From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
I have recently learned that I am held in low regard by other missionaries. One said I "was a nobody, had no academic standing and was not ordained. To make matters worse," they continued, I "wore Chinese clothes."
I am guilty of all, except the nobody statement. It's true I left England shortly before completing my medical degree and I had not been ordained as a minister. I chose to dress as a Chinese man to blend in with the people and to give them a reason to listen to my messages.
To show me their disapproval, the other English missionaries rarely invited me to speak in their churches. Their words made me consider a trip back to England to complete training and to get the necessary certifications.
But then I spoke with John. He too served in Ningbo and became a close friend. We went out on several adventures preaching to the Chinese. "Hudson," he said, "If you go back to England there will be a void. We need someone with your knowledge, determination, and strength."
His words of encouragement helped. I stayed and worked with him all the more. As we walked one day he said he too had not received the missionary support from our agency. John said, "CES has borrowed the little money sent to us." He and his family barely survived on the meager funds.
This does not sound like a ministry with God's blessings. The situation required much prayer.
During this time, England and China did not get along. The Cantonese people grew especially angry with all foreigners promising to kill any they found. One baker put arsenic in loaves of bread sold only to foreigners. Several died, over four hundred became sick.
With the discovery of the plans to kill all foreigners, several escaped to Shanghai where some safety could be expected. I offered to escort the school teachers but they refused to leave.
The danger for attack on our lives grew so great Dr. Parker and other missionaries sent their families to Shanghai. Those who stayed kept all their special belongings in junks, harbored and ready to leave at a moment's notice.
The Cantonese's anger towards the foreigners grew. They held a meeting to determine the best way to kill all of the foreigners in Ningbo. "It would work best to attack when there is a large group. Any who are missing from the meeting could be hunted down and killed."
"Yes," said another from the meeting. "They all gather on Sunday to worship their God."
The others in the meeting agreed this would work. They arranged the details and set their plans in motion.
One of the servants at the meeting had a friend who worked as a servant for a missionary family. He didn't want his friend hurt. He hurried to his friend and warned him to stop working for the missionary. Before the faithful servant left he told the missionary family of the plan.
We didn't know exactly what would happen, but felt confident the Cantonese, a powerful group of people with a lot of rage at this time, would carry out their plan.
Please pray for us this week and come back next week to see what happened.
J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China
Blessed by God
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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
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. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.