Allen Gardiner, Captain, Saint, Martyr









A story of the tragic death in the area of the "ends of the earth"
during the nineteenth century of the English Christian
missionary, Martyr and sailing vessel captain,
Allen Gardiner in Tierra Del Fuego.


Captain Allen Gardiner (1794-1851)  

From earliest childhood, Allen Francis
Gardiner was thrilled by stories of adventure
and strange lands and of war. In 1808, when
he was 14, Allen left home to enter the Naval
College at Portsmouth, England. Though he had
an exciting career in the British Royal Navy,
God had bigger plans for him. He accepted
Christ in the navy, and became aware of the
futility of idol worship when he saw it
firsthand in China. This was a turning point
in his life. He had to do something to reach
those who were putting their faith in idols.
He became an avid Bible reader. From God's
Word Gardiner became acutely aware of the
Lord's desire to be glorified among all
nations. His naval career ended in 1826.

ardiner was called by God to reach Indian
tribes in South America that had not been
reached even by the Roman Catholics. In 1838,
he crossed the Andes Mountains on muleback.
He had no plan; all he wanted to do was reach
the unreached tribes. All of his attempts to
reach the Indians failed. Then in the early
1850s, Allen Gardiner and six other men
attempted to go to tribes in southern
Argentina. This ill-fated effort left all of
them dead from starvation. But the challenge
he gave to reach animistic tribes is still
carried on by the South American Missionary
Society, an Episcopalian outreach to Latin
America. The two books he wrote paved the way
for Protestant work. In the second half of
the 20th Century, the Holy Spirit has been
moving mightily in Latin America. Gardiner
was one who planted the seeds that lead to a
harvest many years later
http://www.redrival.com/carriker/Indigenous%20Peoples.htm        



Allen had arrived on Picton island not far
from Puerto Williams in the summer of 1850
with six other Anglican missionaries. His
sole mission was to bring the word of God to
the Yagan Indians of Tierra Del Fuego. He had
known about the Yagans by way of four of them
which were brought to England by Captain
Fitzroy of the BEAGLE. Fitzroy on his next
voyage in 1832 accompanied by Charles Darwin
brought the Yagans back to Wulaia. Gardiner
wanted to go to Wulaia, to find Jemmy Button
in order to translate fro Yagan to English .
As he had not raised enough money to buy a
Schooner, they bought 2 small steel sailboats
named "Speedwell" and "Pioneer".

ith his two small sailboats Gardiner took
off again for an evangelizing trip along with
a surgeon by the name of Richard Williams, a
young Bible teacher named John Maidmant,
carpenter Joseph Erwin and three strong
fishermen from Cornwall: Badcok, Pearce y
Bryant. Upon arriving in Tierra Del Fuego,
serious problems overcame these Anglican
missionaries; first by accidentally leaving
their gun powder aboard the ship on which
they had arrived.

The 5th of December, 1850, after 3 months of
voyage, the boats of Gardiner arrived in
Tierra Del Fuego, to the island Picton, where
the goats were still at pasture which he had
left a year before. The "Ocean Queen" that
brought sailed away from them , so from now
on, they only could depend on their two small
boats. Then they could not locate the Yagan
Indian, Jimmy Button who had been brought
back to Tierra Del Fuego from England. They
wanted to find him so he could be their
interpreter of the Gospel to the other
Yagans.

They did find some Yagan Indians who only
wanted to take everything they saw. As they
couldn't detain them or combat them ( the
mission is to evangelize), they re-loaded the
boats, saved what they could and sailed away
from Picton. The Yagans chased Gardiner
constantly with their canoes which were
lighter than the heavy missionary boats.
Finally they found protection in Spanish
Harbor (Bahía Aguirre) on the island of
Tierra Del Fuego. It was not a favorable
coast and the "Pioneer" was destroyed on
landing, and the men started to have problems
with their health. The sea invaded the cave
where they are living taking everything with
it including their Bibles. So they decided to
go back to Picton with the "Speedwell", where
they painted a large message on the rocks of
Banner Cove for a passing rescue boat to see:
" Dig here below- Go to Spanish Harbor -March
1851" and there they buried a bottle
containing a message.

ate was already playing it's role in their
lives. A very hard Patagonian winter (which
can reach 20 degrees below zero Celsius) set
in and they started dying one by one of
sickness, starvation and cold.

The last notation in the diary of Williams is
on 22 of June. His last words: "The will of
the Lord be done". Bradcock is the first to
die. In July, Gardiner writes that they have
been on reduced rations for 7 weeks. In
August Edwin and Bryant die.

llen was the last to die Spring came without
ever having shared the Gospel of God with
even a single Yagan Indian. These are some
passages found in his diary: (translated from
Spanish)

"Lord, at your feet I humbly fall, And I give
you all I have, All that your love requires.
To lack is best, For all is yours, Take care
of me in this hour of test. Do not let me
have the thoughts of a Complainer. Make me
feel your power which gives life And I will
learn to praise you while carrying your
cross... On the 29th of August, 1851 at age
57, when the winter was coming to an end, he
said good-bye to his wife and children and
included these words:

"If a wish was given to me for the good of my
neighbor it would be that the Mission in
Tierra Del Fuego be pursued with vigor. But
the Lord will direct and do everything
because time and reason are His your hearts
are in His hands...".

Captain Gardiner died near the
upturned boat in September 1851


is last lines written in his diary on the
6th of September were: "By God's Grace this
blessed group was able to sing praises to
Christ for eternity. I am not hungry or
thirsty in spite of 5 days without eating;
Wonderful Grace and Love to me, a sinner..."

On the 21st of October, 1851, the ship "John
E. Davison" at the command of captain William
Smiley and with Piedra Buena as official,
found the "Speedwell" with the bodies of
Williams and Pearce aboard, with Bradock
meagerly buried nearby. They left because of
a bad storm without finding anyone else.

In January 1852, by order of the Admiralty,
the ship"Dido" commanded by Captain Morshead
also guided by the paintings over the rocks
at Picton, finds the boat "Pioneer". Then his
crew buries Gardiner and Maidment, and
rescues the diary of the missionary. All of
them, Allen Gardiner, the doctor, the Bible
teacher and the sailors died of hunger, cold
and sickness.

his man of incredible will tried to
evangelize the pagans of Africa, the Chilean
Araucania Indians, natives in New Guinea, the
Telueche Indians of the Magellan strait, the
Caco Indians of Bolivia and the Yagans of the
Beagle Channel. Turned down everywhere
without converting anyone, he was the first
Martyr of Tierra Del Fuego.

The story of these martyrs does not end here:
Upon learning of Allen Gardiner's death the still
existing South American Missionary Society,
which Allen had founded, constructed a 65
foot missionary schooner, the "ALLEN
GARDINER" and launched her in 1855.

A party of 9 missionaries aboard the
"ALLEN GARDINER" arrived at Wulaia
on Navarino Island (close to Puerto Williams)
in 1856.

There they finally found Jimmy Button to help
them to translate. Five days later, while attending
a Sunday service onshore all except the ship's
cook who had stayed aboard the "ALLEN
GARDINER" were viciously attacked and killed
with sticks and rocks without motive or
warning. Jimmy Button was said to have been
one of the rabble rousers.

y this time a total of fourteen missionaries
had been martyred with the intention of
saving some of the Yagan's souls, but there
still were no results! This last attack put a
halt to all missions in the area for 6 years
until a young English missionary, Thomas
Bridges built a house in Wulaia. He had
previously mastered the Yagan Language in the
Falkland islands where some of the Yagans had
been taken and was able to make friends with
them.

Bridges returned to Wulaia a year later and
found the house burned and everything
destroyed. The missionaries then moved
farther North to Leuaia on the Beagle
channel. (He later founded the Tierra Del
Fuego tourist attraction, the "Harborton
Ranch" and wrote a complete dictionary of the
Yagan language)

n 1869 the missionary Waite Sterling founded
the first Anglican mission in the area in
Ushuaia. Ushuaia is now a bustling tourist
town of 40,000 in Argentina territory. It is
some 50 miles North across the Beagle Channel
from the then unfriendly Wulaia village and
gave them protection from further attacks.
Thomas Bridges was soon afterwards put in
charge of this new Tierra Del Fuego mission
which was then abandoned in 1916 some 66
years after the arrival of Allen Gardiner in
Patagonia.

The South American Mission
Society, SAMS


eptember 6 is Allen Gardiner Day in the
Anglican Calendar for remembering saints and
heroes of the Christian Faith.

Best known for founding what became known as
the South American Mission Society (SAMS),
Allen Gardiner's love for Christ led him to
many different parts of the world. Born in
Basildon, Berkshire, he entered naval college
in Portsmouth aged 13 and went to sea two
years later. His Christian mother died and he
turned against his childhood Christian faith.
As he sailed to Cape Town, Ceylon, India
Malaysia and China he pondered on God. A
letter describing his mother's final months
and prayers for him and his own disillusion
with Buddhism accelerated a spiritual crisis
which ended in his conversion to Jesus
Christ. A new Christian he yearned to share
Christ with Mapuches he met in Chile.

e saw Christian work in Tahiti. Reacting to the
death of his first wife, Julia, he set out
with his own boat to evangelise Zulus in
South Africa and founded Durban. With his
second wife Elizabeth he returned to Africa.
Opposition there sent him back to South
America to his original desire to share
Christ with Chilean Mapuches. He, his wife
and children travelled 1000 miles overland by
pack mule from Buenos Aires to Santiago and
Concepcion distributing Scripture. Indigenous
Chileans would not trust him, regarding every
Christian as "the enemy". Rejected in
Indonesia, he went to the far south of Chile
where he thought he would not be opposed. In
the following years, reacting positively to
every opposition, he distributed tracts and
Bibles in the Falklands, Tierra del Fuego in
Patagonia, Santa Fe, Cordoba and Tucuman in
Argentina, and Bolivia. His heart with the
indigenous tribes, he went out to Tierra del
Fuego and concluded that any mission would
have to be by boat using the Falklands as a
base. Back in Britain he recruited six men
including three "frank, brotherly Cornish
fishermen, Pearce, Badcock and Bryant".

hey landed, but fierce weather, few fish and no
way of shooting birds led to disease and
death. Gardiner's journal, water damaged but
readable by the crew of HMS Dido, who found
it in his hand, reads "Let not this mission
fail", and it contains this prayer: "Grant O
Lord, that we may be instrumental in
commencing this great and blessed work, but
should Thou see fit in Thy providence to
hedge up our way , and that we should even
languish and die here, I beseech Thee to
raise up others and to send forth labourers
into this harvest. Let it be seen, for the
manifestation of Thy Glory and Grace that
nothing is too hard for Thee..." The work of
those in partnership with the South American
Mission Society in Britain, Ireland, Canada,
USA, Australia, and New Zealand who serve
with the Anglican Churches in South America
and Iberia is one answer to his prayer.

The South American Mission Society (SAMS) was
formed over 150 years ago by Allen Gardiner,
an intrepid explorer and sailor, whose chief
desire was to share the good news about Jesus
with unreached tribes. Since then, we have
been working in South American countries, not
only preaching the gospel, but living it out
with the real people, in education, in land
rights for indigenous people, in Bible
translation, in evangelism and much more.
he Latino Experience 2001 gives you the
opportunity to give some short-term help to
our work, and get a first-hand taste of
working as a Christian in a totally different
culture



Executive Director's Letter continued...

I have held in my own hands Gardiner's journal. One would
expect the dominant theme to be grief, but remarkably
Gardiner's words reflected a contagious joy that was
undiminished by his dismal circumstances. As Gardiner was in
the final stages of starvation, he was focused on the future
and came up with a new name for the mission society. In his
journal, he proposed that the Patagonian Missionary Society
should expand its field of work to the entire continent and
be renamed the South American Missionary Society. As he
died, his heart seemed to overflow with thanksgiving for
God's many mercies. "Great and marvelous are the loving
kindnesses of my gracious God. He has preserved me hitherto,
and for four days, although without bodily food, without any
feelings of hunger or thirst." September 5, 1851. Dr.
Richard Williams, the physician of the missionary team,
described the same peace that passes understanding, "Let all
my beloved ones at home rest assured that I was happy beyond
all expression . . . and would not have changed situations
with any man living . . . that heaven, and love, and Christ
. . . were in my heart . . ."





When news of the missionaries'
deaths reached England, The Times carried a blistering
editorial decrying the loss of life and resources for so
foolish a cause. The missionaries' deaths caught the
attention of the nation, and a book on their mission, which
included Allen Gardiner's journal, enjoyed wide circulation.
Biblically-minded churchmen responded to the criticism of
the mission with contributions, and new missionary recruits
made it possible to launch a second mission, this one better
planned and equipped. Using the Falkland Islands as a base,
the missionaries learned the language from three Yaghans
that Darwin had taken to England 25 years earlier as
examples of this primitive people. Safely transported to a
Yaghan Island in November 1859 on a schooner christened in
Allen Gardiner's memory, catechist Garland Phillips was now
ready to continue the mission to the Yaghans. As Phillips,
Captain Fell, and six crew members came ashore, they found
themselves suddenly under attack. Within minutes all eight
were speared to death. The field director of SAMS, George
Despard, was crushed by the loss of the second missionary
team. He returned to England, along with his family and the
remaining missionaries. Two missionary teams had gone out
with high hopes, and the results were 15 dead, 7 by
starvation and 8 murdered by the Yaghans. All was lost, and
apparently for nothing. In the darkest moment, a
seventeen-year-old boy came forward and asked Despard's
permission to stay behind and carry on the work. His name
was Thomas Bridges, a surname he was given because he was
found as a baby, abandoned on a London bridge. The Despards
had taken him in and given him a place in their family. When
Paul prayed for his "thorn in the flesh" to be removed,
God's reply was, "My grace is sufficient for you, my power
is perfected in weakness." It was in complete weakness and
vulnerability that Bridges, often alone, would visit the
Yaghan settlements, many of whose inhabitants had murdered
the second missionary team. But unthreatened by his
vulnerability, and moved by the forgiveness that he
embodied, the Yaghans were finally able to hear the Good
News. In fact, Bridges baptized many of the same people who
had killed his friends. The most dramatic demonstration of
the change in the people Darwin had labeled the "lowest form
of humanity" took place when an Italian ship was sinking
offshore from Yaghan territory. Formerly the Yaghans would
have most likely killed the sailors and helped themselves to
their belongings. But as followers of Christ, the Yaghans
risked their lives to rescue these complete strangers. The
King of Italy was so impressed by their heroism that he had
a medal struck in their honor, and in honor of Bridges and
SAMS, with a Latin inscription signifying "Religion has
brought safety to the mariners rescued from a watery grave".
Darwin himself was so impressed with the change that he
became a supporter of SAMS for the rest of his life. And a
new annotation was added to navigational charts, "A great
change has been effected in the character of the natives . .
. the Yaghans . . . can be trusted." Through the Gospel, the
Yaghans were transformed from a lost cause to being a people
whose heroism and altruism were internationally acclaimed.
This early history of SAMS is packed with profound lessons
about God's work. 1. We all have an important role to play
in God's work; however, success or failure doesn't depend on
us but on God. Allen Gardiner was greatly used by God, yet
despite his exemplary faithfulness, he saw little fruit come
from his ministry. We should walk by faith, as did Allen
Gardiner, with a joy that flows from our relationship with
God and is not dependent on circumstances nor the apparent
fruitfulness of our efforts. 2. We should do our best to
plan, but how God accomplishes his work may be very
different from what we expect. "As the heavens are higher
than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways"
(Isaiah 55:9, NIV). What God accomplished went far beyond
what the missionaries had hoped for, and at a higher cost.
In retrospect we can see that: * Without their starvation,
Gardiner and his companions couldn't have shown the depth of
Christian joy. * Without the murders, Bridges couldn't have
shown the radical nature of God's forgiveness. * Without the
storm, the Yaghans couldn't have shown the doggedness of
God's rescuing love.

When things go wrong, we are tempted to think that God has
failed us, or that evil is triumphing. But in fact, God may
be bringing about fruit of a more enduring quality than that
which is born in a trouble-free season. Starvation, murders,
and storms provided the canvas on which God painted a
self-portrait, revealing his joy, forgiveness and rescuing
love. When we face setbacks, we need to cling to the
knowledge that he is still at work, even though we may not
be able to see how. "If any want to become my followers, let
them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me."
(Matthew 16:24, NRSV). Like the pangs of childbirth, there
is unavoidable pain in bringing to birth God's work in the
world. 3. God's plan for us is that we receive his Good News
and, in turn, share it with others, much as the Yaghans
became instruments of God's love. In the fabric of God's
work, a once-nameless abandoned baby became the means by
which God expressed his love to the Yaghans. Through a
people deprecated as being barely human, Italian sailors
were pulled from the jaws of death. In the same way, our
missionaries aim to encourage and equip the people with whom
they work in their own ministries. On the 150th anniversary
of the death of the founder of SAMS and his missionary
companions, I am profoundly moved to redouble our efforts to
serve God faithfully in Gospel outreach in Latin America and
Spain. Please join me in praying that we would be faithful
in our day, just as they were in theirs. May God grant us
success in season, patience out of season, and through
whatever setbacks beset us, may God grant us unshakable joy.
Your Co-worker in the Great Commission,

Tom Prichard

Executive Director's Letter, August 2001
http://www.sams-usa.org/ExecDirLetter.htm




Captain Allen Gardiner (1794-1851) 'He died near the
upturned boat in September 1851' (Lionel Fitzsimons. The
flaming Zeal. 1998) September 6 is Allen Gardiner Day in the
Anglican Calendar for remembering saints and heroes of
the Christian Faith. Best known for founding what became
known as the South American Mission Society (SAMS), Allen
Gardiner's love for Christ led him to many different parts
of the world. Born in Basildon, Berkshire, he entered naval
college in Portsmouth aged 13 and went to sea two years
later. His Christian mother died and he turned against his
childhood Christian faith. As he sailed to Cape Town,
Ceylon, India Malaysia and China he pondered on God. A
letter describing his mother's final months and prayers for
him and his own disillusion with Buddhism accelerated a
spiritual crisis which ended in his conversion to Jesus
Christ. A new Christian he yearned to share Christ with
Mapuches he met in Chile. He saw Christian work in Tahiti.
Reacting to the death of his first wife, Julia, he set out
with his own boat to evangelise Zulus in South Africa and
founded Durban. With his second wife Elizabeth he returned
to Africa. Opposition there sent him back to South America
to his original desire to share Christ with Chilean
Mapuches. He, his wife and children travelled 1000 miles
overland by pack mule from Buenos Aires to Santiago and
Concepcion distributing Scripture. Indigenous Chileans would
not trust him, regarding every Christian as "the enemy".
Rejected in Indonesia, he went to the far south of Chile
where he thought he would not be opposed. In the following
years, reacting positively to every opposition, he
distributed tracts and Bibles in the Falklands, Tierra del
Fuego in Patagonia, Santa Fe, Cordoba and Tucuman in
Argentina, and Bolivia. His heart with the indigenous
tribes, he went out to Tierra del Fuego and concluded that
any mission would have to be by boat using the Falklands as
a base. Back in Britain he recruited six men including three
"frank, brotherly Cornish fishermen, Pearce, Badcock and
Bryant". They landed, but fierce weather, few fish and no
way of shooting birds led to disease and death, illustrated
here by Pat G de Hunter's drawing. Gardiner's journal,
water damaged but readable by the crew of HMS Dido, who
found it in his hand, reads "Let not this mission fail", and
it contains this prayer: "Grant O Lord, that we may be
instrumental in commencing this great and blessed work, but
should Thou see fit in Thy providence to hedge up our way ,
and that we should even languish and die here, I beseech
Thee to raise up others and to send forth labourers into
this harvest. Let it be seen, for the manifestation of Thy
Glory and Grace that nothing is too hard for Thee..." The
work of those in partnership with the South American Mission
Society in Britain, Ireland, Canada, USA, Australia, and New
Zealand who serve with the Anglican Churches in South
America and Iberia is one answer to his prayer. For further
information please contact SAMS Mission Education.


http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/samsgb/AllenG1.html




CHAPTER XI. CAPTAIN ALLEN GARDINER, R.N.

WHO, alas! has not heard the story of the Patagonian
Mission? It was in 1851 that Britain rang with the tale, and
sorrow was felt and tears shed for the fate of the noble
Captain Allen Gardiner, R.N., and his martyr band. Previous
to the enterprise, Captain Gardiner had on a survey
expedition been deeply moved at seeing the miserable state
of the Patagonians-a people so low in human degradation that
Darwin pronounced them incapable of being civilised. Captain
Gardiner, however, resolved that he for one, by the grace of
God, would make the attempt not only to civilise but
Christianise this unhappy people. He returned to England,
but on announcing his project met with little encouragement.
Finally he came to the Isle of Man; and in Douglas, in Athol
Street Schoolhouse, held his first missionary meeting before
starting on his hazardous journey, the same building where
St. George's Sunday-schools were and are held. At this,
meeting there were conspicuously present two who were heart
and soul with Captain Gardiner in his enterprise-these were
Mrs. Elliott and her son Willie. We can only conjecture the
nature of the speaker's appeal on that occasion, when
bringing before his audience the burning need of helping
those beings of their own flesh and blood, who were,
nevertheless, in their persons and habits, little removed
from the brute creation. Willie Elliott sat intently
listening-his great eyes open and flashing with the fire of
an earnestness and sympathy that welled up in response to
every word Captain Gardiner uttered, whilst his young heart
beat loud and fast as the particulars of the intended
expedition were unfolded by the zealous pioneer. He was
himself, Captain Gardiner said, ready to die, if need be, in
the attempt to start this Mission in the dark miserable
region of Tierra del Fuego- the Land of Fire. The meeting
over, up rushed the youthful Willie to the speaker, panting
with enthusiasm, and regardless of all observers. "I would
like a card, Captain Gardiner, please, to collect for your
Mission," he said, extending his little hand, trembling with
emotion. Every heart was moved at the sight, and many a
person present took a collecting-card who had no thought of
so doing until impelled by the eager impetuosity and
Christ-like example of the boy. Sweet child, what were thy
mother's thoughts "what her intense feeling, when she saw
thee her heart's love" breaking through all restraint, and
braving all eyes to win a golden opportunity of doing
something in the name and for the love of the Redeemer of
men! Eleanor Elliott had truly the reward that night, when
she beheld her young son step on to the platform, anxiously
tendering his request, of a mother's many prayers and sacred
yearnings. Ah! dear mother, hadst thou known what so soon
was to befall thee and thy darling, thou wouldst have
clasped him to thy breast there and then with the convulsive
energy of a last clasp of mortal love! But in mercy the
future was veiled from thine eyes. Willie Elliott's was the
first South American Missionary collecting-card given to any
one by Captain Allen Gardiner. The missionary party left
England in September 1850, and what befell them afterwards
is now a matter of history, familiar to many. It may not,
however, be out of place to mention a few details of the
tragic story, as the event and its results were of such
painfully thrilling interest to the subject of this memoir;
and as the South American Missionary Society.  They
embarked on their ship again, and set sail for the opposite shore, on
the south-west of Tierra del Fuego. Here they had no more
success than formerly with the natives; also they lost one
of their boats, which was run upon the rocks, the other they
hauled on shore, and converted into a sort of dormitory.
Soon scurvy broke out amongst the party. In April their
provisions ran very short, and as sickness increased there
was a great difficulty in getting more food. Everything in
the shape of birds, fish, a fox, and even vermin that came
in their way they ate. For months they lived on mussels,
until the brave Captain Gardiner could eat them no longer,
though he managed to drink mussel and limpet broth. One and
another of the band were stricken down with illness, and yet
in the midst of all this distress and semi-starvation the
figures of Gardiner and his friend Maidment might have been
seen by their dying comrades kneeling on the shore thanking
God for His loving-kindness and mercy towards them. Finally,
all were gone but Gardiner and Maidment, and of the two
Gardiner was the weaker and apparently the nearer death.
Maidment, however, died first, though he waited upon his
fellow-sufferer almost as long as his own life lasted. From
Captain Gardiner's diary, written on that desolate shore as
his life was wasting away, several most touching entries are
given in the history of the Mission, circulated for the
benefit of the South American Society. They all breathe a
spirit of noble heroism and of most affecting Christian
resignation under privations and sufferings of a most
distressing kind. Such was the pitiful end of those noble
men who were left to their fate in the far-off region of
Tierra del Fuego. Why the stores they expected never reached
them it is useless now to inquire. They died as thousands of
martyrs have died, their blood proving in the order of God
the seed of the Church. They died, but the cause did not
die. No, the heart of Christian England was stirred to
sympathise in the work, and other devoted men were found to
take up the mantle of the noble Gardiner, and start forth
better equipped and better prepared in every way to
prosecute the Patagonian Mission. Years of faithful service
since then have redeemed the character of the Patagonians;
and to his astonishment Darwin looked before he died upon
specimens of that race so changed physically, mentally, and
spiritually; so humanised, in fact  that henceforth he not
only pronounced his belief in the regeneration of the
people, but became a subscriber to the South American
Missionary Society during the remainder of his life.


Chap11 - Manx Recollections, 1894
http://www.isle-of-man.com/manxnotebook/fulltext/kf1893/ch11.htm
Friday, December 14, 2001


On December 17, 1850, Captain Allen Gardiner and six
companions, after enduring a long trip from England, landed
at Patagonia on the southern tip of South America. They came
to bring the Gospel to people there who were so primitive
that evolutionist Charles Darwin said they existed "in a
lower state than in any other part of the world." The
natives were fierce cannibals and the land and weather
absolutely treacherous. The team had brought six month's
worth of supplies. England had committed to sending a relief
ship with more supplies in six months. After leaving
England, Gardiner wrote in his journal, "Nothing can exceed
the cheerful endurance and unanimity of the whole party . .
. I feel that the Lord is with us, and cannot doubt that He
will own and bless the work He permitted us to begin."
Unfortunately, things began to go wrong. Unbeknowns to
Gardiner, his supporters back in England couldn't find a
ship to carry the next six months' supplies to Patagonia. No
one wanted to make such a dangerous journey. So as the
missionaries carried out their work on the cold tip of South
America and as their supplies ran dangerously low, they
scanned the horizon for the approaching ship. It never
arrived. Those men faced a tough test. Alone in a hostile
environment, without food or supplies, hunger and death
stalked them like hungry wolves. By the time a relief ship
finally reached Patagonia in October 1851, almost a year
after the missionaries had arrived, Gardiner and his men had
all died of starvation. Gardiner's emaciated body was found
lying beside a boat. He was clothed in three suits, with
wool stockings over his arms to ward off the numbing cold.
What had that English missionary thought during those last
horrifying days? Had this terrible ordeal destroyed his
faith? Were his dying days filled with nothing but despair
and disillusionment? The men off the relief ship found his
journal. They were amazed at one of his latter entries:
"Poor and weak as we are, our boat is the very Bethel [house
of God] to our soul, for we feel and know that God is here.
Asleep or awake, I am, beyond the power of expression,
happy."
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Greg Nelson, CVC Senior Pastor June 17, 2000

Facing the Fear of Suffering
http://www.collegeviewchurch.org/sermons/2000/Fearofsuff.shtml


The Secrets of the Argentine Revival

Peniel Outreach Ministries

http://www.penielonline.com/

 The Beginning

 On September 7, 1850, Captain Allen Gardiner sailed for Patagonia, the southern portion of Argentina, with six other men: Surgeon Williams and John Maidment, three Cornish fishermen (Pearce, Babcock and Bryant) and a ship's carpenter named Erwin.  The latter had accompanied the captain on previous journeys and declared that to be with such a captain was "like heaven on earth, because he was such a man of prayer."

 Gardiner's burden was: "Our Savior has given a commandment to preach the Gospel even to the ends of the Earth.  He will provide the fulfillment of His own purpose.  Let us only obey."  Knowing that Patagonia, the extreme south land of Argentina, is a barren desert like land, the men took, what they thought, to be ample supplies.  Then they made arrangements for further supplies to be shipped by sea and to meet at a set time and place.

 However, the captain of the supply ship decided to considerably delay his journey in order to do some other business.  Added to that, the hostile natives raided and stole from their meager supply, and there was not much the men could do afterwards to supplement their food rations.

 Before long they ran out of ammunition and could not add to their rations by shooting game.  After much fatigue and privation from want of food, and while waiting on the seashore for the supply ship to come, Allen Gardiner and his men departed into the Presence of their Lord between June 8 and September 8, 1851.  The ship ladened with the needed supplies of food did not reach the seven men until several months too late.

 One of the papers found by Captain Smyly, who sailed from Montevideo in search for them, revealed that in their greatest distress they lost not their love and devotion to God.  Williams wrote, "I am happy beyond all expression…" despite the fact that they had nothing to eat, but a few limpets, mussels and a but of wild celery.

 On a rock on the beach they had painted the words of their united testimony found in Psalms 62:5-8

5   My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.

6   He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defense; I shall not be moved.

7   In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

8   Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah

 The last words of Gardiner wrote were, "Our dear brother Maidment left the boat on Tuesday at noon to search for food and has not since returned' doubtless he is in the Presence of his Redeemer, whom he served so faithfully.  Yet a little while, and through grace we may join that throng to sing the praises of Christ through eternity.  I neither hunger, nor thirst, though five days without food.  Marvelous loving kindness to me, a sinner."

The Lord saw to it that the diaries of these godly men, despite rough sea winds and storms, were miraculously preserved on the sands nearby their boat and these same diaries have provided excellent material for many biographies subsequently written.

Ragland, a pioneer missionary to India, wrote, "Of all plans of insuring success, the most certain is Christ's own - becoming a corn of wheat, falling into the ground and dying.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24

 At the grave of Ragland, Amy Carmichael and two other missionaries found this prayer in the depths of their hearts, "Lord, give us to live that life and to die that death, and to bring forth fruit into life eternal." In 1851 those six men accompanying Allen Gardiner in Patagonia lived that life and died the death of starvation, the seed corn of the subsequent harvest exactly one hundred years later, which is recorded in some measure in this story.

                                        ---Stanley Frodsham

 



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