By Mary Vee
Year: May, 1866
Hudson Taylor: age 34
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
Stepping on to the shore of Shanghai brought a flood of memories. I was so different the first time I set my foot on Chinese soil, over twelve years ago.
This time the sea of people didn't concern me, I understood their words, and wore clothes like them. I didn't have my younger wild, untrained excitement, but I did have a comforted heart. I was home.
I tried to remember how I felt for my children's sake. All of them had been born in England. They survived the wild ship ride here, but surely felt exhausted with the time change, and the confusion.
Ours was an organized confusion. My wife and I had trained the missionaries and our children on the boat, preparing them for what we would do once we docked. Of course, our plans mixed together with a great mass of people buzzing around city streets and made our movements appear as confusion.
To help our bodies adapt, our team settled in Shanghai for two weeks before setting out for the real journey. We dressed like the Chinese, changed everyone's hairstyles to match as close as possible, and ate like those in Shanghai.
The new mission I served under had a focus. Our assignment: go to the inland cities and villages, to the people who had not heard about God's love. The moment we stepped on the river boat to take us deep into the country, I felt a thrill in my heart. Previously we could only set up missions in the port cities. At long last we sailed for the land I'd only seen on a map.
We chose a large inland city as our destination to set up a base. From there we planned to go out to small villages. Hangchow bustled with many people. We found some missionaries there, but due to the size of the city, many more missionaries were needed to help. Those working there welcomed us warmly and showed us around.
First on my list, rent a home for the twenty-two people in our new missionary team, four of which were my children. To my great surprise, God had the most spectacular house waiting for us.
Before the war, the Mandarin, (governor of the city) had a special home with many rooms, floors, and wings. Due to the fighting, the house needed many repairs, too many for a Mandarin. He moved out.
In the past, I had difficulty finding housing. The Chinese people didn't like to rent to foreigners. Perhaps I surprised the owner when I spoke his language and worked with him to agree on a price.
The former Mandarin's home gave us everything we needed and more. Separate sleeping wings for unmarried men and women on the upper floors and downstairs had plenty of room for a chapel, doctor's office, printing office, guest hall, dining room, and servant's quarters.
Can you imagine how excited we felt? I never expected, in all my dreams of going to inland China, to have such a large place to house our first team. The children had plenty of room to play and we had all we needed and more to begin a new ministry, in inland China.
China Inland Mission not only had a base in England for administrative duties, we now had a base in Inland China--in a palace!
Please pray for us as we set up our base in Hangchow, China and seek God's will where to go next.
J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God
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.