Monday, July 11, 2016

Jonathan Goforth-Not Afraid

By Mary Vee
Year: February 1874
Jonathan Goforth-ten years old

Dr. Andrew Vining's Journal

Photo Courtesy- 1864 map
My name is Dr. Andrew Vining. I'm going to interrupt Jonathan to tell you a story about him.

Long ago, when we were just young fellas we went to school together.

Jonathan was one of eleven kids. That was a big family. Big families have a lot of advantages, plenty of playmates right in your house, lots of laughter, probably yelling too, I imagine. 

One disadvantage is a kid in a big family has to work to get noticed. It strengthens his spirit or squashes it. For Jonathan, his   big family strengthened him. He wasn't afraid to stand up and defend what he though was right. No sir.

One day at the schoolhouse, it was one of those one-room buildings with an outhouse, a few of the older kids started picking on me. I was shorter and younger than Jonathan and a lot smaller than the kids making my life unhappy.

Jonathan Goforth was in the schoolhouse looking at a map of the world. He studied that thing nearly everyday at recess. I had no idea that God was working in him way back then. Anyway, I was outside the window, pinned up against the building. The teacher was talking to a few other kids on the other side of the playground and didn't see these bullies picking on me.

Jonathan walked to the window and told the older kids to leave me alone. Right. That didn't work. He was inside the building and they were outside. They didn't listen to a word he said and kept picking on me.

He wasn't that old himself, but I heard him stomp across the inside floorboards toward the door. He bust out of there with his face red and his fists raised. He walked over to those bullies. "Leave him alone. He's just a kid."

I suppose that kind of talk came from his folks who found a way to keep a peaceful house with eleven kids. No one should be picked on, no matter their size.

The bullies didn't stop. Big mistake. Hah. I tell you it was worth getting shoved around to see what happened next. 

My defender, protector, Jonathan Goforth challenged and trounced that bully. Message communicated. The bully and his friends never picked on me again.

What did I learn that day? Jonathan Goforth was a man with convictions and willing to defend those convictions. Now can you imagine a man like that on the mission field? Yeah. This was a man God will use to fearlessly go to places others are afraid to go and tell the people living there about the God who loves them.

Amazing, right? I thought so, too. That's why I took over his story to tell you.

Jonathan has many stories to share. Come back each Monday to find out what happened next.

Resources Used for This Series
Being, Janet, and Geoff Benge. Jonathan Goforth: An Open Door in China. Seattle. WA: YWAM Pub., 2001.Print
Doyle, G. Wright. Builders of the Chinese Church: Pioneer Protestant Missionaries and Chinese Church Leaders. Eugene Oregon: Pickwick Pub, 2015. Print.
Goforth, Jonathan, and Rosaline Goforth, Miracle Lives of China, London" Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1931, Print.
Goforth, Jonathan. "By My Spirit" Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1942. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Climbing; Memories of a Missionary's Wife. Chicago: Moody Pub, n.d. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How I Know God Answers Prayers; The Personal Testimony of One Life-time, New York: Harper & Brothers, 1921. Print
Goforth, Rosalind. Jonathan Goforth. Minneapolis, MN: Bethan House, 1986. Print
Goforth, Rosalind, How God Answers Prayer: The Mighty Miracles of God from the Mission Field of Jonathan Goforth. USA: Revival, 2016. Print Original copyright not stated.
Jackson, Dave, and Neta Jackson. Mask of the Wolf Boy: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1999. Print.
McCleary, Walter. An Hour with Jonathan Goforth: A Biography. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1938. Print.
Meloche, Renee Taft., and Bryan Pollard. Jonathan Goforth: Never Give up. Seattle, WA: YWAM, 2004. Print.


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We like to read what you learned about the story today. Remember, God loves you very much!