Monday, September 19, 2016

Jonathan Goforth-The Day The Bullies Showed An Interest In My Projects

By Mary Vee
Year: summer 1887
Jonathan Goforth-28 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. Deep inside, I feel the day is getting closer. Until then, I am doing what God shows me to do each day.

One year of college has come and gone. I'd taken a lot of harassment from the guys who stayed in my dorm and sat in my classes. Okay, it was more than just harassment, they physically hurt me several times, destroyed my belongings, and made life really miserable.

I made it a personal policy to never return their meanness. Strangely enough, word spread throughout the school that I didn't retaliate, hide, or go home proving I was a serious student.

The word also spread that large audiences attended the services where I preached. What was my secret, besides studying and prayer? I visited each home in the area of any church that scheduled me to speak, inviting each person who lived in the house to come to the service. Apparently, the people were so honored I'd paid them a visit, they all wanted to hear me preach. Once the guys at the college heard the news, the harassment and teasing stopped. 

I mean, I didn't visit people or work hard to preach and get good grades just to make the guys stop. I did all of those things to prepare for missionary work in China. I showed only my sincere heart to honor and serve God.

Not only did the teasing stop, but the guys also showed interest in my side projects. I'd heard about some of the books J. Hudson Taylor wrote and read them. These works inspired me. If I could have left the next day for China, I would have.

In the meantime, God put an amazing idea in my head. I used every spare bit of change to buy copies of Taylor's books and sent them to local pastors. Letters poured into my mailbox with the gratitude of the pastors. Every time I found more change, I bought more and sent them to other pastors. Each time, letters came to my mailbox with pastors showing an interest in China's missions. The guys in the dorm were curious what I was doing. I loaned each a copy of Taylor's book. The next night all of them came to my dorm room bringing change to give to my cause. "This book has to get to into the hands of every pastor in Canada," they said. They stayed and helped me package up books and take them to the post office.

My classmates asked questions about China and what I hoped to do there.

The last three years went much better for me. I had friends. Some of the guys helped me with Greek and Hebrew, two really difficult languages to learn. I, in turn, help where I could. 

Graduation day drew closer. So did China.

And now, I needed a new suit. The four-year-old suit I'd worn for every event requiring nice clothes looked worn, to say the least.

So, I needed a new suit coat, and I didn't have any money. I didn't have any money because I used every spare cent for mailing the Hudson Taylor books to the pastors.

How was I going to get a new suit? I'm going to think and pray about this for a week and let you know the answer next Monday.

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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