By Mary Vee
Year: November 1873
Hudson Taylor: age 41
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
New missionaries were due to arrive anytime.
I had fought long and hard with the missionaries who refused to wear Chinese clothes to get them to cooperate and had failed. The training in England taught them the reasons why. We wanted the people to listen to our words. They wouldn't listen as long as we looked like foreigners.
Even with a signed statement saying they would wear Chinese clothes, several of the missionaries insisted on wearing their British clothes.
I didn't want the new arrivals to be greeted by men wearing English clothes. To help the new men and women understand the culture where they would be living, I hurried from a mission many miles away, along rough roads and over narrow mountain passes, often traveling by mountain chair. I had to be there when the ship docked.
I hurried to a Chinese inn in Shanghai just before the ship arrived and rented a room with four beds, two chairs, and a table. Then prepared to greet them. I thought you might like to read what the new missionaries thought when he met me. The next words are from Fred Baller, our new missionary:
"We looked but could only see a Chinaman on a wheelbarrow coming toward us. The barrow stopped and a man stepped forward. It was good to have someone with us to do the introductions because we would have never recognized Mr. Taylor.
"The weather was cold. The man we saw had on a wadded Chinese gown and jacket. Over his head he wore a hood with flaps fitting close to his face. Only his nose, eyes and mouth showed.
"He held a huge Chinese umbrella keeping the handle forward like other Chinese men. With the bulky clothing the man looked as wide as he was long, and to our English eyes, he was the strangest fellow we'd ever set our eyes on.
"The man said he'd made arrangements for the ladies and Mr. Judd to stay with friends then turned to us men and asked if we wanted to walk with him to his hotel. We followed him through a slum area where lines of junks lined the river. We smelled trash, fish, vegetables and muck of all sorts. We followed Taylor to a what seemed to be a post office.
"Well, this is getting quite long, but I want to share more. I'll return at the next post to update you on the strange Chinaman named Hudson Taylor."
I hope you have made a picture in your mind of what our new missionary, Fred Baller, saw when I greeted him. Hah. The look on his face was pretty funny.
Please pray that God will help Mr. Baller to adjust quickly and be able to join in the work. Praise God for His blessings.
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