By Mary Vee
Year: February 1870
Hudson Taylor: age 38
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
Still with the constant threats of riots and the dwindling supplies, our children did not receive the nourishment they needed.
The Chinese suffered as well with poor nutrition. Disease spread like fire.
Our five-year-old son, Samuel had stomach issues that caused him pain every time he ate or drank.
Maria and I sat down to discuss our children and their needs. We loved them so very much and wanted them near us, but knew if they stayed, they would all perish from the diseases. We prayed, then decided the best choice would be to send them back to England.
We chose our assistant, Emily, to be the children's escort. She too, needed a time to rest and heal after coming down with tuberculosis.
I rushed to Shanghai to book a passage for the March voyage for the children and Emily and hurried back. Only a day after I returned, my son, Samuel died.
After caring for his funeral, Maria and I hurried to get the other children ready for their voyage. She made clothes for them to wear in England, and I prepared three months of school work to occupy them on the ship. We set sail on a small junk on the river system toward Shanghai.
I hugged Maria as the ship pulled away. The children waved and wiped floods of tears from their faces. Sad, yet confident we did the best for our children, we journeyed back to the mission.
Time moved very slow.
We wanted to hear of the safe arrival of our children in England.
At last a letter arrived from the Bergers. Mrs. Berger said she didn't recognize the visitors at first but then looked at their Chinese shoes and immediately knew the children were ours. She welcomed them into her home, gave them food, and a warm place to stay.
Near the hottest part of the summer, Maria gave birth to our son. She wanted to name him Noel because it meant peace. Riots and disease continued to spread without control in the area. Having this new little boy with the name Noel meant so much to us.
After his birth, Maria became sick with cholera and was unable to feed little Noel. We found someone else to feed him, but the little one still became quite sick. In July, Noel died. We buried him next to his brother, Samuel.
Maria's health improved a little before she had a relapse. The sweltering heat didn't help her illness. I stayed with her and did what I could to make her feel comfortable. I left the room to get a cup of tea and heard her call to me.
I walked into the room and saw her face in the candlelight. I knew then she would go to see Jesus shortly. She said, "You know, darling, that for ten years there has not been a cloud between me and my Saviour. I cannot be sorry to go to Him. But, it does grieve me to leave you alone at such a time. Yet…He will be with you and meet all your needs."
She asked for all our Chinese friends to come into the room and asked those who were unsaved to come to Jesus and meet her in heaven. She asked me to tell our children in England she loved them. She then wrapped her arm around my neck, and the other on my head. Her lips moved but no words came. She closed her eyes and fell asleep in Jesus arms.
I wiped my tears and utter a prayer, "Thank you Lord for giving me her and for the twelve and a half years of happiness we've had together. Thank you for taking her to Your own blessed presence. I dedicated myself anew to Your service."
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.
Please excuse the tear stains on this post.
J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
So Very Blessed by God
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.