Birthdays on December 16
George Whitefield was born in Gloucester, England. Experiencing the new birth in 1735, he immediately embarked on his lifelong calling as an evangelist. In the 1740s there was a poor community outside of Bristol, England, a most degraded, ignorant community called Kingswood, where thousands of people lived whom the churches of the city considered not worth saving. One day this young man, moved by the evangelistic fire in his soul, broke all traditions by standing up and preaching to them in the open field. This was the beginning of the ministry of George Whitefield, a ministry that touched the whole world before he was called to Heaven September 30, 1770, from Newbury, Massachusetts. Benjamin Franklin measured the distance Whitefield's voice could carry and confirmed he could be heard by 40,000 people at once.
Amy Carmichael, Scotch-Irish missionary, was born. She went to India in 1895 under the Zenana Missionary Society, remaining there without furlough until her death 56 years later. Although bedridden her last 20 years, wrote highly regarded books and poems and continued her work to rescue children from Hindu cult prostitution.
Birth of Robert A. Jaffrey, pioneer missionary to many previously unreached areas of the Orient and the Pacific Islands. Son of the founder and publisher of the Toronto Globe, Robert turned his back on the fortune he had inherited. A staunch member of the Christian and Missionary Alliance, he was challenged for missions when a Christian woman asked, "Can you give reasons why you don't go to preach the Gospel to those who never heard it?" Jaffrey went, reached multitudes in those neglected areas, and died July 29, 1945 in a filthy Japanese prison camp just before the Second World War came to a close. He died with a map of the Orient spread out before him, plotting the course for the next missionary outreach.