From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
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On the other hand, we wanted to be wise. We returned to our boat gathered satchels full of Chinese New Testaments and went back the city.
We walked quickly and handed the little books to anyone who wanted them. If someone wanted to ask a question we spoke to that person but never went to a public place and called crowds to come and listen to our message. A much better idea.
We were inspired to travel further up the river. This had not been done before by any other missionary because it took us beyond the thirty mile range of protection offered to foreigners.
With this success, God gave us the strength and confirmation to sail onto Jiaxing, a city deeper into China. We had been warned of the unsafe border region where many criminals lived and had their businesses. But God blessed, like I knew He would, and allowed us to step on shore unharmed.
Jiaxing was a beautiful city surrounded by a wall and a mote. The people prospered with trading cotton, silk, copper goods, and books. Around the city, huge plantations of mulberry trees provided leaves needed to feed silkworms.
The city managers came to greet us and promised our safety and even provided men to protect us while we visited. The people gathered around us, curious about the strange looking men who gave little books.
We gave away every book we had then returned home. In all, we traveled eight days for this missionary journey, my first in China. This was where the work needed to be done. Deep in the heart of China where many people had never heard about Jesus.
Excited from the successful trip I bought an old boat and all its equipment with some of the last funds I had. I increased my study time of the language both the Shanghai dialect and Mandarin.
The ministry prospered.
Until I received a note from the mission agency who owned the house I rented. They wanted the house back. The Parker family, who also live in the house with me, had not received enough housing or food money either. We both suffered with barely surviving on the small sums sent. The people in our homeland didn't understand the our needs.
I wrote our missionary agency and desperately asked for money to build a compound with a doctor's home, hospital, school, living quarters. We needed several thousand pounds.
In the meantime winter came. Evening temperatures dipped into the twenties. The homes we rented had no heat. I sailed up the river to buy cheaper wood and mixed the burning wood with charcoal and salt-petre, put it in a container with a lid and set it under my bed. At least I had some warmth at night.
Please pray that our agency will send us money to stay warm, have a home, and buy food. It's difficult to do missionary work when hungry, cold, and no home. Thank you.
J. Hudson Taylor
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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.