44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.
43 “Again the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls. 46 When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.
When Jesus spoke about “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field (v. 44) and a merchant looking for fine pearls, (v.45) Jesus wants us to perceive that the kingdom of God has a great and tremendous value. It’s worth purchasing the Kingdom of Heaven with all our possessions, even life itself.
Here is a young American missionary who was purchasing the Kingdom of Heaven through her most precious possession, LIFE. Her name is Ruby Kendrick who came to Korea in 1907.
Ruby Kendrick was born in Texas on January 28, 1883. When Ruby was four, her mother died.
Ruby Kendrick graduate from Plano High School in 1903. Interested in pursuing missionary work, she attended Scarritt Bible and Training School in Kansas City, Missouri for two years. After graduating, Kendrick spent a year as a teacher of Bible at the NorthTexas Training School in Terrell, Texas and also served as a pastor’s assistant at the church there. She spent the following year (1906-1907) at Southwestern University taking additional courses to acquire additional skills for missionary work.
In 1907 the Ladies’ Foreign Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South appointed Kendrick to serve five years in Korea. She set sail on August 29, 1907. In Korea she was a language student and Sunday school teacher. Less than a year later,on June 20th, 1908, Ruby Kendrick died of appendicitis at Severance Hospital in Seoul. At her request she was buried in Korea. Her last words home were, “if I had a thousand lives, Korea should have them all. “
In the letter she wrote just before her passing away, she wrote the following words:
This land, Chosun, is truly a beautiful land. They all resemble God. I see their good heart and zeal for the gospel, and I believe that in a few years it will be a land overflowing with the love of Christ. I saw children walking over 10 miles barefoot to hear the gospel and the love of God in them encourages me.
But the persecution is getting stronger. Two days ago, three of four of those who have accepted Christ less than a week have been dragged away and were martyred. Missionary Thomas and James were also martyred. There were orders from mission board to return, but most missionaries are in hiding and worshiping with those whom they have shared the gospel with. It seems that they are all planning to be martyred. Tonight, I have strong desire to return home.
I remember you mom who resisted to the last moment for me leaving the port because of the stories of the hate of foreigners and opposition to the gospel.
Dad, Mom! Perhaps, this may be the last letter I will be writing. The seed that was sown in the backyard before I came out here must be filling our neighborhood with flowers. Another seed bears many flowers in the land of Chosun and they will be seeds to the other nations.
I will bury my heart in this land. I realized that this passion for Chosun that I have is not mine but God’s passion toward Chosun.
Mom, Dad! I love you.
What a touching letter from Ruby Kendrick! Ruby only lived just 25 years on this side of eternity. She was a missionary in Korea less than a year. Yet, her heart and love for God & His people still stirs hearts all over the world.
We could sense her true affection and a great passion toward this Nation. Even though she had spent such a short time here in this place, but her sacrifice will last forever as the seed of the Kingdom Growth continually untilJesus comes back.
I think we should be thankful that God blessed this nation through the early Pioneer Missionaries from Western Countries, the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Australia. Through their sacrifices and full dedication, Korea has grown amazingly like a Great Tiger in the World with an incredible Economic Growth and Stability.
I was told that the blood of the Martyrs is the Seeds of the Church. I am sure that Korea has been blessed by the Martyrs who shed their blood for this Nation. As I have been studying about Korean Mission History for the last few years, I came to realize that there were hundreds of missionaries who gave their lives for this nation. I believe Ruby Kendrick is one of the precious missionaries who left a great spiritual legacy through her sacrifice in this land.
What kind of legacy do you want to leave while you are here on the earth for the Kingdom of God?
Invest your life for the most precious values! That’s the Kingdom Seeking Life!