Year: summer 1888
Jonathan Goforth-29 years old
Jonathan Goforth's Journal
These missionaries met with Rosalind and me. They discussed where the greatest need for missionaries were in China at the time and decided we should be sent to the North Honan region to work. Before heading there, though, we would spend time in Chefoo to learn Mandarin. I was ready to go. Our bags sat ready to be put on a train or whatever means of transportation worked best.
One missionary, though, persuaded me to wait one day. "You can have a fresh start in the morning." The idea seemed good after the long ship ride. That afternoon the missionary took us to the International Settlement section of Shanghai. Various European countries controlled this area.
He took us to a magnificent palace, well lit and decorated with bright colored silks. I felt like I'd stepped into a land of fantasy until I walked farther. Each room had rows of narrow beds. Hundreds of Chinese people sat or laid on beds, many of them dressed in wealthy clothes, and all of them high on opium. Some looked sickly, some healthy, but none seemed to notice we walked by. They were that stoned on the drug.
|Photo Courtesy Fields of poppy|
plants grew in England. These were
processed into opium in large factories
and sold to addicted Chinese
men and women
I stared at the street, at the businesses, and the wrongness going on all around me. My heart shred in two. How? Why? "But this is the section governed by foreign governments. How could this happen?"
The missionary nodded with a stern and bothered look, but no longer saddened by the sight. "I brought you here to show you what is going on. You're right, there is no good reason why a building like the palace and these businesses were built. Money hungry foreigners built these to lure Chinese people into opium addiction. The foreigners make lots of money from these businesses, particularly the British."
"You're saying the British supply the opium and allow prostitutes to work here?" Unbelievable. I remembered reading about this problem in Hudson Taylor's books but hadn't realized it was this bad.
"Yes. These countries who claim to be 'Christian' countries encourage and provide what is needed to practice evil in this land. This drug robs people of their money and rips families apart. Their addiction keeps them coming back for more."
"So they call us foreign devils," Rosalind said softly. Her sad eyes showed her heartaches as much as mine."
"Yes," the missionary said. "Because the Chinese can't fight these foreign governments they search for missionaries in rural areas where it's easy to kill them."
"You brought us here to warn us, didn't you?"
"To inform you. Your life isn't going to be easy. You may even be killed. Are you really ready to face what may come?"
I thought of the rooms in the palace and looked around at the streets in front of me. When I was in Toronto, I refused to let my college friends talk me out of visiting the poor and gang infested areas of the city. I knew God would protect me. And if He didn't, I knew I was doing the job He asked me to do. And I will do the same here in China.
I turned to Rosalind. "We need to get to work right away, no matter the cost. There are many lives depending on us showing them there is a God who loves them...before it's too late."
She set her hand on me. The loving gaze in her eyes said so much. "I'll be by your side, Jonathan."
The missionary nodded. "Good. At first light tomorrow, you'll leave. May God protect you."
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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