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Birthdays on January 31

Hans Egede (1686 to 1758)
First Protestant Missionary Wasn't Very Good at it

Hans Egede was born at Harstad, Norway. A Lutheran pastor, he became concerned for the natives of Greenland, and after many years and much lethargy on the part of the church, was able in 1721, at age 35, to sail with a company of 46 others to establish a mission station there. This colony, however, was nearly wiped out by a smallpox epidemic 12 years later, and it became necessary for him to return to Denmark. However, his devoted nursing of the Eskimoes while during the epidemic led to conversions. His son, Paul took over the work, and the father labored on the translation of the Bible until his death (Nov. 5. 1758), a work which was completed by Paul in 1760. The Moravians were inspired to undertake their early Protestant missionary endeavours by contact with Engede.


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