Thursday, December 04, 2008

Jacob M. Blough

As Sarah Barndt Blough looked into the face of her newborn son on a December day in 1876, what dreams for his future did she cherish in her heart? We wonder if the dreams came up to what afterwards became a reality for Jacob Blough, missionary and church leader.

During his fifteenth year he accepted Christ, and soon began to teach a Sunday-school class and two years later he led his first Bible class and offered his first public prayer. After completing the equivalent of a high school course and nine weeks of teacher training he became a teacher, using his earnings to secure further education. Shortly after graduating from college in 1903, he married Anna Z. Detweiler, who remained his inspiration and willing helper through 46 years of joyful missionary service. They sailed for India that fall.

Their home in India became noted for its generous hospitality. Everyone was welcome. Thousands of cups of tea were served to government officials, friends who came for social visits, casual callers, humble villagers seeking counsel and guidance, and ordinary beggars. Their home was dedicated to God and the service of all persons.

Most of Brother Blough's years in India were spent at Vyara and Bulsar, although he took charge of the work at Anklesvar and Ahwa for shorter periods. He was at Ahwa during the severe flu epidemic of 1917-1918, at which time a fourth of the people died. The Bloughs gave out medicine and ministered to the sick until he, too, fell ill. Though near death, he was spared.

During his first furlough Brother Blough solicited funds for the building of Bulsar Bible School. A profound and devoted Bible student, he made the message of the Word clear to his hearers and inspired them to obey it. An Indian leader said, "No other Bible teacher has so influenced the students in devotion and loyalty to Christ and the church."

Source: Brethren Builders in our Century, 1952