William Borden

In 1904, a young man named William Borden graduated from high school in Chicago, Illinois. He was a member of Moody Bible Church and his pastor was R. A. Torrey.

William, a fine Christian young man, was heir of the famous Borden dairy estate and a multi-millionaire at the time he finished high school. As a graduation present, his parents sent him on a cruise around the world.

While on this cruise, God opened William’s eyes and his heart to the masses of unsaved people around the world. God’s work in William’s heart was evident in the tone of his letters home. In one of his letters home, William wrote, “Dear Mom, I think God is calling me to be a missionary.” His final letter said, “I know God is calling me to be a missionary.”

Becoming a missionary was not in the Borden family plan. William was the most gifted of all the children and was to take over the family business. He returned home from his cruise and enrolled at Yale where he spent four years. He spent an additional three years in seminary.

While in seminary, William gave away all of his personal wealth. After giving away his wealth, he opened his Bible and turned to the flyleaf and wrote two words – “No Reserves.” He wanted to live by faith and to trust God for everything in his life.

William began to pray about where God wanted him to serve as a missionary. God put China on his heart where he hoped to work with a group of Muslims. William committed himself to go.

A couple of days before he was to board the ship and sail, his father became deathly ill. His family came to him and said, “William, you can’t leave now! You’ve got to come and run the family business.” He said, “I cannot. I am committed now. There is no turning back.” He opened up his Bible to the flyleaf again and wrote two more words – “No Retreat.”

As he was sailing to China, his ship stopped in Egypt and, while there, William contracted cerebral meningitis and died within 3 weeks. Seven years of training, a promising future, and yet William never made it to the mission field.

When his family found his Bible, they opened it and saw what was written in the flyleaf. There were two more words written there that he must have scribbled before he died – “No Regrets.”

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