From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
I was not the good Samaritan in this even I am about to tell you. I would have liked to have been, but it seems this missionary journey had one main person to minister to, me.
Last time, I mention hiring a Chinese worker to carry my few remaining possessions, a bed and a few other things, to the port where I planned to take the next ship north. He stole my belongings and sold them.
With nothing left, I turned back wanting to go to Shanghai. I walked for miles and that evening slept on the steps of a temple. Three thieves kept watch for my eyes to close and attempted to steal my money throughout the night. They gave up in the early morning, giving me only an hour to sleep.
The next morning, my walk back to Shihmenwan proved more difficult than I realized. I had eaten much, hadn't slept, most of my belongings burned in the Shanghai fire, I needed medical supplies but couldn't get to Dr. Parker to get any, and now the last of what I owned had been stolen. I was tired and didn't feel well.
I am not one to give up, but there are times when our human bodies can do no more. I pushed myself to reach the port in Shihmenwan and went to the boat office to purchase a ticket to Shanghai.
"I'm sorry, sir, there are no ships moving on the river. Look, see the boats trapped in the mud for lack of water to sail?"
"But there must be something. Anything." If her offered to let me ride in a canoe, I would.
"No one will be leaving today and probably not tomorrow either."
"Is there a boat going to the next port?"
"Not even Kashing." He answered. "The mail boat is all that moved and it already left."
Over his shoulder, I saw a mail boat floundering in the water. It scooted along in the low water at a slow speed in the direction I wanted. "Hey! Hey Wait. Are you going to Kashing?" I pulled every ounce of strength left and chased the boat down the canal for a whole mile. "Wait, I say."
A worker on the boat answered. "We're not going to Kashing."
"But will you let me pay you to take me as far as you are going?"
He scowled at me and said "No."
I couldn't take any more. I hadn't slept, eaten, rested, had anything go right . . . I wanted to weep like a child but didn't have the energy to do even that. My legs buckled and tumbled me to the ground.
Sometime later, I have no idea how long I slept, I woke and heard voiced. I opened my eyes and found a group of people standing around me talking about me. "He speaks the dialect of someone from Shanghai..."
I looked around at my surrounds and found myself on a ship. These people apparently saw me and felt sorry for situation, sent a small junk across the canal and brought me back to their ship. They gave me tea and food, removed my socks and soaked my blistered feet. I think God sent angels to care for me. After I ate and drank, I heard them calling out to smaller boats able to move in the low water. "Can you give someone a ride?" But none said yes.
Early that evening, the captain noticed a mail boat heading toward Shanghai. "Taylor, there is a mail boat!"
"Thank you captain, but I cannot afford to pay what they would charge for the ride."
The captain shouted to the mail boat anyway. "Where are you going?"
"The port before Shanghai."
I wish I could have ridden with them. They would dock only nine miles form Shanghai.
The captain leaned forward and said. "This man here is a foreigner from Shanghai and has been robbed. He doesn't have money to pay for a ticket. Take him to where you will dock and then hire transportation to carry him the nine miles. He will pay you in Shanghai. Look here. My boat is stuck. I cannot go anywhere. If you are not paid in full in Shanghai, I will pay what is due when you return."
Bless the Almighty God, the man said yes. The kind people helped me on to the mail boat where the only place I be required me to lay down. I slept most of the journey back to Shanghai and arrived August 9th.
God didn't just provide me with food and rest, He gave me good Samaritan's who had kind and warm hearts. I don't know what tomorrow will bring. I have nothing to give, and nothing to live on. But since I am rested, have eaten, and witness the kindness of others, I have the strength to go on.
Please pray that God will put on the heart of someone to send the needed funds for my support.
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.