From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
Each missionary journey, all three of them so far, gave me a new experience. I can't say I felt bubbly about each one. The first three had some dangerous moments which left me thinking God's call for my missionary life might be shorter than I thought.
But, today I want to tell you about my fourth missionary journey. The one which sparked fireworks in my heart.
Dr. Parker, the missionary from Scotland who lived in the same house as me, was finally ready to step out on his first missionary journey. He had arrived several months after I did and was sent with his wife and children from the same missionary society as sent me.
The poor man nearly tripped over his own feet preparing for our journey. He packed plenty of medical supplies, and I brought stacks of Bibles to give to those who could read. I would be the preacher, and Dr. Parker would tend to the medical needs and give out the Testaments to people we met.
I almost laughed at Dr. Parkers youthful excitement, remembering my mixed feelings on my first missionary journey. Excited, not able to speak the language well enough to share the Gospel, uncertain where to go, yet bursting with energy to fulfill this first practical adventure.
We left March 19th for Jiading. Once there we prayed for a bath of blessings and protection.
It didn't take long before a huge crowd gathered around us. Most looking at our clothes. So different from theirs. They reached their hands close to touch the fabric. Our eyes and hair were so different. Now that I could understand Mandarin I knew they asked who we were and why did we come to their city.
I answered by calling out to for their attention. The crowds silenced in seconds, curious what I would say. I began preaching to them, telling them about the God who loves and cares for them, the one who sent His only Son to die on the cross for the things we all did wrong.
As I spoke, Dr. Parker set up a medical station to help those in physical need. Unfortunately he had to close down not long after his equipment was stolen.
I finished my message, we gave out New Testaments to all who could read, then left for the next city. Dr. Parker could have been angry about having his equipment stolen, but he chose to see the blessings of telling people about God's saving grace. Good man.
We went on to Qingpu and allowed the crowds to gather around us again. I preached while Dr. Parker gave Testaments. One man in particular showed his support for our message by poking a nearby idol. "See," he said. "This idol is not real. It does not feel when I poke it. These men speak of a real God."
All in all the trip went very well. But this was not the end of the blessings. When we returned to Shanghai I found a gift of $50 left for us to build a new hospital. Our first donation toward growing the ministry. How wonderful.
Dr. Parker continued to step out on his own. He chose to help John Burdon who's church had a decrease in attendance. Dr. Parker used the fifty dollars to set up a medical tent near the church. Before long, the church had increased numbers attending.
I can't help but think our loving God gave Dr. Parker a wonderfully blessed first missionary journey to encourage him to keep on with the work he was called to do.
Thank you God. You are so kind. So all knowing. So sensitive. So gracious.
Please pray that our sending mission, China Evangelistic Society, will head my recent letter asking for finances to set up a hospital and other needed facilities for the Chinese people.
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.