About David Livingston

If there is anything to die for, it’s that which holds promise for all generations. Many have come and gone, many alive today are yet to go, many are yet to come and go, we will all dramatize and leave the stage but the role we played determines where we will stand in the hearts of men, but most importantly in the heart of God.

It’s not surprising that two centuries after his death he still lives. Born on 19th March 1813 in Scotland, David Livingstone started work at the early stage of 10years in a local cotton mill company. He married Mary Moffet in 1845 who (wife) later died of malaria in 1862.


Research have it that, Livingstone was taught to read and write by his father, and in addition to schooling in the evenings provided by the company, he taught himself Latin and developed a love of natural history. In 1836, he entered Anderson’s University, Glasgow to study medicine. Interestingly, he suspended his medical career for two years after gaining entry to start a missionary course at the London Missionary Society in Chipping Ongar, Essex for a year. He moved to London in 1840 to complete his medical program at the British and Foreign Medical School where he qualified as a Licentiate of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. That same month the London Missionary Society also ordained him a missionary.


After his ordination as a missionary around 1841, he set sail for South Africa and onward to the mission station at Kuruman as a missionary doctor. From this period till his death in1873 Livingston explored the interior of central and southern Africa.  Livingstone was one of the first medical missionaries to enter southern Africa, the first in central Africa and was often the first European to meet local tribes. He won their trust as a healer and medicine man and gained a high reputation amongst the villagers.


Livingstone was a keen  accurate observer; he was a prolific writer and his journals, letters and published narratives provide observations on African diseases such as tropical ulcer, scurvy and malaria. He was one of the first to administer quinine in a dosage that is now considered effective. He also published the horrors of the slave trade and the report helped shape its course. These are just a few amongst other numerous works he did around the world especially Africa.


It was now time for Livingston to leave the stage as his health began to deteriorate but he wouldn’t leave his new found love, Africa. During his final years Livingstone was beset with health problems, but according to the report he refused to leave Africa. Sadly, he died there in May 1,1873. Like Joseph his body was returned to Britain for burial in Westminster Abbey.

He left something for missionaries……….motivational quotes (I extracted 3 of them):

Christ alone can save the world, but Christ cannot save the world alone

David Livinstone

I am immortal till my work is accomplished, and although I see few results, future missionaries will see conversions following every sermon. May they not forget the pioneers who worked in the thick gloom with few rays to cheer, except such as flow from faith in the precious promises of God’s Word

David Livingstone

God, send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. And server any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to yours

David Livingstone


 BBC: History-Historic Figures Report on David Livingstone  (2014).

Articles: The Dictionary of National Biography.

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