Comments 21

When he came there was no light, when he left there was no darkness

The title of our post today is actually story of one man’s life. A. W. Milne was a missionary around the 20th century. He was part of a group of radical missionaries who history has dubbed – “One Way Missionaries.”

What these men and women of God did was pack all their belonging in a coffin, buy a one way plane ticket to wherever they felt called by God. Many parts of Africa and other places around the world was known in those days and many years after as the “white man’s graveyard. These men and women of God knew they would never return home when they decided to go to the mission field.

As for A. W. Milne, he Knew that most of the missionaries before him died a martyr’s death, still he accepted the call of God to minister to a tribe in the New Hebrides – island group in the South Pacific Ocean that now is the nation of Vanuatu. There he lived for 35 years. God’s timing and favor had given him a break through among these people and there he enjoyed favor.

But A. W. Milne would never return home. After many years of fruitful labor for the Lord, he passed and was buried in the middle of the town. The inscription on his tombstone could not have been more clearer: “when he came there was no light, when he left there was no darkness.

How does this speak to you today? Please leave a comment – I would love to hear what this story means to you today. Stay blessed! For me, here is what I’m thinking:

God can help you succeed where others have failed
God’s timing is crucial to any move of God
Sometimes our harvest come at the sacrifice of others
Sometimes kingdom life involves risks, danger, and even death.
Are we willing to go even if there is a real possibility that we could die?
What kind of mark or legacy are we leaving on others?
How much do we want to see the kingdoms of the world become the kingdom of our God and Christ?

What stories will others tell about you after you leave this earth?

This entry was posted in: Missions


There are three things I think about every moment of everyday... they consume me deeply. How to: 1. Refine my theological understanding 2. sharpen my ethical rigor 3. and heighten my devotional intensity. These are the things I write about. Welcome you to my blog... Join me on this incredible journey of exploration and discovery of all the things God has in store for His children. Join by following or subscribing. I appreciate your thoughts, comments and friendship. Walter


  1. Allen C. Willems says

    I had heard this story before and am thankful for your presentation of these events. I am putting together a short devotional for a church plant this evening. While reading A.W. Tozer,he mentioned an old Baptist missionary symbol where there is an ox with an altar on one side and a plow on the other. I am building the devotional around the symbol and this story. Thanks for your insights.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Urbana 18: Cultural Marxism - ARPTalk

  3. I think closer look at their stories would reveal that they did not buy “plane tickets”. Other than that though, the stories of the “one-way” missionaries continue to inspire all of us to put our hands to the plow and not look back! Thank you for sharing this wonderful story

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hola recien lo dcrgaseo, lo provare para luego decir como me fue, pero les adelanto que esto de los softwares es muy importante para el desarrollo de los universitarios y no la porqueria de esos ingenieros que ensef1an a lo antiguo, es decir solo teoria


  5. This post reminds me of the Moravian missionaries who centuries ago sold themselves into slavery in order to evangelize slaves. As their ship departed the port they lifted up the cry:

    “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of His suffering”


    • Wow! oh my goodness… that is powerful and touching. oh Lord, the grace to bring you glory in life and death!
      Thanks for sharing that… that is good stuff!


  6. Title of this one says it all. So powerful, and to hear the story shared is equally powerful. Jesus is this to all of us. He takes away the darkness, He brings light where there is none, and He gave it all for us with no expectation of anything other than the fate he received here on Earth. Praise the LORD!!!


  7. I did some research on a “Christian History” Web site. Apparently Dwight L. Moody did not originate the quote I mentioned in an earlier comment. A British revivalist named Henry Varley originiated the quote about “the world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to Him.” Moody was quoting Varley.


    • thanks for that information… I knew it was a British revivalist, but didn’t know what his name was. I read somewhere else that DLM was in the audience when Varley said that quote and it affected him profoundly.
      stay blessed and on fire my sister!


  8. Your excellent post reminds me of a quote I heard a while ago. I’m not sure who where the quote comes from. I think it was Dwight L. Moody. It goes something like this: “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man or woman, who is totally dedicated to Him.”


  9. I thought this was referring to Jesus the instant I saw it, then got pulled in when I saw it wasn’t. What a TESTIMONY!! That is the highest complement a disciple of Jesus can ever receive. What dedication–35yrs! I am SO inspired. Thank you so much for sharing this!!



    • inspired me too when I first read it! It can most definitely be applied to the life of Jesus. But again, it his light shining through us.
      thanks for the comment – stay blessed!


  10. wow, when I read those words “When he came there was no light, when he left there was no darkness” immediately I thought of Jesus. He is light; no darkness is in him. And..I believe we are to be the light for others while he is the light through us. I have never heard of those missionaries but will certainly research them. As far as him never going home again, this isn’t home. We are seriously passing through and for that I am thankful. Having said that, many don’t understand the eternity waiting for us and how small that makes this life. While in this life we are to be God’s voice, his shoulder, his servant and love for all.


    • I love your perspective and comment. Thank you much! it is indeed a fascinating story. These selfless men and women only lived and died to see the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of Jesus Christ. Let your light shine through me Lord, but more than that – shine Jesus in this dark world, so that every man can see who you are. my prayer, my cry.


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