Monday, August 29, 2016

Jonathan Goforth-Bullies Might Win For Now, But...

By Mary Vee
Year: summer 1883
Jonathan Goforth-24 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal




Toronto late 1800's - Photo Courtesy
My name is Jonathan Goforth. I will be a missionary to China some day. I feel it deep inside. Until then, I am doing what God shows me to do each day.

I am a brand new college student. I am living away from home. I am a country raised person now living in a city. Translated...I have a lot to learn and I make lots of mistakes.

I had all these dreams about coming to a Christian college. I'd automatically have lots of friends who love to study God's Word and enjoy doing fun things together. And that is what should have happened. But it didn't for me.

After I told the guys who sat at the dinner table in the cafeteria about my trip to the poor section of town called Ward, they laughed at me. It was then that I noticed their clothes. Quite different from my country suit made by my mother. 

No use in getting upset about their bullying me at the table. I needed to try harder. I went to my dorm room, had a time of feeling sorry for myself then decided to do something about the problem. Get a new suit I told myself. One that my classmates would wear. Then I'd fit in and they wouldn't have a reason to bully me.

I opened the box where I hid the money Dad gave me for the semester and pulled out what seemed like the amount needed to buy fabric. I'd have to skip some meals and give up other things, but I was okay with that. I walked up the street looking at the shops and found one that sold quality material. The clerk helped me choose the right amount of good quality fabric. He then told me where I'd find a tailor.

Back at my dorm room I pulled the fabric out of the bag and laid it on my bed. I ran my hand over the expensive material and knew this would end my problems with those bullies. Just then a knock sounded. A couple of the guys burst into my room. The bully look plastered all over their faces. They wanted to pick on me. They picked up my things and made jokes. 

One picked up the fabric.  He unfolded it and waved it around the room. "Aww, the little country boy wants to be like us." His eyes widened. "I have an idea." He picked up scissors from my desk and cut a hole in the middle. His friends grabbed my arms and held me while he pushed the material over my head. "So you want a new suit like us. Here. We'll help you."

They took some rope and wound it around the fabric like a strait jacked. I couldn't move. I could barely walk. "I know. Let's parade him down the hall so everyone can see his new suit." About thirty guys lined up. They pushed me, twirled me around, and shoved me until I reached the end. There was absolutely nothing I could do. No one would hear my cries for help.

The bullies made me parade down the hall and back four times before shoving me into my room and closing the door. It took me so long to wiggle out of the ropes and remove the fabric-- hat expensive material once intended to be a nice suit.

I felt so stupid. A nice suite wouldn't convince bullies to be nice. I couldn't tell anyone from the school because the bullies would find out. I couldn't tell my parents because they would make me come home. I had four years of training for the mission field ahead of me, and each day would be one without any friends. Loneliness seeped into everyone of my cells. 

My heart ached. I'll admit it...I cried. I reached for the only thing that could bring me comfort, my Bible. 

After reading, praying, and crying, I pushed my shoulders back and made a decision. No matter what the bullies did to me, I would not give up. They may think they are winning for now...but some day, God will turn all of this sadness in my soul into something unbelievably good. I just know it. I won't quit and I won't let the bullies make me quit.

The hardest part about telling you, reader, what happened years ago is I know what God did for me much later. I'm no different from you. Bad things happen. BUT, God has a reason for everything...it all works into His big plan. Stick around. Every Monday there will be more of this story. 




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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