Saturday, August 8, 2009

Still More on Frank Laubach--Part 1

As I was dinking around on the internet today...typing goodness knows what into google....I came upon something about Frank Laubach that I hadn't read before.  Thus, the inspiration for yet another post (or two) about him.  I know I have written several posts about him...perhaps droning on too long....but then again, if it interests me enough to write about it, it may interest you enough to read about it..... his first years as a missionary, he and his wife Effa lost three of their children to malaria and dysentery.  I cannot imagine losing three of my children and yet continuing with the work I felt God had laid out for me to do.  I would probably be more inclined to shout..."YOU do it," while shaking my fist at the heavens.  He was alone during the time he wrote the journal entries that were published after his death as Letters By a Modern Day Mystic.  Effa was back in the States with their only remaining child, a son named Robert,  while he regained his strength.  Effa and Robert later rejoined Frank Laubach and worked with him. 

I came upon a book on google books called Surprises Around the Bend - 50 Adventurous Walkers

There is a section in the book about Frank Laubach...we walk by faith and not by sight.

I typed up some excerpts that I thought were interesting....

Laubach had a promising start.  He grew up in the tiny town of Benton, in north central Pennsylvania, in a devout and supportive family. 

(Side note here....Keith often delivers in Benton.  He has been reading this series and noticed the other day that the welcome to Benton sign mentioned Laubach)

He went to Princeton University and then to Union Theological Seminary in New Your, eventually gaining a Ph.D in sociology at Columbia University.  His dissertation focused on research he had done among a hundred vagrant men connected to the City Mission Society in New York City. 

In 1914, as an ordained minister of the Congregational Church, he and his wife Effa left the United States.  They sailed to the Philippines where he labored at Mindanao.  Frank and Effa saw their first three children die of malaria and dysentery.  Robert, their only surviving child, was taken away by Effa to the United States for a period of time to regain his physical strength during an outbreak of severe illness.  Effa and Robert eventually came back and assisted Laubach in his mission work. 

Even though Laubach spent much time writing, teaching, and serving where he could, he did not feel he was doing much good.  He suffered keen disappointment when he lost a close election to become the president of Union Theological Seminary in Manila. 

On December 1, 1929, Laubach arrived in Lanao, a place he had originally gone to fifteen years before.  On his first visit he was asked to leave because of the distrust of the US armed forces in the area.  Even now, as he returned, he sensed a strong resistance among the Maranao people to his Christian message.  The largely Muslim population did not take kindly to any effort at conversion.  

But he did in fact break through to Maranao people.....I will write more about that tomorrow.....

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