Monday, January 14, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Ping Pong

By Mary Vee

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Shanghai's late summers are very hot. The food decays quickly and there wasn't a system for trash. The whole city smelled terrible. It seemed a good time to take a ninth missionary journey.

I took tow Chinese servants with me to Chongming and Xinkaihe. We docked on the island of Xinkaihe on October 19th and planed to spend six months. Unlike Shanghai, I quickly found a room to rent on the top floor of a factory and set up medical facilities.

Soon many Chinese came for needed surgeries. I used the opportunity to tell them about Christ. The people welcomed me in as a fellow Chinese. No one yelled, foreign devil. Wearing Chinese clothes and having my hair in the same style as the men, helped tremendously.

Xinkaihe wasn't far from Shanghai. Anytime I ran short of supplies, I returned to my home. On my last visit I opened my mail and found money from Mr. Berger, the only one who has faithfully supported me.

Not all my mail was good. One time I received a legal document from Chongming saying I broke the treaty of Nanking. This treaty made the rules where non Chinese people could live. Anyone who rented an apartment to a non Chinese person would be punished. This meant I could not rent my apartment in Xinkaihe.

I checked on the matter and found out who caused the trouble. Doctors in Xinkaihe became angry that I helped the people for free. Those same doctors charged more than the people could afford and didn't tell any of them about Jesus. I needed to keep my apartment in Xinkaihe. Many Chinese asked Jesus to be their Savior after visiting the office.

I never received a formal demand to appear before the magistrate. I also didn't want to be in trouble for not taking care of the problem. When I visited the magistrate's office, he didn't have time to see me.

Hmmm I thought. Maybe I can stay in my apartment and help the people of Xinkaihe. One day a doctor from the city came to me a demanded a bribe to leave me alone. He said he could make the city officials leave me alone if I paid the bribe. I refused.

The news spread to Shanghai where I received a letter ordering me to appear before the Vice Consul. This was terrible news. The Consul could fine me five hundred dollars for having the apartment in Xinkaihe. I wrote to the mission board in England and asked for help. In truth I didn't expect an answer.

I went to the meeting and reminded the Vice Consul that a other countries had businesses and lived beyond the treaty limits. One flew a French flag. "I don't care, the Vice Consul said. Either leave the apartment in Xinkaihe or suffer punishment."

I packed my things, as he ordered, but planned to ask another official for help. The official was to arrive in Shanghai soon. Sadly, he never came.

Days later I received more news. Elizabeth, the woman I wanted to marry sent a letter saying she never wanted to see me again. The mission would not send the needed money to fight the battle. And another letter said the Christians in England were angry with me for not trying harder to keep the apartment.

Ahhh. Do you know the feeling when no one can be pleased? Yes. That is exactly how I felt.

I returned to my home in Shanghai, teaching, giving medical help,and preaching the Word of God.

I feel like my hands are bound. The whole of China needed to her about God's love. There must be something that can be done.

Please pray for me that God will show a way.

J. Hudson Taylor

Do you have any questions?

photo courtesy of

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.

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