Monday, August 5, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Holding Down the Work in China

By Mary Vee
Year: July, 1862-63 
Hudson Taylor: age 30-31

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

I had often told you of my desire for five new missionaries to go to China to continue the work while I recovered from my illness here in England. 

There would be hardship for those who go, but there would also be reward.

Dr. Parker returned to China after marrying a second wife. The dear sweet lady fit in quite well, willing to be a missionary to China with her husband.

My father asked a friend, James Meadow to consider going to China as a missionary. His first response, "Of course I'll go," and then he asked to pray about his decision to have the Lord's blessing.

He did as he said, spending the entire night in prayer, and felt a firm leading from God to go to China. James was engaged to Martha. They talked about going to China together and she agreed. They held their wedding ceremony then prepared to go to Ningbo.

James and Martha did not have the funds to pay for their travel. No one expected them to raise so much by themselves. Before anyone asked, Mr. Berger, the godly man who had so often sent me money, had once again reserved cabins on a ship heading to China for anyone interested in going as a missionary. James and Martha hurried to pack their belongings and boarded the boat.

Maria and I purchased the necessities we knew they would need and gave them the gifts at a going away party we threw for them. 

A weekly Saturday prayer meeting was established at 1 Beaumont Street in England the day they left.

The rest I report to you based on letters received from James. 

Their ship ran into war torn waters in China. Not the best greeting for a first time missionary. I remember my first days in Shanghai. Lost, unable to speak the language, and looking so different from everyone standing around me. I understand completely how James felt. 

James and Martha set up their ministry in Ningbo in the same neighborhood I had worked. Troubles began immediately when other missionaries in nearby areas teased them for their differences. James had been trained as a Methodist and knew his Bible well. But others criticized him for religious differences. This on top of seeing a great need and not being able to speak the language wore heavily on his heart. How I wish I could go there to comfort him.

December of 1862 brought sad news for us. Dr. and Mrs. Parker's infant child died and my co-worker, Mr. Jones became quite ill. He planned to return to England to receive needed medicines and rest. 

Shortly after, Dr. Parker died in a fatal accident, leaving his new wife alone in China. The people of Ningbo had loved him so much they gave him a grand funeral. 

Two days later Mr. Jone's family left for England to give him a chance to overcome his illness. Unfortunately, he died while on the ship.

I know, such bad news. Missionary life is not easy. We go to foreign countries where we are not use to the diseases, try our best to stay healthy, but sometimes fail. 

This also happened to James. He became very ill with chicken pox, which most adults do not catch. He suffered terribly. His wife, Martha, who was in her eighth month of pregnancy, moved in with Mrs. Parker to keep from catching his disease. Their son was born June, 1863.

Although more missionaries went to help, we lost some who stayed behind to do the work. 

Oh, Lord, how will we help the people of China if we continue to get ill?

Please pray for the health of all the missionaries of the world that they may have the strength to carry out the work God has called them to do.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--home, in England--wishing I could be in China
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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