Year: October 1907-1908
Jonathan Goforth-58 years old
Jonathan Goforth's Journal
We have been talking about Chang-san and his village. We were very pleased when his father believed in the living God. Chang-san's entire village eventually all believed in the One true Living God, too. It took time. Chang-san's great grandmother was the last one to realize that the gods she had been praying to could not see or hear her. That only the Living God listened to her and truly cared about her.
During the nineteen years I have worked in China, many people have surrender their lives and put their faith in the God who loves them.
The mission board asked me to go with another pastor to see the work being done in Korea. I was very impressed. So many Koreans believe in the Living God. Christian schools, hospitals, and churches were built and staffed by the new believers.
On my way back to China, we stopped in Manchuria. I shared with the people what God had done in Korea. The people listened and asked me to come back. I returned and told them more about what the living God had done in Korea. I went home to China. Weeks later those in Manchuria asked me to come back again. They sent letters three times asking me to come back. I asked permission to leave the work in China for a month. When I heard the yes, I left for Manchuria.
This time I spoke about God and His love for them. How He cared for them. The people listened and wept. They begged God to forgive their sins. The rich and poor came to the meetings and sat together. God moved in the lives of everyone who came.
When I returned to my mission in China, they had already received letters telling about the success in Manchuria. Soon other churches in China wrote asking me to come speak to their people.
By 1908 the mission decided my work needed to change from Changte to all of China. The one downside was the travel and time away from Rosalind in Changte. She had since given birth to two more children. We couldn't bring all the little ones on these trips. Rosalind and I decided she should take the children back to Canada for a while.
The day before she and the children left, Rosalind and I went for a walk. She asked, "If, while I was in Canada, I became seriously ill and sent you a cable, would you come see me?"
This was a very difficult question. I knew the answer, but giving one that would not hurt her feelings was the challenge. God called me to work in China. Serving Him needed to stand above my deep love and affection for her or the children. At last, I thought of something to say. "Say there was a war and I was a leader of an army. Then, the situation you suggested happened. Would you want me to leave my post to come home?"
She shook her head. "No." She sighed. "No, I wouldn't."
I could tell from the look on her face that she understood the meaning. The next day I hugged her and the children before they boarded the boat. We waved.
After they left, I wept, because I missed them.
The next year I toured China, holding meetings with large crowds attending. I tried to end my talks many times but the people begged me to continue. Some meetings lasted 12 hours when the sun had gone down and we could no longer see.
When 1909 came, I had well overstayed my assignment and needed to return to Canada for my furlough. I couldn't wait to see my family. Rosalind, the children, and I visited churches all over Canada telling them about the work in China and Manchuria. We traveled for the whole year. I sure enjoyed being with my family.
But when 1910 came, we had a family meeting. Everyone voted to go back to China. Now all we have to do is convince the mission board to let us.
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.
Let Jonathan hear from you!
Leave a comment below.