J. Hudson Taylor
Grandfather John took over the church the day great grandfather died. The man worked night and day.
He spent his day hours working in a factory and his night hours visiting people, passing out tracts, and preaching. If only I could have his energy.
Grandfather John married Mary. She also worked night and day, taking care of their home, visiting the sick and teaching Bible classes for the women. They loved serving the Lord there in Barnsley, England.
Although the people of their town had grown to accept the Taylor' church, trouble still managed to find them. One day, as John walked down the street, a man came to him and hit him. The angry man raised his fist and shouted, "That's for being a Jesus Christ follower!"
John learned from his father to never fight back when men or women attacked him because one day that very person might see God's love in him.
John and Mary had eight children. With so many mouths to feed, they didn't have extra money for anything special. Their son James wanted to go to medical school but couldn't raise the funds.
James chose to study pharmacy instead. In those days people who wanted to learn a trade lived with someone who had that kind of a business. James studied with a Rotherhan pharmacist for seven years.
The work was easy for him. He learned the trade quicker than most people. James even invented a fast way of writing notes. It was faster than the texting you do today!
James also liked to study the Bible. During his free evenings he went to nearby villages and told all the people about Jesus.
Did I mention that James was my dad?
Shortly after James finished his pharmacy studies he opened his own business. Customers soon learned James told the truth and charged honest prices. In fact, he often gave poor people their medicine free. His business grew fast.
He worked hard to pay back the people who loaned him money to buy his business then he married Amelia. Amelia loved the Lord as much as James. She helped him with his pharmacy business and with the church. Deep in their hearts James and Amelia wanted to go to China as missionaries, but somehow the trip could not be arranged around the business.
Every night they prayed that God would give them a child, one who would want to go to China as a missionary.
I didn't know, but I became the answer to their prayer. In fact, to make sure God truly called me to go to China they waited to tell me until after I spent many years in China. I wondered why mother had that special smile on her face each time I came home for a visit. Huh.
Now you know how God and China came to be important in my family. Next week I will start my story.
J. Hudson Taylor
Author's note: After reading the last Hudson Taylor post, a friend of mine said his great grandmother went to church every day in England to pray for all her children and her grandchildren. Today most of those grandchildren are serving God in a ministry.
Each evening I pray for you who have read the posts on this site. May you come to know God's blessings.
Photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by dr. & Mrs. Howard Taylor.