From J. Hudson Taylor's Journals
As I continued to wait to hear if permission was granted for me to marry Maria, John and I worked tirelessly at serving the Lord.
We saw many needs in this war-torn country not only physical, but also spiritual. How we wished to share the truth that the great God who made these men, women, and children also loved them.
As I mentioned previously in a post, we set up food lines to feed the starving and then spoke the words of Jesus to them. Each day more people came to eat and stay to listen to our message.
We'd spent all we had and even sold what few personal possessions we owned to purchase more food. So many mouths to feed. I shook my head wanting desperately to help them, but not having the means.
A missionary friend, Rev. John Quarterman from America, died of small pox in our hospital. His family didn't have money for his burial cost and neither did we. I had to destroy the clothes I wore while taking care of him to prevent the spread of disease but I didn't have any other clothes because I had given away everything I had to those in need.
I prayed for God's help. The same day, a box I had long forgotten about arrived at my door. It contained clothes I had left in Swatow. Only God could have planned the timing. Had it arrived sooner, I would have given the clothes away before I had this need.
We ran out of oil for the lamps and food to feed the hungry. We and our families became like the people we tried to help, hungry and penniless.
This was the breaking moment. The time when John and I realized we were trying to do more than the assigned work God had given us. How can we help the poor if we, too, become poor?
We didn't want to be rich or even well off, but we shouldn't have given away all that we had. One of the missionaries from a different agency felt sorry for us and bought food. I don't believe Jesus wanted us to cause this situation. That money should have been spent for the work God called them to do. Like Jesus said, "There will always be the poor." Adding to the problem didn't solve the problem.
I expected the mail to come in a week and knew in my heart God would send funds. How we would survive until it arrived was still a mystery. We completely ran out of money the Monday before. A whole week ahead of time.
Quite surprisingly, the mail arrived early. I know, my trust in God should have prepared me for the early delivery and even more so for the money sent from William Berger, our faithful supplier. Still, I believe God takes delight in the smiles on our faces when He gives us gifts.
John and I learned to increase our helping programs for the poor when we had extra money and decrease when we had less. This way God decided what would be done.
God's way is right and true. And while our hearts may lead us to help or do, it may not be what God wants. There may be another person who is suppose to do the job and perhaps have the blessing or learn from the experience.
My job is to do what God asks me to do with a willing heart.
And so I've learned yet another lesson. I am twenty-five-years old and feel like I've learned so much.
I praise God for His goodness and mercy especially when I make foolish choices.
Please pray for the people in China that they may hear the good news of God's love.
J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China
Blessed by God
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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.