By Mary Vee
How did I know God wanted me to be a missionary? In China?
It all started the day I couldn't go to church because of a terrible cold. I stayed in my room and prayed prayers, kind of like the Psalms, thanking God for my salvation, the beautiful creation, my food, housing, job, and my family.
At the end of my prayer time I asked God to give me something to do so I could show my love and dedication for Him. Then a special feeling tingled through my blood. At that moment, I knew God had a job for me. As an older teenage, I didn't know what it would be, but God gave me a job.
My older sister, Amelia, and I had grown close as friends. She and I decided to stop going to evening church and instead went to the poorest parts of our city to share Christ. We took tracks and booklets about Jesus and walked to each home in every neighborhood telling the people about God's love. Of course, not everyone wanted to hear our words...still, I had started my work for God.
A few months later, Amelia left for a boarding school. Our Sunday evening work came to a stop. In exchange, and definitely not to my liking, my mean cousin John came to work for my father. I had to share my room with him.
He loved to go to parties and drink and especially liked to make fun of me when I wanted to spend time in prayer or studying the Bible. Because of his mocking, I felt bad about my choices. I didn't know if I should continue reading the Bible and praying or not.
Some nights I spent hours searching my heart and my thoughts--what did I want, who did I want to follow, what should I do. Day after day I wondered what my life meant.
During that time of thinking and searching, a thought came to me, I had work to do in China. I'm not sure if I knew God spoke to me at that time. It didn't matter. I had a goal, a purpose, something to do that I really wanted to do. And, yes, it would be a job showing God my love and thankfulness for what He had done for me.
China wouldn't be an easy country to live and work in as a missionary. Not many missionaries went there because the poor conditions, and it definitely was not open to hearing the Gospel. Hardly any books had been written about missions in China and each one was expensive. How would I learn?
One day, I discovered the Congregational minister in my own town happened to have a book about China. I went to him and asked to borrow the book. We talked about missions in China for a few minutes, then he said, "You can't go to China without money. Only in the days of Jesus could missionaries go without money. One day you will become wise and see."
Hah. Many years later in China I remembered what the minister said and decided I still had not become wise in his eyes because I still depended on God to supply the money I needed.
Back to the book. That night I sat on my bed reading the pages. When it grew dark I lit the candle and kept reading. On one page, a sentence popped out at me, "There is a great need for medical persons in China."
There. The answer. Medicine would be the way to get into China.
My family had been involved in medical work for years. I had worked with my father in his pharmacy and found the work interesting. At last! I knew what I would do.
I hope you too, have, or will see, what you can do for God.
Next week, Boot Camp training.
J. Hudson Taylor
What questions do you have?
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.