Monday, October 24, 2016

Jonathan Goforth-Cheers

By Mary Vee
Year: summer 1888
Jonathan Goforth-29 years old

Jonathan Goforth's Journal

Photo Courtesy
My name is Jonathan Goforth. I will be a missionary to China some day. Deep inside, I know it's true and the day is getting closer.

Graduation from Knox College in Toronto happened last night. I had hoped I'd be on my way to China within a week, but it isn't happening. 

I've spoken with many churches the last two years, looking for support to send me to China. All of the church boards say they'll only continue supporting missionaries who are in previously arranged countries. That did not include China.

I didn't know what else to do. So, I applied to Hudson Taylor's mission, the China Inland Mission. I filled out all the paperwork, stuffed them in an envelope, and mailed them to the mission.

The next day, the guys from my dorm called me into a meeting room. I didn't think they'd try to pick on me again. They'd stopped two years ago. But I still didn't know what they wanted. I knocked on the door.

"Come in," one of the guys said.

I turned the knob and pushed the door open.

"Surprise!" A room full of guys shouted.

I didn't understand. It wasn't my birthday. They'd graduated, too, so there wasn't a reason for me to have a surprise party any more than one of them. I walked in the room to their applause. "What's going on?"

One of the guys handed me a glass of punch. "Raise your glasses." They all raised their glasses high. The leader said, "Jonathan Goforth, you are going to China."

I knew that. I just didn't know when. "Okay. So what's going on?"

"As you know, none of the organizations from Knox College have supported a missionary. We've decided to change that. Every man in this room has agreed to contribute to your support to China and become the first class to send a missionary to China."


"It's true. It's been arranged. I'm sure once the local churches hear what we've done, there will be many more wanting to support your work. Cheers."

The others echoed the word, "Cheers."

I didn't know what to say. Truly God put this idea in their hearts. These were the guys who bullied me when I first came. And now they want to support my missionary work in China. Thank you, God!

In the next weeks, several church changed their minds, all saying they wanted to give money to send me to China. My entire support has been promised.

One month after I graduated from college, I married Rosalind. And in January, 1988, pastors, professors, workers from the Toronto mission all gathered for my commissioning service.

Within a few days, I held Rosalind's hand and walked with her, escorted by the same crowd that attended my commissioning service, the half mile to the train station. 

Rosalind and I are on our way to China! I'm so excited.

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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