Monday, February 27, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-The Home With a Wooden Floors

By Mary Vee
Year: December1895
Jonathan Goforth-36 years old

Jonathan Goforth's Journal

My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries in China. 

Our new house was finally finished and we moved in. On the outside it looked just like the other Chinese homes, which was very important. On the inside, we added a few Western style features. These features, amazingly enough, helped to spread the Gospel to the area. Here is how.

Both Rosalind and I wanted to be part of the community. We didn't want to live outside the city, keep to ourselves except when doing work, go off for western style vacations. No. We wanted the Chinese people living in our area to let us be a part of their community.

Our new home had wooden floors instead of dirt floors. When I opened the front door to show our children, they ran and danced on the floor listening to the sounds. They were so happy. The new home also had cupboards for dishes instead of open shelves. The last big feature not found in houses in the area were separate bedrooms. Walls with doors for privacy. Of course we had a few other western objects like cutlery, sewing items, and smaller things like that.

The Chinese were curious and we wanted to show the house. Men came to the home wanting to see the inside. I invited them in, gave them a tour and while we walked and they marveled I told them about the God who loves them. When it seemed the men were more intrigued with what was in the house than what I said about God, I thought up a new plan.

The next day a long line of men came to see the home. I walked out the door and shut it behind me. I held up my hands and gestured for the men to sit. In mass they sat on the ground. "I am going to tell you something important first, then I will show you my home."

See, I knew the Chinese loved to hear stories and discussions on all sorts of topics. I took the time to tell them about the God who loves them. I preached for a time to the whole mass then took the men, twenty at a time through my home and continued sharing about God.

Word spread far and wide. Everyday the men and women came to see our home, all willing to hear the Gospel. Rosalind spoke with the women and I spoke to the men. During the tours Rosalind played a hymn on the portable organ in our living room. On one day eighteen hundred men came and five hundred women. In one day!!

You're probably thinking there was a risk to letting all of these people walk through our home. That items would be taken. Yes. You're right. Items disappeared. Cutlery, sewing scissors, the baby's bonnets, anything small enough to fit up a sleeve. We finally stop replacing them, but we didn't stop the tours. 

The thought did occur to me that at some point the tour idea would die down. It was only a temporary idea, anyway. Some days I went out to the smaller villages to preach. Here is where the tour of our home amazed me. When I knocked on doors in the villages, many opened their door, smiled and said, "You are the one who invited us into his home!! Come in." During my visit I told them about the God who loves them and they asked questions. 

Many Chinese learned about the God who loved them and believed, because of a home with wooden floors. God works in amazing ways.

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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