Monday, October 17, 2016

Jonathan Goforth-The Power of Five Cents

By Mary Vee
Year: summer 1887
Jonathan Goforth-28 years old

Jonathan Goforth's Journal

Photo Courtesy Canadian Copper Coin
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.

Every Sunday, while I attended college, I had opportunities to speak in churches, a few I could walk to a few I took a train. Sometimes I preached three times in one day.

One Monday after speaking both Sunday morning and Sunday night, I took a train back to my dorm.

As the train pulled away from the station a man asked if he could sit in the empty seat next to me. Of course, I was more than happy to share. This could be a God moment. A chance to share Christ with someone who had never heard about the God who loved him.

After the man settled into his seat he said, "I heard you preach in our church yesterday. When our pastor said you would speak on missions, I planned to give five cents in the collection plate."

Let me interrupt this man to help you understand. He was not a wealthy person. The fact that he planned to give what few coins he had amazed me. Not only that, five cents back in my day was the same as $1.11 in your day. Still doesn't sound like much to you? Well, keep reading and see what God did.

The man said, "I usually give coppers on Sunday"

I will interrupt him again to let you know "copper" means penny.

The man said, "but seeing this particular collection was to go for missions, I decided that I couldn't think of giving less than five cents. After you started speaking, I began to wish I had ten cents."

Which is the same as $2.22 for you, reader.

The man said, "A little later in your talk, I though a quarter would be too little to give."

Which is the same as $5.54 for you, reader.

The man said, "Half way through your talk I wished I had a dollar bill to give to missions.

Which is the same as $22.18 for you, reader.

The man said, "And by the time you finished, I would gladly have given a five-dollar bill."

Which is the same as $110.88 for you, reader.

I couldn't tell if the man was more disappointed he couldn't give the money to missions or excited to hear what God has and will do on the mission field.

Anyway a few months passed when I received an interesting letter in the mail. It was from the pastor of the man I met on the train. The letter said:

I suppose you remember having a conversation with a certain member of my congregation on the train. Well, that man has since sold a piece of property and has given several hundred dollars of the proceed to foreign mission.

Since receiving the letter, I've never forgotten that man or that conversation. The man not only found me on the train and shared what was on his heart, but he also followed through and did what God asked him to do. Such a lesson for me to learn that God will always provide the money needed for His work.

I know he will provide a way for me to go to China once I graduate....which is soon!!

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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