J. Hudson Taylor's Thoughts
I wanted to finish my surgical training right away, it was my door into China. Oh, how I longed to serve God on the mission field.
At that time, China allowed very few people into their country. Foreigners, people who weren't Chinese, had come into the country bringing changes. The government didn't like it and forced the foreigners to leave. The same government made many new rules which some of the Chinese people did not like.
Not many missionaries could get permission to enter China. Many men and women longed to help the Chinese people and tell them about Jesus but couldn't get there. However, I learned that medical people were desperately needed and were the only ones allowed into the country. In a short while, I'd finish my training and leave for China as planned.
At the same time news reports reached London about the Taiping Rebellion. A Chinese man gathered an army to fight against the Chinese government. He wanted to let foreigners come into the country, bring new products and ideas, and get rid of the government officials who cheated and robbed the people. Many Chinese died in the rebellion.
Although sad news for those who died, the rebellion also opened the door for some missionaries to enter China.
I think God wanted to check to see if I would truly go to China. One day, the Chinese Evangelization Society asked me to come to their office. They offered to pay my school bills if I agreed to become an officer of the Royal College of Surgeons. What a tempting offer! My bills would be paid, I could have an important position, and I could help many people. I felt honored, of course, but knew God wanted me to go to China.
The rebellion actually helped my situation. I could get papers approved to go to China even before graduation. If I waited, the door into China might close. Should I finish medical school and risk not going to China or leave right away? So many decisions.
God let me know what to do. I had to go. Right then.
I went to the CES office and asked to speak with Charles Bird. "I need to go to China while the door is open."
"Come in, Taylor. It just so happens I had finished a letter to the committee only a moment ago, requesting they consider your application to go to China immediately. Now, what's this you say about leaving right away?" He laughed and slapped me on the back. "I say, we need a dedicated man such as yourself in China and I believe your heart is in the right place. I'll send your application to the proper person."
Three weeks later I received a letter from the Society granting me permission to leave for China right away.
Just like that. Years of preparation and poof, paperwork, finances, everything I needed was thrown together and approval granted for me to go to China. Had the rebellion not happened at that time, missionaries like myself would have never entered the country....maybe ever.
I'm off to China!
J. Hudson Taylor
Do you have any questions?
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.