Monday, January 23, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-Floods, Furloughs, and Exciting Jobs

By Mary Vee
Year: fall 1893-1894
Jonathan Goforth-34 years old

Jonathan Goforth's Journal

My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries in China. We have completed our first four years in China as missionaries and must now go home for a furlough.

Furlough is the time missionaries visit the people who send money to pay for housing, food, transportation, and costs to build churches, buy Bibles to give, and other expenses. The missionaries report what they have done on the mission field, tell what they plan to do next, explain future projects, and share what God has done. After one year the missionaries get to return to their mission field.

We packed our things and planned to leave on this day but there was a terrible delay. Unexpected storms came, flooding the area. Waters rose eight feet. We sat on our roof along with our son, Paul, and daughter, Florence, and watched the flood waters fill our home. Everything inside had water damage or was ruined by the black mold that came after the water soaked into the ground--except the hand organ.

I realize this seems a silly way to look at what happened, but we lost all the wedding gifts and everything we owned in the fire when we first came and now we've lost everything in the flood when we are leaving for furlough. 

What I know is that God will give us what we need. He provided for our needs when we married--then the fire happened. He provided again these four years and the flood took it away. I'm feeling good about God providing for us when we return to China after the furlough. 

We returned to Canada with two of the four children God gave us. The other two children have gone to be with Jesus.  We spent long days visiting churches and people who have prayed for us. This isn't really restful like it is supposed to be. We go to a different home almost every night. But, this is part of God's plan. Every moment I had free I planned the next idea for a new mission in Changte.

Yes, I know the Chinese from my time period are especially afraid of foreigners and tend to be cruel, but God has stirred this desire in my heart to help them. To tell them there is a God who loves them. And if I listen to God and do as He asks, there will be precious lives saved who will go to heaven.

Toward the end of our furlough year in Canada, God blessed Rosalind and me with another daughter we named, Helen. We decided I should go ahead to China alone to give little Helen two months to get old enough to travel such a long way. 

When I arrived in China I found out my friend Donald bought the land for our new mission while I was gone. He was very happy to see me return. "Jonathan, in honor of you return you get to babysit the building site of the chapel and the house while I go out and preach."

Just what I wanted to do. Oh well. I am going to make this an exciting job as long as it takes.

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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