young Adoniram always felt like he was under the shadow of the disciplinary hand of God. Eventually going on to college, he soon became friends with a young man named Jacob Eames, who was a deist. With deistic beliefs sweeping the western world, Adoniram was curious to know how the faith differed from his own Christian worldview. After many discussions with Eames, he decided deism was for him as well. When his father found out, he was enraged—but somehow Adoniram persisted in his beliefs against opposition, and eventually traveled around to experience the world.
On one of his many travels, he stayed at an inn where a sick man lay dying. The man’s groans kept him awake until four in the morning, when he finally lay silent, and the next morning Adoniram found out he had died. Furthermore, he found out that the man was Eames—and that forced him to reconsider his beliefs of the afterlife. After reconsidering the God of the Bible, Adoniram came to faith in Christ. Soon afterward, in 1812, he went to India to be a missionary, but the East India Company rejected his presence and he ended up in Burma—and did much work for the Lord there.
Eventually, his wife and daughter died as a result of the mission. He remarried and had several more children—and then his second wife died. After a while, he married for a third time, and several years later his health failed. Throughout his lifetime, he was able to translate the entire Bible into Burmese, and created a Burmese dictionary—both of which were a great help to the missionaries that came after him.
We know quite a bit about how Adoniram translated a good portion of the Bible into Burmese, and then how he was arrested by the Spotted Faces during the war between the British and Burma. We also hear quite a bit about his imprisonment. But beyond that, there is little written about him. Adoniram Judson: Bound for Burma is a gripping biography about him, from when he was little and up. Somehow, even though it’s a biography, it’s as easy to read as a well-written fictitious story. Janet and Geoff Benge do a remarkable job bringing his failings and triumphs to life, sharing them in a way that will stick for a long, long time.
WARNING: Some scenes may not be appropriate for younger children.
Read Aloud—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 13, Family Read Alouds
Reading Independently—Ages 8 – 12, 10 – 12, 12 – 15, 15 and Above, Adults