John G. Paton Biography (Free eBook)
It wasn't until 1606 that Spanish explorer Fernandez de Quiros discovered a chain of eighty islands stretched across 450 miles in the South Pacific. Later named the New Hebrides, the islands were inhabited by peoples whose existence had been unknown to the rest of the world for centuries.
It would be another 230 years before two London missionaries made the first earnest attempt to bring the gospel to these unengaged and unreached peoples in 1839. But they were killed and eaten by cannibals only minutes after going ashore.
John G. Paton and his wife set sail to the islands in 1858. But this decision didn't come without criticism. On one account before leaving, a respected elder chided the couple, "You will be eaten by cannibals!" To which Paton responded,
Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there…