By Mary Vee
Year: June 1873
Hudson Taylor: age 42
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
The ministry had been spreading widely throughout China. New missionaries continued to arrive. Each spent a time of adapting to the culture with others before being sent out to start new centers.
China Inland Mission expanded to the west. There were nine territories we still needed to establish ministries. Despite illnesses and deaths of workers, we pressed forward.
My sweet wife, Jennie kept the work going at home, while I ventured out to each station to help.
On June 2, I had been sailing to Wuhan to visit a Mission center. The ship stopped in Jiujiang for a short stay before continuing the journey. Everyone stepped off the boat to walk about until it was time to depart.
I went into a local shop for some tea and to think about tasks that needed to be done. When the ship's captain signaled all to board I joined the line and waited my turn. To get on board, we had to climb a ladder up to the main deck. I juggled the belongings I'd carried and stepped up. Somewhere in the process I lost my balance and fell to the ground, landing hard on my heals.
The pain was quite severe, but I managed to climb the ladder and return to my cabin. My ankle throbbed and shooting pains fired through my back. I removed my shoes and reclined on the bed for the rest of the journey, hoping I would be fine by the time we reached Wuhan.
Fortunately, the local missionary allowed me to stay in his home instead of having me rest alone in an inn. I wrote to Jennie about the accident and reassured her my injury was improving. I could stand for short period of times and put weight on my foot.
I didn't think much about my back or ankle because the ministry had successfully moved toward the west. Millions of Chinese were ready to learn of God's love. With everything under control here in China, I felt a need to check on the home office in England and see where I could help.
Jennie and I sailed back toward England August 30th. One of the missionaries sailing with us became too ill to continue traveling back to England. Jennie offered to stay with her in France until she could finish the journey. I went on to London with the children and one other missionary.
My pain had increased through my back, though, and forced me to walk with crutches. Soon the injury worsened, paralyzing my legs. I may have been forced to stay in bed, but I couldn't let the work stop. I called for a scribe and gave instructions, conducted meetings, and wrote new pamphlets to let those in England know of the progress and continued need for 18 more missionaries in China.
I don't know why I have this injury at this time, but I do know that I can continue the work, even while laying on my back, and so I shall.
Please pray that God will supply the new missionaries needed and supply fund for their support. Praise God for His blessings.
Written from my bed in England.
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