Hudson Taylor: age 55
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes
I had finished a long journey to each mission in China. I didn't care that it was the rainy season, our missionaries needed to be able to share their needs. There really was no other way to communicated than to visit each location. China is a really big country!
After listening to the missionaries, their needs and wishes, my assistant and I realized the greatest need was more workers. We have asked God before and He has always supplied. This time, though, the number 100 came to mind. I told the local Chinese Christians we wanted to ask God to send one hundred missionaries in one year to help with the work. Even the secretary who wrote the letter to our English office for me smiled. They didn't think God could or would do it.
One elderly missionary said, "Oh you can ask all right. God will bless you for your faith and send quite a few new missionaries, but 100? I don't think so."
"Well, then," I smiled at him. "I will expect you to greet the one hundredth missionary when he steps off of the boat in Shanghai before a year ends."
I completed my work in China and prepared to return to England to help with the main office. Every day my associates prayed and even sang with me:
"Oh, send the hundred workers, Lord,
Those of Thy heart and mind and choice,
To tell Thy love both far and wide--
So shall we praise Thee and rejoice:
And above the rest this note shall swell,
My Jesus had done all things well."
I arrived back in England in February of 1887 with my heart set on doing my part. I spoke at churches and conferences throughout the British Isles. I wrote articles, interviewed people, wrote letters, working very long days to discover and prepare the ones God called to be missionaries in China.
During 1887, six hundred men and women had applied to be missionaries to China. The committee and I prayed over each application. We knew that among the six hundred people who asked, one hundred of God's chosen missionaries could be found.
We read each application, called each person in and spoke with them, and spent hours praying, asking God to show us who He wanted to go to China. When we finished the work, one hundred and two missionaries left for China and arrived before the one year's time ended.
The elderly missionary kept watch and count. When the one hundredth missionary stepped off the boat in Shanghai, he stood at the boatyard and greeted him.
I am convinced that God put the number one hundred in our hearts to show us what wondrous things He could do. As a result of the new one hundred workers, we are able to tell more men and women in China about the God who loves them very much.
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