Missionaries from Gerlingen: Johannes Rebmann
- Discoverer and explorer
| "We came to Africa
without a thought or wish to make geographical discoveries. Our big
target was the extension of God's kingdom."
"This morning we saw the mountains of Dschagga clearer and clearer, until I thought at about 10 am that I see on the top of one of them a noticeable white clowd. While he answered, this would be a clowd, but he wouldn't know what the white is - he assumed it would be cold - I got obvious and sure that it can't be anything else than snow, for which the people have no name, because it never falls in this region."
Johannes Rebmann makes thrusts into the unknown, into a world that no European
had seen before. His faith gives him stability. He writes down his wish to God
in the foreign world on page 1 of his diary, which he keeps
from 1848 on: "Restore to me joy of your salvation and grant
me a willing spirit, to sustain me." (psalm 51, 12):
The words in this diary are impressive records of his experiences ... His most famous discovery: On the 11th of May 1848 Rebmann sees as the first European the about 6.000 meters high snow covered Kilimanjaro. (Link to the original pages of his diary with typewritten translation)
While many specialists laugh at his report about a snow mountain in the middle of hot Africa, the "Société de Geographie de Paris" realizes the facts, and Rebmann is presented with a medal in 1852. Read his Report, that he writes home after that.
Rebmann set to intensive language studies with a vengeance. He works on dictionaries in Kinika and Kisuaheli, writes the "Dictionary of the Kinyassa Language", learns Arabian and is making a translation of Luke's gospel in Kinika.
Rebmann is active for 29 years in far away East Africa - without a holiday day or a visit at home in Germany. Missionary Price who came 1875 to him persuades him to travel to Germany, where Rebmann stays for his last year in life - in the home country.