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Mary Ray and Kay Blevins with young people in Ushuaia, Argentina, the “End of the World”
e had taken a team of
South America mis-
sionaries and volunteers to
distribute Bibles to this loca-
tion. The island of Ushuaia
has a population of 60,000
people. We were able to
cover the island with Bibles.

Generations past, the ances-
tors of the present day in-
habitants of this island were
wild and untamed tribes.

The year was 1831
when a ship from England,
the HMS Beagle, sailed into
the waters surrounding the
island near the tip of South
America. On board was
a 22-year-old man by the
name of Charles Darwin
from Shrewsbury, England.

The young man had been invited
to serve as the ship’s naturalist. He was
astounded to see the wild people of the
area. Darwin was shocked by the ap-
pearance, language, and customs of
the native inhabitants—the Fuegians,
wild one group was. Four or
five men suddenly appeared
on a cliff near to us. They
were absolutely naked and
with long streaming hair;
springing from the ground
and waving their arms around
their heads, they sent forth
most hideous yells. Their
appearance was so strange,
that it was scarcely like that
of earthly inhabitants.”
Darwin expressed his
conviction that it was utterly
useless to send missionaries
to such a set of savages as
the Fuegians, probably the
very lowest of the human
race. 4
The people indeed were
Charles Darwin at age 32
wild and savage. A mission-
The people did not wear clothes. He ary expedition sent out earlier from
described the people in this manner: England was attacked and met with
“I believe in this extreme part of South violent hostility. The missionary enter-
America, man exists in a lower state of prise was abandoned and the mission-
improvement than in any other part of aries returned to England. However,
a young man with the mission group,
the world.

I shall never forget how savage and Thomas Bridges, then aged about 18,
Charles Darwin, The Voyage of the Beagle (New York: Collier, 1909), 210.

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