Monday, December 30, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Grave Danger

By Mary Vee
Year: September, 1868 
Hudson Taylor: age 36

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes



photo courtesy

Since two weeks have passed I have included the portion of my story from where I left off two weeks ago then continued the telling of this event..

"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.

Rather than hiding in the fields where rats and other creatures could attack during the night, George Duncan and I took our chances, praying every step we ran for God's protection.

We came to the streets of the city and ran with all our strength toward the Prefector's home. The mob spotted us immediately, gathered their bricks and stones, and hurled them at us. We ran faster, but the mob closed in on us. 

With only feet left to run before reaching the gate our hearts sank as the gatekeeper look at the mob, panicked and ordered the other guard to help him shut the doors. We continued to run, hoping we could reach the gate before they pushed the bar in place.

Bricks and stones struck us in the back and legs. We pumped our arms to keep ahead of them, but just as we touched the gate the mob crashed into us, knocking the gate open. The pressure from the angry group lunged us forward.

We leaped to our feet and ran to the judgment hall crying, "Kiu-ming! Kiu-ming", which means save life. Save life. 

The Chinese custom states when anyone cries these words, the mandarin must listen to what the person has to say at any time of the day or night. To our relieve the guards escorted us to the secretary's office and told to wait to be seen. 

As we waited the forty-five minutes our hearts cried out to the Lord for those still at the house.  We could hear the mob's shouts even though they were a mile away. The door opened and we were taken inside a room where the Mandarin sat.

He squinted and scowled. "What have you done with our babies? Did you kidnap them?"

I could not answer his questions at this time. The longer he delayed any action against the mob the greater the danger for our loved ones. I bowed and stepped forward. "This is your fault. Had you taken action when we first asked, the problem would have been easy to solve. Now the mob is out of control. Our families must be saved before we answer any of your questions.

He nodded. "Yes I see. Calm the mob then ask questions. I agree." He stood and walked toward the door. "Stay here. I can do no good unless you are out of sight."

As he left the room, George and I prayed for our families and the other missionaries in the house under attack by the mob. I must admit. I am quite concerned.


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.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Elisha-Ben-Hadad Attacks Again

By Mary Vee
II Kings 6

As you read of this event, keep in mind, this king of Israel did not worship the one true God.


From the King of Israel's Scrolls

Photo Courtesy
This morning, I woke to terrible news. Ben-Hadad, king of Aram had marched his army here, to Samaria, and surrounded the city. They set up their camp and prepared for a siege. 

Unbelievable.

Naaman, the captain of his army had leprosy and came to us for help. He went to the prophet Elisha's house and spoke with him. The Lord healed the man. Why is Ben-Hadad attacking after we helped him?

Oh, I know Ben-Hadad's battle plan, all right. He'll stay camped out there, not doing a thing. All he has to do is make sure we can't get out and no one comes in to the city. As a result, we will not be able to get our food supplies replenished. He'll starve us to death them knock down the gate and take the plunder.

Each morning since Ben-Hadad arrived, I went to the city wall and looked out at the terrible sight. A sea of tents filled the valley. Not that I expected to see anything different. But I had hoped something would happen. A month had passed.

Food became scarce for us. Prices for a small handful of food became too expensive for even the wealthy people. Men and women in the city became angry. They had no place to go to find any food. We couldn't even search the fields or woods because we couldn't get out of the city.

A woman came to me and cried. "Help me, my lord the king!"

I asked her what she wanted. She told me about a dispute with her neighbor. So terrible were her words I tore my robe. I didn't realize what the people were doing and what they were willing to eat. This had to be Elisha's fault. Why hadn't he asked God to save us?

Rage boiled in my veins as my stomach growled. I paced like a hungry lion.

The only one who could do anything was Elisha. I called for a messenger. We he arrived I ordered him to, "Go to Elisha and tell him we are starving. If he will do nothing about this problem, I will drag him here and put him to death."

The messenger left, running toward Elisha's house.

Outside the city gate, men suffering from leprosy called up. "Please, please have mercy. Give us a crumb of bread!"

I couldn't help them. We didn't have food to give. And if I did have food, I would eat it myself, first.


Come back next time to see what Elisha, the servant of God does.

*************************

1. Who came to attack Samaria.
2. Samaria was the home for the king of _________.
3. What was the problem in the city?
4. What did the king decide to do?
5. Why couldn't the people get out of the city?
6. What did the men with leprosy want?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Jesus

By Mary Vee






Today is a day to sing happy birthday to Jesus. 

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday dear Jesus,
Happy birthday to you.



So many of us have heard the Christmas story in plays, and school/church music programs. This time, please take the time to read the words and think about what God has done for us.





From Luke chapter 2 and Matthew chapter 2


The Birth of Jesus
Photo Courtesy
At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancĂ©e, who was now obviously pregnant.
And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.



The Shepherds and Angels
Photo courtesy
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”
Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,
“Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”

When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”
They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger. After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child. All who heard the shepherds’ story were astonished, but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often. The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen. It was just as the angel had told them.

The Wise Men from the East
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the reign of King Herod. About that time some wise men from eastern lands arrived in Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him.”
Photo Courtesy
King Herod was deeply disturbed when he heard this, as was everyone in Jerusalem. He called a meeting of the leading priests and teachers of religious law and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they said, “for this is what the prophet wrote:
‘And you, O Bethlehem in the land of Judah, are not least among the ruling cities of Judah, for a ruler will come from you who will be the shepherd for my people Israel.’”

Then Herod called for a private meeting with the wise men, and he learned from them the time when the star first appeared. Then he told them, “Go to Bethlehem and search carefully for the child. And when you find him, come back and tell me so that I can go and worship him, too!”
After this interview the wise men went their way. And the star they had seen in the east guided them to Bethlehem. It went ahead of them and stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy! They entered the house and saw the child with his mother, Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasure chests and gave him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
When it was time to leave, they returned to their own country by another route, for God had warned them in a dream not to return to Herod.

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
AND
THANK YOU, GOD, FOR SENDING US YOUR SON

Monday, December 23, 2013

Hudson Taylor- The Sweet Bliss of Christmas

By Mary Vee
Year:  1868 
Hudson Taylor: age 36

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
A Special Christmas in China


Photo Courtesy

The wise men traveled from the east to find the Christ child.

We, the China Inland missionaries, had travelled from the United Kingdom to the west to bring news of the Christ child to the people living in the east.






We celebrated the birth of the Jesus, God's one and only Son, together in the main building. Gathered around meager furnishings of simple benches, a slab of wood balanced across two supports for a table, and bowls of rice with chopsticks we ate and sang praises to God. Thankful. Joyful. Blessed.

Most of the children in our compound had not seen an English Christmas. We didn't even have a Christmas tree. Yet we all experienced a wonderful joy living in China and sharing God's love with those who had never heard about Him.

The gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh presented to Jesus by the wise men represented an offering of great wealth and sacrifice.

The gift we bring the people of China, news of God's love and gift of salvation, is one of great wealth and sacrifice. God spared no expense to give His gift of salvation to all who would accept it.   

While we sit here in China, we think of you and pray that you, too, have already accepted God's gift.  If you would like more information about God's gift of salvation, you can speak to your local church or email our missionary, Mary Vee.


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.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Elisha:Gehazi's Greed + Lies = Trouble

By Mary Vee
II Kings 5

From Gehazi's Journals


Photo courtesy
Naaman, the Armean commander healed of leprosy, left Elisha's house a while ago. I couldn't stop thinking about all the marvelous gifts he wanted to give Elisha.

I'm not exactly sure why my master refused the gifts. He said something about the Lord healing Naaman. I understand that. Still, when someone offers valuable gifts, one should accept them. It's only polite

Think of all he could have done with the money and clothes he would have received. Even if he didn't want them he could have given them to someone else. Maybe even me.

The thoughts swirled around in my head, driving me crazy. Poor Naaman only wanted to show his appreciation. What could be wrong with that? I had to do something. A great plan came to mind. I'd run to catch up with Naaman and those traveling with him and make up a story. If Elisha won't take the gifts, I will. 

When the time came for my outdoor chores, I turned to the road and ran in the direction Naaman traveled. The sun moved across the sky before I finally caught up with him. Not long after, I had them in sight. His group halted their horses and waited for me to catch up.

Naaman stepped down from his fancy chariot. "You are Elisha servant, right?"

"Yes, my lord."

"Is everything all right?"

"Yes." I inhaled a few times to catch my breath. "My master sent me to say 'Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two sets of clothing.'"

Naaman's eyebrows rose. "By all means. Here take two talents." He tied the talents into two bags and ordered his men to give me two sets of clothing. His servants selected two pieces of clothing and walked ahead of me carrying them. 

I appreciated the servants carrying the clothing, but I didn't want Elisha to see. When we came to the top of the hill, I took the things from the servants, put them away in the house, and dismissed the servants.

I went back into the house and found Elisha standing there.

He had a suspicious look in his eyes. "Where have you been, Gehazi?"

I kept a serious look on my face. "I didn't go anywhere."

Elisha stroke his beard and leaned on his cane. "Wasn't my spirit with you when Naaman got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time we should accept gifts of money, clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or servants? 

I couldn't figure how he knew all of this.

Elisha stared deeply into my eyes. He knew all that I had done! 

"Because you went to Naaman and took the gifts, his leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever." Elisha looked away.

I had hoped he wasn't serious, after all Naaman offered the gifts. 

I walked away from him and looked down at my hands. My skin had turned white as snow. I had leprosy.

************************************************************

1. What did Gehazi stew about after Naaman left?
2. Why hadn't Elisha accepted the gifts from Naaman?
3. What did Gehazi decide to do?
4. What did Naaman do when Gehazi told the lies? (Naaman did not know Gehazi lied)
5. What did Gehazi do when the servants reached the hill?
6. Where did Gehazi put the things received from Naaman?
7. What did Elisha ask Gehazi?
8. What did Elisha know ahead of time?
9. What punishment did Gehazi receive?





Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Elisha: Naaman Thanks Elisha

By Mary Vee
II Kings 5

From Naaman's Journals

Photo Courtesy
My head poked through the muddy Jordan waters and I took a breath. 

The servants cheered. At first I didn't know why. I wiped the water dripping from my head into my eyes. The skin from my hands felt soft, like a little boy's skin. I quickly looked at my arms, my legs, my chest. I had been healed!

I hurried from the water and put on my robe. "We must go back to the prophet's house at once." A commander generally doesn't dance about, laughing and acting like a child, but how could I not? I had been healed from leprosy!

The chariots raced through the fields and city streets. "Hurry, I must get to the prophet and thank him right away."

My joy overwhelmed me so much I could barely speak. The horses stopped in front of Elisha, the prophet's house. I leaped to the ground and rushed to the door. "No need, to knock for me," I commanded my servant. "I want to do this myself."

The door opened, and this time Elisha stood at the door. His beard draped past his neck and he held a cane. I bowed to the man of God. "Sir, now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel." I took a deep breath, so grateful for what God had done for me. "Please, accept a gift, for I am your servant."

The prophet closed his eyes for a moment. He shook his head and said, "As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing."

"Please, I only wish to thank you for your kindness."

"I cannot. The Lord is the one deserving of your kindness, not me."

I didn't want to forget this moment, nor to let my gratefulness disappear. I looked at the ground and said, "If you will not accept my gifts, please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry. I will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord."

He nodded his approval. 

Then I remembered something. An issue that could cause a problem. "May the Lord forgive me, your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm causing me to bow with him, may the Lord forgive me for this. I am sincere, I will only worship the God who saved me from now on."

The prophet nodded again and said, "Go in peace."

I left with more than peace in my heart. I had joy. I couldn't wait to show my commander what God had done for me. My skin--my leprosy had been healed by God.


************************************************************

1. Where was Naaman healed?
2. Where did he go right away?
3. What did Naaman offer Elisha?
4. Why did Elisha refuse it?
5. What concerned Naaman?
6. What did Elisha tell Naaman about the concern?
7. Did Naaman leave a gift?
8. Who healed Naaman?





Monday, December 16, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Forging in Inland China

By Mary Vee
Year: September, 1868 
Hudson Taylor: age 36

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes



photo courtesy


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.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Elisha-Namaan's Leprosy is Healed!

By Mary Vee
I Kings 5

From Naaman's Journals

Photo Courtesy
This whole plan seemed utterly ridiculous to me. I am a commander. The Israelite prophet didn't even step out his door to speak with me. Neither did he invite me into his house. I, the favored commander in the king of Aram's army was disregarded like a common simpleton.

Imagine. This prophet. What his name? Oh,yes. Elisha. The prophet Elisha sent a mere messenger to his door to give me instructions to go to the Jordan river and wash seven times. I deserved better treatment. 

He expected me to go to the muddy waters of the Jordan and wash? Can anything be cleaned in the Jordan? I think not. 

"Commander?" My servant, who walked beside my horse, shaded his eyes from the sun as he looked in my direction. 

"Speak. Make it quick." I didn't feel like listening to his words, but granted permission anyway.

"My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? And now, how much easier could it be, when he tells you to simply go to the Jordan, 'Wash and be cleansed'!" The servant kept his eyes fixed on me for a short time before looking back to the ground.

He had a good point. When I left my home I stood prepared to do anything, pay any price, offer my service, all in exchange to have the leprosy cured. The Israelite prophet only asked me to bathe in the muddy waters of Jordan. What could it hurt?

"Head for the river Jordan." All the horses and chariots turned on the road leading to the river. At the river banks I dismounted and stepped on the sandy shore. The cool waters touched my feet.

My servants assisted me as I stepped into the chilly waters. "Keep track of the number. I don't want to do this any more thank I have to."

"Yes, my lord." 

I bent my knees dipped my head below the mirky waters, unable to see anything. As I stood I rubbed my eyes and rubbed the cold water off my skin. There had been no change. 

I lowered myself under the water surface again, and again, listening to my servant keep count and wiping the sediment from my skin. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six. Seven. 

The water dripped from my skin into the river as I stood. "Master. Your skin!"

I didn't know what they saw. I felt a difference on my skin, but still needed to wipe the water from my eyes. 

"Take my hand," my servant called. "I'll help you to shore."

I rubbed my eyes then reached for his hand. That was when I saw the difference. The skin on my arm no longer had the disease. I inspected my other arm. It, too, appeared pure. "Look!"

My servant pulled me to the shore. "I see, master. The leprosy has left you. Your arms and legs have the skin of a young boy."

Now, normally I would not dance about like a child over something good that happens. I am, after all a commander and must behave accordingly. This time, though, I could not contain myself. I danced about, showing the cleansed skin from my arms to every man with me. For the first time in quite a while--I laughed.

"The prophet of Israel spoke the truth." I said in my merriment. "His God has healed me! Come, we must return to the prophet's house at once and thank him."

Come back next time to read what happened at Elisha's house.

************************************************************

1. What did Naaman think of Elisha's plan?
2. What did he feel he could think this way?
3. What did his servant tell him?
4. Why did Naaman change his mind?
5. What happened at the river Jordan?
6. After the seventh time Naaman dipped into the water, he saw_________
7. What did Naaman decide to do next?







Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Elisha: Naaman is Insulted

By Mary Vee
II Kings 5

From A Messenger's Journal

Photo Courtesy
The king of Israel was outraged. 

He sent me to Elisha's home with a message complaining about a commander from the army of Aram. 

Elisha invited me into the house. "What news do you have?"

I bowed to him in respect and said, "Naaman, commander of the Armean army, brought a letter from his master asking the king of Israel to heal Naaman's leprosy. The king was furious, he tore his clothes and screamed, 'Am I God? Why did the king of Aram send this man to me to be cured of leprosy? He's obviously trying to pick a fight.'"

Elisha sighed. "Go back to the king and give him this message, 'Why do you tear your robe? Send the man to me so that he will know there is a prophet in Israel.'"

I ran back to the king, excited to give the message. This would please the king of Israel and ease his anger.

The gatekeeper allowed me through the palace door without questions. I hurried to the king's chamber and requested to deliver my report.

The king waved his hand, allowing me to enter his chamber. "What did Elisha say?"

I repeated Elisha's message and was happy to see the king smile. 

He turned to his guard. "Send for Naaman."

Naaman and the men with him arrived soon after, bowed before the king, and stepped into his chambers. "You called for us?"

"Yes. You are to go to the prophet Elisha's home. He will care for your problem. This messenger will lead the way." He pointed to me.  "Go at once."

I led the commander from the palace, through the city, and on the road to Elisha's house. Naaman had his horses and chariots, he appeared rather official and important. I felt honored to lead his party.

We stopped in front of Elisha's house. "This is the home you seek." 

Naaman dismounted and walked to the door. Before he knocked a messenger opened the door. "Naaman, commander of king Aram's arm?"

"Yes, I am. I wish to speak with Elisha the prophet."

"I have a message for you from Elisha. He says, 'Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan. Then your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed." The messenger closed the door.

Naaman's eyes widened. His face reddened. "Is that all?" he shouted. "I thought that he would surly come to to me. Stand beside me and call on the name of the Lord his God. Perhaps wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy." He balled his fist. "Aren't the Abana and Pharpar rivers near Damascus better than any of the waters in Israel.? Can't I simply wash in them and be cleansed?" 

He paced a few steps then shook his head. "Oh forget it. I should have know this wouldn't work." He mounted his horse, still red-faced and grumbling to himself.

Such a simple task for Naaman to do. I would have run to the river. 

Come back next time to find out what Naaman does.

***********************************************************************

1. Why was the king of Israel outraged?
2. What did he ask the messenger to do?
3. What message did Elisha send back to the king?
4. What all did Naaman have with him when he followed the messenger?
5. Who answered the door?
6. What message did Elisha give Naaman.
7. What did Naaman do?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Closing Shop for our Safety

By Mary Vee
Year: September, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes


photo courtesy

The best solution to learning the reason why two of our missionaries had been beaten in Huzhou was for me to pay a visit to the city officials. 

Maria and I decided to take our family and two female missionaries on this fact finding mission. We all dressed in our best Chinese clothing to show our respect. The women and children boarded a slower sailing ship while I boarded  a power boat. In addition to our official paperwork granting permission to travel, I packed my shotgun.

Our first stop was the home where the missionaries had paid a deposit for their rental. The landlord came to the door and bowed. "Come inside."

He showed us where to sit. "I have come regarding the money we paid to rent this house."

"Yes." He nodded. "You must understand there has been a great uprising in my city because of your missionaries. I don't want my house ruined in future riots. If you provide papers showing assurances this home will be protected, I will let you and the other missionaries move in."

"I will see what I can do," I said.

"This is the month of December. You realize many merchants come to Huzhou and get drunk with the money they make. There are many riots. I am sorry to say, but sometimes the fighting is so bad the mandarin has been pulled off his sadan chair and severely beaten. I don't think you will find the help you need from the government."

"I see. Thank you for your help."

We went to the city official's home next. There we learned men from the educational class, Buddhist and Taoist scholars started the riots. They didn't want their people to listen and learn about any other teachings. Foreigners brought in ideas of the steam engine and the telegraph. This bothered those who loved the old way of doing things. 

Missionaries bringing information about Christianity upset the educational class as well. The teachings show justice for all groups of people. If the Chinese listen and follow the ways of God, they would no longer be under the control of the educational class.

Riots sprang from the streets to beat and chase away all Westerners, whether they had the proper traveling permits or not.

My wife, the other missionaries, and I talked about the situation and decided this was not the time to start a church in Huzhou. We planned to visit again next year and prayed God would open a door allowing us to tell the citizens about God's love.

We returned to our base camp in Hangzhou. I found several messages and letters on my desk when I returned. One piece of great news, new missionaries left London and would arrive by Christmas. In addition to the coming Christmas celebrations William Rudland and his fiancĂ©, Mary, would be married. 

What a joyful way to finish the year.

Our mission survived many trials this year and learned many new ways to survive here in China. I can't wait to see how God will lead this work in the new year, 1868.

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.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Elisha- Naaman has Leprosy

By Mary Vee
II Kings 5

From A Servant in the house of Naaman's House Journal

photo courtesy
My master, Naaman, is the commander of the king's army in Aram. He is considered great and is highly regarded because of the many victories over our enemies. Naaman is also a valiant soldier. So many of the soldiers look up to him. Unfortunately he has leprosy.

During one of our army's raids, a soldier brought back a young Israelite girl to serve Naaman's wife. The girl heard about the master's leprosy and said to her mistress, "I have a suggestion for my master."

"What is it, girl. Tell me what you know."

"If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria. He would cure him of his leprosy."

"Is that so?"

"Yes, ma'am."

The mistress wrote a message and asked me to give it to Naaman, telling him about the prophet who could help cure his leprosy. 

Naaman read the note and asked me, "She knows of a prophet that can help me?"

"Yes, my lord."

"Then I want you to go with me to visit my master."

We travelled to his master's house and asked permission to speak with him.

"Naaman! How can I help you?"

"I have a request. A new servant girl in my home said there is a prophet from Israel who can rid me of leprosy."

"That's good news. Hurry, don't wait another moment and be sure to do all he says. I need you well. I'll send a letter to the king of Israel to help grant you an audience with the prophet. Here, take ten talents of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing with you to give to the prophet."

The king told his scribe to write: With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of leprosy."

Naaman bowed. "Thank you, my lord. I will take these things and do as you've said."

We left immediately for the castle in Samaria to speak with the king of Israel. Naaman walked as though with a happy spring to his step. He actually told a few jokes, laughing with us.

It didn't take too long for us to arrive and request an audience with the king. He handed the king the letter from the king of Aram.

The scribe read the words to the king. The king nearly fell out of his chair. "What! Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this man send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!"

We didn't expect the king to become angry. All we wanted was to speak with the prophet who could cure my master. We've had our battles, and of course we've won. Still, the king didn't need to get so upset.

We waited to see what would happen next. I'll keep you posted.

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1. Naaman was the __________________
2. A little servant girl told Naaman's wife _________________
3. Naaman asked his master for permission to _____________________
4. Naaman took some men and went to see ______________________
5. Why was the king of Israel so upset? __________________________

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Elisha-The Woman Asked, God Supplied

By Mary Vee
II Kings 8

From the Shunammite Woman's Diary


Seven years passed before we'd received word the famine had ended in our home town. 

I was really excited about returning to my house. My neighbors would be returning from wherever they fled. We could celebrate, plant our gardens, and get back to our normal lives. My son, now old enough to help, helped me pack our belongings on a donkey. 

We walked all the long way back. Tears welled when I saw my home. Finally home.

A guard stopped us shortly before we reached our home. "You must first ask the king to reclaim your land."

I have experienced many trials in my life, but this would be a tragedy if the king did not allow me to reclaim my land. I had to be strong, for the sake of my son.

We went to the palace at the time when the people had permission to go before the king. I stood in line.

When my turn came, I overheard Elisha's servant, Gehazi speaking to the king. The king asked him, "Tell me about all the great things Elisha has done."

I knew many miracles Elisha had done in the service of the Lord and would have gladly answered for him. 

Gehazi answered, "There was a woman whose son had died. She came to Elisha asking his help. Elisha followed her to her house and went to the boy's room. He prayed asking God to restore the boy's life. Later Elisha came out of the room carrying the boy. He handed the boy to his mother. His young eyes opened and he asked for food.

Gehazi had told the king my story! I stepped forward. "Excuse me."

Gehazi turned and smiled. "This, your majesty is the woman, and there is her son beside her."

The king gave me permission to approach his throne. "Tell me, what happened with your son."

I told him the entire story beginning with Elisha's visit, my husband building a room on our roof for Elisha, the Lord granting us a son, his illness, death, and Elisha's prayers to God. "This here is my son. The event I spoke of happened seven years ago. We fled as Elisha advised to avoid the famine and have returned to reclaim our land."

The king called to one of his officials. "Take this woman's case. Give her back everything that belonged to her, including all the money earned from her land from the day she left the country until now."

"Thank you, king." I bowed. Truly I never expected to receive the money. I didn't even know for sure if I'd receive my land. The Lord has given back to me more than a hundred fold for the little we spent to host Elisha. 

We left the official's chambers soon after and returned to our house. Yes. Our house. Thank you God for placing Gehazi in the king's chambers at the exact moment needed. Thank you for taking care of us.

***************************************************************

photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com

1. Why did the Shunammite woman return to her land?
2. What did she find out when she returned?
3. Who was meeting with the king when she stood in line?
4. What did the king ask her?
5. What did the king give her?

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hudson Taylor-A Frightening Day


By Mary Vee
Year: September, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes


photo courtesy
There are those events that can frighten missionaries. Sure we are suppose to call on the name of the Lord for protection, and we do, but we cry and become concerned like you.

Last week I wrote about our missionaries whom we sent to Huzhou. James became sick with malaria and had to return to our base. John McCarthy took his place. He worked with the two Chinese missionaries, Liu and Yi. 

As they walked through the city Yi had been attacked. Liu called for the police. The officer lent no help, instead he allowed the crowd to beat Yi until they left, thinking he was dead.

John ran to Yi. As a strong and large man, he lifted Yi and carried him back to their boat. He wrote a note explaining what happened and put it in Yi's pocket then paid the boatman to take Yi back to our base camp where we could take care of him.

The day Yi finally woke he looked around the room. "Where am I? Where is John and Liu?" His eyes grew wild. "Are they dead?"

I rushed to his side, despite my severe illness, and put my hand on his arm. "You're back at the base camp. John and Liu are fine. 

Now that he awoke, Yi could be left in the care of the others at the base. I left my sick bed and dressed in my finest Chinese clothes. Carl Kreyer, the missionary who only wears English clothes went with me. I hired a sedan chair to carry us to visit the city rulers. With me, I carried a formal letter of complaint. 

After reading the letter, the rulers allowed our visit. They had to. The people of Huzhou violated  the treaty made with Britain which said foreigners could freely travel in China. The rulers said they would address the issue. 

I couldn't do anything else about the issue. I returned home, and Carl went to Huzhou to help John. He took with him another Chinese missionary to replace Yi.

Sadly, only a day or so after Carl left, Liu arrived at the base. He too had been beaten by the people in Huzhou. Liu said, "They wrapped a huge weight around my neck and pushed me toward the river. The Almighty saved my life by sending a kind Chinese man who made them stop. He put me on the boat and ordered the boatsman to take me back here.

I received news several days later stating several innocent officials had been charged with abusing Yi and Liu. They received severe punishments. The one responsible, escaped any justice. 

Jesus had said when situations like this arise, we should take off our sandal, blow the dust and leave the city to receive it's own judgement. For now, I called John and Carl back to the base camp to keep them and our Chinese missionaries safe.

I will go to the city myself to see what the problem is as soon as I am well enough. 


Come back next time to see if we are able to set up a mission for the people of Huzhou.



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.