By Mary Vee
Year: February, 1867
Hudson Taylor: age 35
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
Our team suffered greatly. Stephen Barchet came down with smallpox. We tried to isolate him once we determined his illness, but failed.
John Sell suffered the pox next. He seemed to recover and asked to go to Hangzhou to bring his fiance to the compound. On the way back, he died.
Josiah Jackson also suffered from the pox, but recovered.
The heat brought disagreements among the missionaries, it was silly bickering that wouldn't resolve.
I knew they all needed a vacation.
I arranged for the group to vacation in the hills six miles away. The weather was cooler, helping those who were ill to rest.
While there I sat on the grass with my little daughter, Grace. She twirled around hillside and laughed. What a refreshing delight she was to me. While playing, she saw a man making an idol. "Daddy, look!" She grabbed my hand and tugged. "That man is making an idol. He needs to learn about Jesus."
I stood, with her help (as much as a young girl could offer), and took her hand. "Come with me, Grace."
We walked to the idol maker and started up a conversation. I watched him form the figure and told him about the love of a God who can not be confined to a statue. He asked me several questions and I answered him. He didn't ask Jesus to be his savior, but I am convinced he listened. Perhaps in time he will understand the words I shared.
Grace listened to the whole conversation with a pleading look on her face. We walked back to the grass where we played earlier. She plopped on the grass next to me and brought her little face inches from mine. "Daddy, we need to pray for that man."
We sang a hymn together first. I pulled her bangs back from her eyes and smiled. "Would you like to pray?" She did. Her prayer touched the core of my soul How she prayed on the behalf of the idol maker for his salvation. She continued her prayer asking for God to have mercy on the Chinese people. She closed her prayer asking God to strengthen her daddy as he preached to the people. I cannot describe the joy in my heart over the words of this dear child.
Gracie came down with a terrible headache and a high fever. I tested her and found she had meningitis.
On August 15th I wrote those in England, spilling my heart on the page to tell them my sweet Gracie was dying. Her symptoms worsened into pneumonia. Despite our prayers, Gracie's health continued to worsen.
I took Maria aside to a room where we could be alone. "She isn't getting any better. I fear, God is going to take her home." We cried, arm in arm, and gave back to God our precious jewel to take care of until we could see her again.
At ten minutes before nine o'clock in the evening, my sweet little Gracie took her last breath.
I wrote in a letter to Mr. Berger in England: 'Beloved brother, the Lord has taken our sweet little Gracie to blossom in the purer atmosphere of his own presence. Our hearts bleed; but our Jesus has done all things well.'
We buried sweet Gracie in China, among the people she loved. She wore her Chinese dress and held a flower.
Sickness attacks all people at one time or another. Some to the point of death. Maria and I are grateful our little Gracie lived her life among the Chinese people and share with them her love for God.
J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of trial
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.