Monday, July 18, 2016

Jonathan Goforth-One Wild Field

By Mary Vee
Year: summer 1879
Jonathan Goforth-fifteen years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal






Photo Courtesy
My name is Jonathan Goforth. I will be a missionary in China some day.

God never gives us a job without first preparing us. Looking back to my childhood, He prepared me much more than I had realized.

During the months of November through planting season, my brothers and I went to school. I felt like I could never learn enough. Questions popped in my mind that needed answering. I couldn't settle for the "I'm not sure" and the "I don't know" answers. I spent time researching until that question found an answer. Hah. Once I had the answer another popped in my head.

I'm not completely sure if my Pa agreed with my findings, but he seemed mighty intrigued with my work on our family farm. By the time I reached fifteen he put me in charge of the second farm he bought to expand our business. I used the methods he taught me to set up each field. I plowed the fields turning the weeds to expose their roots to the sun. That of course killed them. 

As I worked, I wondered about the seed we used. Sure seemed like if we bought this other seed for sale in town that the plants would produce a better crop. I also tried new ideas with caring for the animals and saw the reward when my butter brought a better price than other farmer's. 

Pa came to the farm to see my work and nodded. Didn't really say much until we came to one field that had never been farmed. Not sure why the previous owner didn't use it. Maybe he couldn't keep up with the extra work.

Pa looked at the field and pointed. "I want you to get this field ready for planting. I'll be back to inspect your work."

This was the first time I took a field of weeds and prepared it for farming. I use all the same ideas that worked for the other fields, plowing to expose the weed roots, buying the best seed, planting them in a way that scientifically seemed logical. I put the time and care into the field that it needed. Like a little child, it needed extra care.

The wheat grew tall and healthy. Pa stopped by the farm. "I want to see that new field, son." So I took him out to the field. On the inside I felt a bit nervous. I had tried my best. Used all the skills I had learned. The field seemed good, but would Pa think so?

We stood at the field's edge for a long time. Him just standing and looking. Me, anxious to hear what he thought. He walked to another edge and looked for a long time, then another. He walked through some of the rows, bent down and checked for weeds. He didn't find any. At last he stood, looked at me and smiled.

Translation: "You did a mighty fine job, son."

On the inside I was leaping up and down. On the outside, I nodded back to Pa.

This is what God wants us to do with all the jobs He gives us. Ask questions. Study. Prepare. Do. Check. Recheck. 

To me, there is nothing better than to hear from my Father, "Well done." 



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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