Monday, April 2, 2012

Hudson Taylor-The Silver Coin

By Mary Vee

J. Hudson Taylor's Thoughts

The only way for me to become a successful missionary in China would be to place my complete trust in God's care. Not an easy task.

I read books about dangerous animals in China. Missionaries wrote about angry people who didn’t want to hear about Jesus also about their need for  money, food, transportation, and a place to sleep.

Of course I knew God would take care of me, He said He would in His Word. But did I have the faith to trust Him to provide everything I needed? Should I ask church people for the money? Or could I let God take control?

One day while I still worked in England, the perfect idea came to me. The doctor I worked for had a bad memory, and he knew it. He said, “Hudson, I need your help. I don’t want to forget to pay you. If a time comes when I don’t give you your money, simply remind me.”

To help me learn to trust God for everything, I decided to remind the good doctor in a different way than he expected. In my prayer time I asked God to remind the doctor to pay me. I didn't want to give God my task, I simply wanted to show God I would trust Him to take care of me.

The next pay day, the doctor forgot. I didn’t mind because I had some food, and other things to last a few days. I prayed again, asking God to remind him.

By the next Sunday the doctor had still forgotten. I only had enough food for one bowl of soup that night and one for breakfast. I also had one silver coin left. Nothing else. I decided not to give up. I had promised to trust God to provide for me.

My evening had been packed with visiting the poor in my neighborhood and holding a church service. After the service, a man came to me and asked if I would go to his house and pray for his dying wife.

I followed him to a terrible neighborhood where gangs lived. The police had refused to go to this area unless at least four officers went. I felt nervous as we walked deeper into the neighborhood. Once I came to this place with a handful of Gospel tracts. The gangs grabbed the papers, tore them up, and threatened to kill me if I came back.

The man kept walking.

My knees knocked and sweat dripped down my neck.

Toward the end of one street he turned toward a house with broken stairs. The home looked like it would fall down with one puff of air. He opened the creaky door and led me to a room where his wife lay on a bed. She looked deathly ill.  The four children near her seemed close to starvation.

“Why didn’t you ask for help from the government?”

He sighed. “I did. They told me to come back tomorrow. Please you must pray for my wife.”

I pressed my hand on his shoulder. “You must learn to trust God to meet your needs.” Then I knelt to pray for her. As my knee touched the floor, the last coin I owned pressed through my pocket into my leg.

If only I had change. I could give the family most of the money and keep a tiny bit for my needs. I closed my eyes and prayed. But the words didn’t come to my mind. I knew what God wanted me to do, but did I have to give my last coin?

I felt miserable, absolutely horrible. I had told the man to trust God, but I hadn’t done it myself. I reached into my pocket and wrapped my fingers around the coin. The silver felt cool and smooth. Then I looked at the children with their hungry eyes and skinny arms. I pulled the coin out from my pocket and handed it to the man.

The next morning I prayed and ate the last of my food, a bowl of thin broth. Late in the afternoon my stomach growled. I had no food, or money, but somehow I knew God would help.

A few hours later, my landlady knocked on the door. She said, “This envelope came for you.”

It was thicker than mail. I ripped it open like a little kid at Christmas. What had God sent me?

A blank sheet of paper had been wrapped around a pair of kid gloves. Hmm, quite interesting. As I picked up the gloves a gold coin fell to the floor. The coin was worth four times the silver coin I had given the poor family!

Seriously, God. So much? You blessed me four times what You asked me to give? 

I needed no more lessons. I knew God would always supply my need.

J. Hudson Taylor

What questions do you have?

Photo courtesy of

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.

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