From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
Last post I told you about my eighth missionary journey. The time following brought new problems and trials I had not expected.
I gradually became accustom to my shaved head and braid hanging down from the small patch of hair at the back of my head. My own hair grew longer and could be used in the braid. The local people welcomed me in and grew more and more intrigued with learning about the God who loves them.
Belonging in the Chinese culture became quite important to me because I missed friends and family from England sorely. I still loved Elizabeth and wanted her to come to China to be my wife. I recently wrote more letters to her parents asking their permission to let her marry me.
Both her father and mother agreed to change their minds and welcomed me to marry their daughter . . . if I moved back to England.
My heart ripped in two when I read their letter. I could not give up the work God assigned me here in China to return to England, even if the woman I loved lived there.
I received less money each month from my sponsoring missionary agency. It seemed the director suffered from mental health issues and wrote some rather cruel letters to people who contributed money to the mission. Those people in turned refused to send any more money. Had Mr. Berger not discovered the situation and chose to send his money directly to me instead of through the mission, I would have nothing.
However, the money from one man barely paid the rent on my house and bought little food. I can't remember a time when I was not hungry.
To top matters off, Dr. Parker had finished his move to Ningbo. I had grown to love his children like an uncle. We played together and I had many evening chats with their father. There will be no English connection near for me, now that he has left.
Heart broken from not being able to marry Elizabeth, hungry from lack of funds, and lonely from Dr. Parker and his family leaving. Most missionaries would sigh and want to give up. Yes, I had moments like that as well, but they were only sparks. Because God gave me a gift that helped me more than anything I thought I needed.
God helped my love to grow for Him intensely. I hungered for His Word and His fellowship. I longed to be with the Chinese people who lived near me. I woke in the morning excited to tell the Chinese people about the God who loves them, to provide medical help to those in need and to run my school.
The boys in my school asked hundreds of questions about God. They couldn't learn enough or fast enough to satisfy their heart cravings. The number of patients who came to my clinic grew to large crowds who begged to stay and hear about the God who loves them.
And the best of all, just a moment while I wipe the tear, my servant and friend, Guihua asked Christ to be his Savior.
I may have wanted a wife, food, and friendship, but God gave me so much more. How could I possibly return to England?
Instead, I will plan a ninth missionary journey, which I will tell you about next time.
J. Hudson Taylor
Do you have any questions?
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.