Monday, November 18, 2013

Hudson Taylor- No Food Left in the Cupboard

By Mary Vee
Year: August, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

God blessed by sending six men and one woman to serve as missionaries with us. We were so happy to have them join our work.

Our mission, China Inland Mission (CIM) had a person in charge at the London office, and I served as the administrator here in China.

Preaching the Good News to the Chinese, running the clinic, serving food to the hungry and training missionaries, these made up the core of my duties. There was no aspect of my work I didn't enjoy.

I must admit, though, I did wish to explore new places to plant churches. My experiences helped me to speak the language the best, but if I left the headquarters other missionaries would not be trained.

Several of the men prayed with me, searching for the right person in our group to send out and start a new church in Nanjing. George Duncan's name came to our attention. He not only had a reasonable grasp of the language, but his heart showed a deep desire to tell the Chinese about God's love.

George gathered supplies and left with two Chinese nationals who had joined our missionary group. I must admit I felt proud to see our group reaching deeper into China. We prayed with George before he left, asking God's blessings on the new work.

Nineteen days later George reached Nanjing and learned a difficult lesson in Chinese manners. The two Chinese missionaries who travelled with George went to the mayor to announce their arrival. The mayor responded by inviting George to lunch. George, naturally accepted. He didn't know the proper answer meant refusing with a thank you. 

The mayor didn't trust this new foreigner. He notified everyone in the town not to rent to the stranger. The two Chinese missionaries, however, rented a room. George had to sleep on the junk (a Chinese boat). The next day, the priest who lived in a tower had not heard the warning. He opened a loft room for George. Between the rats and the tiny space, George didn't sleep well.

Two weeks passed before the people in Nanjing realized George could be trusted, at least a little. He and the other two missionaries were allowed to rent a nice room from a carpenter. They also rented a room to use for a chapel.

I knew George would be running out of money soon. I wired him the needed funds. The bank close to him, however, closed and the second bank in town ran out of money. The wired funds were returned to me. 

George sent a note telling he needed money. In his note he said they would pray, asking God to provide a way to get the money to them. Days later, the three men ran out of food and money. "What should we do?" one asked George.

"Pray. God will provide for us." That day a man shared five dollars with George. This money gave them rice for a few days. 

While George condoned to pray, William Rudland unexpectedly arrived. He offered to take the money to Nanjing. Even with William's offer, George would have to wait many days for William to make the journey.

In Nanjing, George carefully managed the food they had, taking only what they absolutely needed to survive. They looked in the cupboard several days later and found it empty. He said to the other missionaries, "God will provide. Trust Him."

George went out that day and spoke with people in the city. He gave them tracts and told them about God. He invited them to a church service. By the end of the day, he'd become quite tired and hungry. 

George walked slowly back to his rented room. His stomach growled. As he rounded the corner to his street one of the missionaries ran out of the building saying, "Dinner is waiting for you. William Rudland arrived and he brought money."

There didn't seem to be a way to get the money to George. Yet, we all knew God had an answer and would take care of the three missionaries.

Great is God's faithfulness, O God, our Father.

Praise God for the servants He has sent to do the work here in China. All the Georges who serve God faithfully.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of need

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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