Last week on vacation, my friends and I spent about a week in the Berkshire Mountains in eastern Massachusetts. Among the small towns we visited, Stockbridge was of particular interest to me because of its history. Stockbridge is home to a church where Jonathan Edwards served as pastor until moving to Princeton. Edwards took the place of John Sergeant, the first missionary/pastor to serve in that area in the mid-1700s. Sergeant’s primary call and passion was to spread the gospel to the Mahican Indian’s of Stockbridge. During our visit, we took time to visit the “Mission House,” a log cabin that Sergeant lived in with his wife. While the tour guide was somewhat critical of Sergeant’s “Christianization” of the Mohicans despite the “good intentions” he had, the guide did say one thing that I though was a great example of good missiology.
While Sergeant was still studying in Yale, he invited ten young Mahicans to come and live with him. Sergeant wanted to learn Mahican culture and customs before even stepping foot on their territory.