Monday, July 22, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Walking the Streets of London in Chinese Clothes

By Mary Vee
Year: July, 1861 
Hudson Taylor: age 29

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

The ship landed in England. Maria, baby Grace, my friend, Wang Laedjun, and I boarded the first train to my parents home. I never felt happier to set my feet on firm dry ground. 

We walked from the station to the house, Wang carrying baby Grace for us. As a reminder, the only reason Maria and I returned to London was to regain our strength after contracting serious illnesses. We fully intend to return to China.

I suppose we looked like quite the odd parade walking the streets of London with one Chinese man carrying an English baby dressed in simple clothes, Maria wearing her missionary dress, and I in Chinese clothing with my hair shaved and one braid falling down my back. What can I say, I never expected to come back to London and had long ago given away my English clothes.

We came to the sidewalk before my parents house and watched the door fling open before we'd even knocked. "Hudson! Oh and this must be Maria. Hello, dear! And, oh, come look everyone, baby Grace is here!" 

Fortunately, Grace enjoyed being handed from one person to another. She giggled at the attention and silly noises made by the adults. "Hudson, this baby's clothes are not fitting for a Taylor." I didn't have chance to say a word before mother whisked the little one upstairs to most likely dress her in clothes fitting a Taylor.

Maria received much the same welcome, having been escorted to the upper level to refresh herself and to put on a proper lady's dress. 

"Dr. Parker told us you were coming. We have everything prepared. I gather you are very tired. I see you have a guest. What is his name?"

"This is Wang. He came to help me continue our work. We plan to translate a hymnal and a New Testament into his language, Ningbo."

Wang bowed. The whole household, even Louisa smiled and warmly welcomed Wang into the house.

I'm sure everything seemed quite strange to Wang, but to me the smells and sights stirred my heart. It sure was nice to come home for a visit. Due to the difference in time and our poor health, Wang, Maria and I slept late into the next day.  As for baby Grace, well, I didn't need to worry about her in a household that hadn't seen a baby for a while.

After we rest, Wang and I plan go to the mission, meet the gracious Mr. Berger, the man who sent money to China for our support, and thank him. We will also search for supporters for the Ningbo hymnal and New Testament. Imagine returning to China with a hymnal and New Testament in a language the people can read. I am so excited.

I never would have planned this trip home, but God knew of the need for translation and sent us here. Praise be to God, the one who knows what we need before we ask.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China home, in England
Blessed by God

Photo courtesy of

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.

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