John G. Paton (1824-1907) left a successful inner city ministry in Glasgow, Scotland to become a missionary to the renowned cannibals of the New Hebrides Islands of the South Pacific; a place where less than 20 yrs. earlier 2 missionaries were immediately eaten by cannibals upon arriving on the shore of one of the Islands.
Most of Paton’s trusted Christian friends advised him against such a foolish venture. In a memorable exchange, one such man, a Mr. Dickson retorted, “The cannibals! You will be eaten by cannibals!”
To this Paton responded: “Mr. Dickson, you are advanced in years now, and your own prospect is soon to be laid in the grave, there to be eaten by worms; I confess to you, that if I can but live and die serving and honoring the Lord Jesus, it will make no difference to me whether I am eaten by cannibals or by worms; and in the Great Day my Resurrection body will rise as fair as yours in the likeness of our risen Redeemer.”
Two great biographies of John Paton are: