Monday, September 29, 2014

Hudson Taylor-How One Smile Changed a City

By Mary Vee
Year: April 1882 
Hudson Taylor: age 50

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Photo Courtesy
Fanny Clarke and her husband George had been missionaries in Dali, China for two years. They lived the farthest away of any of our missionaries. God certainly has given them a heart to work so far away from people they knew.

Some of the women had welcomed Fanny and listened to stories she told from the Bible. But, they didn't seem to understand how this God she spoke of could love them.

The women in the town constantly faced trouble. Many had been sold by their fathers to become slaves. 

Fanny tried to keep her husband and herself healthy to be able to continue their work. She taught the cook how to clean and prepare foods safely. Diseases like dysentery and typhoid seemed common in these small cities so far from a doctor.

The greatest need in China, right now, is for missionary doctors. 

We asked God to send willing women to go to the western areas of China and share the good news of God's love for them, and He has. These brave women have gone into the mountains and villages - to places where no other woman with white skin has gone. 

In the Chinese culture, male missionaries could not speak with the native women. The Chinese men in these rural areas had the power to prevent their wives and daughters from listening. So, we prayed for women missionaries to come to China and go with the men deep in the western areas of China.

God has blessed. Now the greatest need is for medical help. If the wife of a missionary gives birth to a baby and gets sick right away, or has problems with the birth, there may not be a doctor close enough to help her. Some missionaries lived more than a six day journey from the nearest doctor.

When Fanny gave birth to her little son in August, she became very sick. For six weeks she didn't get any better. She couldn't eat and was always thirsty. 

George tried everything he could to help her get well but nothing worked. Fanny kept getting sicker. In October, two months later, she and George both knew she would not live much longer. 

He told her what a faithful missionary she had been and how much she had helped him do his work. "Please don't flatter me," she said. "I am the least of all Christians. I feel I have done less than any woman in the Mission."

The little progress they had made may have seemed not important to her, but it was very important to God and to the women in the city. As she lay in her bed, ready to for Jesus to take her in her arms, she smiled and told a group of Chinese women who stood by her bedside, "I am happy. I get to go be with Jesus. He loves me so very much. He loves you, too. God's love is kind and gentle. He will not harm you or sell you into slavery. God will stand by you like a good father and protect you. Please, put your trust in Jesus."

The women told their friends. More women crowded into the small room to hear the words of Fanny and to see the smile on her face. They could not understand why she looked happy. They had never felt this way. 

Tears tumbled down the cheeks of the women standing around Fanny's sick bed. 

Late that night, Fanny turned to the Chinese nurse and said, "Take care of my little son."

Hundreds of women from the city came to see Fanny after she went to be with Jesus. They wanted to see her quiet, peaceful face. Never before had they seen a woman with such calm. Fanny looked like she was in a happy sleep. 

With all the terrible wickedness in the city, the women wondered how Fanny's face could look so content. Those who had heard Fanny's last words told women who hadn't heard her speak. Somehow, this missionary had taken away the pain of death and showed God's loving victory with the peaceful look on her face.

While George's heart hurt from missing Fanny, he saw what her words did for the women in Dali. 

Please pray for him as he continues the missionary work with his son.

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

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