Monday, November 28, 2016

Jonathan Goforth-Mandarin, Tithes, and Cholera

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

Jonathan Goforth's Journal

Photo Courtesy Chinese Dai house architecture
with bamboo sides and thatched roof 
My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries in China. I'm so excited to finally say we are missionaries in China.

I bumble with my Mandarin which makes buying groceries a bit difficult. I don't always end up with what I think I ask for. It truly is amazing how many Mandarin words sound the same. I'm study every minute of the day. Someday soon, I hope to be dreaming in Mandarin. Wouldn't that be exciting!! I think so, too. I only hope I can understand the dream!!

After we'd lost most everything we owned in the fire that burned our first house in Chefoo, word spread to missionaries here in China and to folks back in Canada where we lived. Within one week, we moved into a second home to rent with all the basic furniture, clothes, and kitchenware basics needed. It was less than what we brought, but we survived just fine.

Rosalind and I learned so much with our meager belongings. Every time my account books showed we had any money beyond what we actually needed, we gave some to other missionaries in need. After all, we wouldn't have survived if missionaries hadn't helped us. 

In only a few months, my records showed we'd given ten percent of our annual income to other missionaries. I was so happy. I brought my paperwork to Rosalind.

She wasn't quite as excited as I was. In fact, she said, "Well, then, we can set aside money for our future needs."

"What future needs? God will supply as we need."

Well, my comment didn't go over very well.

She set her hands on her large belly. "The baby? Shouldn't we set aside money for the baby?"

Well, I saw her point, but I also couldn't stop the urge to at least try to give double our tide before our first year ended there in China. 

"What is it that you want to do, Jonathan?" she asked.

I had to tell her. It wouldn't be fair to feel God calling me to do something and not give her a chance to say something. "I think God wants us to help needy missionaries with any extra money we have."

She took a deep breath then smiled. "All right then. If we have extra, go ahead."

What made me extra happy was how she worked to keep expenses to a minimum. What a sweet woman I married.

August came. Our sweet little Gertrude was born on August 12, 1888. What a beautiful little girl. 

At the same time, a terrible outbreak of cholera hit the area. The disease was spread by the water and caused diarrhea, dehydration, and vomiting. Missionaries died. Chinese men, women, and children died. It was such a sad time.

New missionaries came from Canada and England to help. I've never been so busy in my life helping the sick, learning the language, praying, and helping missionaries with their work. Praise God, our little Gertrude did not get sick. 

This first year has been a busy one so far. I have a feeling there will be many adventures ahead.

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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