Monday, September 12, 2016

Jonathan Goforth- Bears, Cops, Dangerous Alleys

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 realize walking around the area of town called Ward may have been a bit....um, risky. None of my college friends didn't dared to go there. They mocked me for trying to tell the men and women who lived in that scary part of town about the God who loves them. 

I don't know. God asked me to go there, so I did.

Yes, it wasn't easy. That's for sure. I saw the guns, drugs, gangs, and other very bad things happening there. One day an officer from Ward stopped me. "Yes, Officer," I asked. 

"I'm surprised you walk down the alleys in the district. Aren't you afraid? I never go there without taking another officer with me."

I answered, "I don't go alone." And that was the truth. "I've never felt alone. God was with me. Protecting me each time."

The day came where I had to prove just how much I believed my own words. I was scheduled to preach at a church some distance away. I didn't have any money for a cab. The walk took me through a thick, deep woods. I stepped around a tree and found a huge grizzly. Remember, I live in Canada, so yes, there were huge grizzlies in the woods. 

I didn't know what to do at first. Running would tell the grizzly he could chase after me and eat me. I didn't want to be his lunch. Standing still for a long time would tell the grizzly he could lunge out and maul me. "God is with me," I said to myself over and over until my feet inched forward.

I walked as if my legs had roped bound around them. Little tiny steps around the bear. While I walked the bear stayed staring straight ahead. No, I didn't look back to make sure he stayed...I'm not crazy!!!  I don't even know how long the bear stayed in that spot. I figured he and God could have a tea party if they wanted...I was out of there!!

Since I'm writing this way after seeing that bear...you know that I made it safely through those woods. I think my breath whooshed in and out the whole time, but I made it safe to the church. All thanks to a loving God who protected me.

One last thing. If the bear had attacked me, that would not have meant that God couldn't protect me. It simply meant He would have had another purpose in mind for me than preaching at that church. God has a wonderful plan for each of us. Sometimes it includes danger, fierce animals, evil people, bullies, and sometimes it includes beautiful sunrises, lakes, rivers, meadows, fun friends, and mountain peaks.


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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