Being part of a team— having a base of support—is invaluable to any endeavor. No one can be successful in this life as a lone ranger. We need each other and the support that comes from strong relationships.
William Carey of England knew the value of strong relationships. He knew the importance of having friends who would support him in his endeavors.
Carey was ordained in August 1786. During a ministers meeting that year, Carey suggested that Jesus’ command to His disciples “to teach all nations” was still in effect. Mr. Ryland, the meeting chairman, rebuked him and accused him of being an enthusiast!
Carey was greatly embarrassed. His fellow ministers treated his ideas as impractical. But that same year he met Thomas Potts, who had been to America and seen the need for missionary work. Potts supported Carey in his vision.
Carey began to realize that his dreams would never be fulfilled if he worked on his own. In time, God brought other people across his path who encouraged and helped him. As a direct consequence of Carey’s work, the first Evangelical missions agency was created in 1792.
One day in 1793, Carey and some friends were discussing the need for foreign missions. Andrew Fuller, a fellow minister who was at that gathering, recalled, “We saw there was a gold mine in India, but it was as deep as the center of the earth.” Fuller asked who would venture to explore that mine. Cary spoke up and addressed his friends: “I will venture to go down, but remember that you must hold the ropes.”
By “holding the ropes,” Carey meant consistently praying for him, financially supporting him, and regularly communicating on his behalf with the churches in England. His friends agreed.
Carey went to India and made possible the translation of the Bible into numerous languages. Many have called Carey the father of modern missions, but he saw his relationship with his supporters in England as a brotherhood. He traveled to India, but he knew he was only able to accomplish what he did because his partners back in England were “holding the ropes.”