Monday, August 20, 2012

Hudson Taylor-Intense Summer Heat

By Mary Vee

From Hudson Taylor's Journal

The war intensified and forced all foreigners to stay in a small area of the city.

I couldn't sit around until the war ended. 

My day grew busy with studying Mandarin Chinese five hours a day followed by studies in medicine, chemistry, Greek, and Latin. I especially loved the hours spent praying, reading and meditation in God's precious Word.

Unfortunately, this busy schedule didn't make a Shanghai summer pass faster. Temperatures liked to climb above one hundred degrees most days and refused to cool lower than eighty degrees at night. 

The air seemed to sit on me like a fat man. Each breath took more work than I wanted to give. Could anything be worse than the temperatures? 

Apparently the answer was yes. Mosquitoes invaded the city like a sandstorm. The little buggers whined a wretched song near my ear at night, preventing any sleep. No amount of swatting made them stop. Instead, I ended up hitting myself 

My eyes stung and my head ached. I could barely focus on the words in the books I studied.

How did the Chinese endure those dreadful summers?

Not only did my body complain, but also my heart. 

I wanted to make friends. I liked to make friends. But I couldn't speak Chinese well enough to befriend a national, and there were only a few English missionaries left in the city. John Burdon of the Church Missionary Society and I became friends. I would have spent more time with him except he had a wife and family. 

Seeing him happy with his family, despite the wretched summer, stirred my heart. I checked the mail each day at the delivery time hoping for news from home. No letters came, from anyone for two whole months. Surely someone would write me. Wouldn't they?

Heat, mosquitos, and loneliness. Seemed like enough misery for my summer. Or so I thought until another missionary told me news he heard. My mission society put a doctor with a family of five on a ship for Shanghai. It would be my responsibility to find them a place to stay.

I didn't have one for myself! How could I find one for them?


I decided to drink plenty of fluids, try to ignore the mosquitos, study and pray more to make the loneliness go away, and wait for the mission society to send a letter with instructions.

I knew missionary life would be difficult. I prepared for it, the best I could. But at this moment, I could use a hug, mosquito netting, and a cool washcloth on my head.

Hmmm, maybe you could pray for the missionaries serving God all around the world right now. Ask God to help his workers not feel cold or hot, to have friends, a place to sleep, food in their stomachs, AND NO MOSQUITOS. 

J. Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions?

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