From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
I had served as the only missionary from the Chinese Evangelism Society in Shanghai.
When I heard the Parker family would arrive soon I couldn't wait for their arrival. I had so many questions about England, wanting to hear any news about my home country.
I had rented a home in Shanghai with lots of rooms for them. Unfortunately the imperial army burned it to the ground two days before they arrived.
I rented a second home which had six rooms. Not six bedrooms, six rooms. This may seem like enough, but a complication arose. To have enough money, I had to rent half the house to another missionary family. When the Parkers arrive, we would have two families with children and one one single man squished into the six room home.
This would prove interesting.
I remembered the day I stepped off the ship at the Shanghai dock, not knowing where to go and feeling lost. I hurried down to the water's edge the moment their ship arrived. "Hello! Welcome Parkers."
They wobbled sideways along the dock. "Oh, yes, Taylor. So good to see you. You'll have to excuse us, I'm afraid we haven't found our land legs yet."
I laughed. "I remember all too well. We'll walk slow. Follow me."
We hired natives to carry the Parker's luggage to the six room home. I pointed out the embassy where they could find their mail and other useful businesses in the city. I led them up a hill to the home and opened the door.
It had been my responsibility to arrange housing for the Parkers, but I had never received the funds to do so. I used all but three of my dollars to pay the first month's rent on the home. The three remaining dollars would provide food for me for one week. I didn't know how the Parkers would get food.
The home had little furniture, two or three square tables, six chairs, and one Chinese bed. I gladly gave them all I had, but it wasn't enough to meet their needs.
Missionaries from other agencies, who regularly received adequate funds, came to visit the Parkers. They saw the meager furnishings I had provided for the Parkers. They wasted no time saying, "Taylor, why haven't you cared for this family? We know you like to live with litte, but really, did you have to treat these missionaries of God with such inconsideration?"
I didn't feel I should speak cruelly of the mission that sent me. The other missionaries didn't know I had to borrow more money than I should to pay the rent, or that I only had three dollars left, or that the mission had not sent the letter of credit promised to pay for housing and food for the Parkers.
Dr. Parker wrote the mission in London right away and explained my money situation, or rather lack of money to the committee. He told them of the extreme deprivation conditions I had lived in since arriving. My earlier letters had no effect, so I didn't think anything would happen. But, thanks to his letter, and God's leading, the committee raised my salary three times from what they had given me. This still was much less than other agencies gave their missionaries.
I will pray and ask God for his direction regarding not only my needs but the future needs of any other missionaries sent from CES.
I want to serve the Lord with all my heart, and I am willing to live with little, but a missionary needs to have funds to do the job.
Pray for me as I deal with this difficult and embarrassing matter.
J. Hudson Taylor
Do you have any questions?