January 1858, age 25
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
Visiting a foreign country is exciting. Tourists go to major sites, take lots of photos, and rest in quiet places like a cafe or lake.
Missionaries find traveling to foreign countries exciting, too. We learn the language and find ways to blend in with the people. We find housing and learn the ways of the culture. Once the people accept us, we share the good news of Jesus' love.
Whether a missionary brings their family or joins with other missionaries for celebrations, loneliness inevitably sets in. A longing for people who speak our language and do things like we do. (Tea time for example).
I have longed for several years to have a wife, someone I could share the ministry God called me to. Someone who also felt called to be a missionary in China. Someone I could talk to at night and know they care about me and let me care about them.
And then I found her. Maria, a school teacher called to serve in China. The head teacher responsible for her care did not approve of our courtship. Even after several discussions, the head teacher did not agree. Maria and I wrote to her parents seeking their permission to wed. Some time later, a letter was received, granting her parents permission as long as we waited until Maria turned 21.
Four days after Maria's birthday, she and I married. I dressed in the finest Chinese clothes from my closet and Maria wore a grey silk gown with a wedding veil.
The head teacher did not attend the wedding.
Maria, myself and our guests enjoyed a wonderful reception at Mr.and Mrs. Way's home. What a fun time we all had.
Maria and I moved into a spacious attic. It was the perfect first home. We only had to walk downstairs to go to work. I continued my preaching and practicing medicine, Maria taught in the school which we opened in the same building.
I had often dreamed about the wonderful life of marriage. "Oh, to be married to the one you do love, and love most tenderly and devotedly...that is bliss beyond the power of words to express or imagination to conceive. There is no disappointment there. And every day as it shows more of the mind of your Beloved, when you have such a treasure as mine, makes you only more proud, more happy, more humbly thankful to the Giver of all good for the best of earthly gifts."
The wedding didn't take away the problems we would face. It did, however, give us someone who would help us face our problems. God blessed me with the wife of my dreams.
Please pray for Maria and I, that we may be a witness to the people in China.
J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China
Blessed by God
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. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.