By Mary Vee
Year: September, 1868
Hudson Taylor: age 36
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
The Lord blessed our mission compound by adding new missionaries. Several arrived recently from the UK and, to our great delight, several new babies had been born.
We rented a second home for the married couples and still found the two facilities cramped. We all sensed God leading us to move forward and open new mission bases in inland China.
We chose one city, but after visiting the officials decided we would not be safe. After several mistakes, we'd learned the ways to begin ministries without offending the people, or so we thought.
We chose to set up a mission in Yangchow. After receiving permission and promises for protection we rented a large home and were careful to follow all the rules.
The citizens of Yanchow seemed pleased to have us. We opened the home for the people to come in and inspect. This way they would know we weren't hide anything and definitely would not pose any threat.
It didn't take long for the educated group from the town to become upset. They didn't like their loyal followers listening to the words of the missionaries. The men distributed pamphlets filled with lies about us saying we harmed and even killed people. My heart was broken.
The number of citizens attending our meetings decreased and threats grew. Mobs sat outside out gates waiting for us to walk toward the streets. They yelled, threw stones, and threatened to burn down the house. We had to barricade the gate.
I wrote to the Prefect (the man in charge of Yangchow) and begged for his protection against the illegal activity. He wrote me back saying he couldn't do anything about it since the problems only happened at night when no one could witness the problem.
The next Sunday and Tuesday, someone nailed posters to the gate threatening to burn down our home and anyone still inside. We had thirteen missionaries and nineteen Christian Chinese living there.
We prayed all night, asking God to intercede. Thankfully a heavy rainstorm came, lasting several days.
The next Saturday, two American diplomats toured the city. They wore typical American clothes. As soon as they left, a terrible rumor rage throughout the city accusing the foreigners of kidnapping twenty-four children from the city.
Since we, too, were foreigners, the people took their anger out on us. That night the angry crowd met at the gate, armed with weapons. They threw chunks of brick at the house.
Clearly our written letter didn't accomplish anything from the Prefector. George Duncan agreed to go with me to the prefector's office to ask for help. Before we left all the missionaries in the home gathered for a time of prayer, asking for God's protection.
We dressed in common Chinese clothes, hoping to slip through the crowd. We went out the back way and knocked on the neighbor's door. "Please, let us leave through your home."
The kind neighbors helped us sneak out their door. We tried to walk casually down the street to not be discovered.
"There they are!" Someone from the mob shouted.
We ran the race of our lives through the streets .... I remembered a different route and led George through some fields. Thanks to the darkening skies, we weren't noticed. Unfortunately, we had to eventually return to the main streets to get to the Prefector's house.
Oh dear, this story is long and I am out of breath from running. I will need to finish it next week.
Please pray for us as we grown our ministry and share God's love to the people in China.
Merry Christmas to you and may your New Year be filled with God's blessings.
J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of torment
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.