Monday, February 6, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-I Asked. God Gave. But Not What I Thought I Asked For.

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 were swamped with work. That's not so bad. But, I didn't like turning people away because the sun was going down and everyone needed sleep.

Rosalind barely had time to care for the children.

We talked over the need last night and took the problem to God. We prayed asking God to send us help. We couldn't ask our board because we already did and they said there were no missionaries available to send.

Rosalind and I prayed again this morning. And while I preached today in the city where many men gathered to listen--and if too many wanted to speak to me one on one I wouldn't have had the time, my heart asked God again to please send help.

In the back of the crowd, I noticed a man. His faced looked dark and skinny, like he hadn't eaten in a long time. His clothes worn and torn. He stepped to the side, his bare feet covered in dust and dirt.  

I stepped outside the chapel and sensed someone following me. I turned around and saw the beggar's eyes in the sunlight. Wang? "Is that you Wang Fulin?"

He nodded and kept his head low.

I stepped close to him. "I'm so happy to see you. Please, you must come to my home for lunch. Oh, Rosalind will be so happy to see you. Now, I won't take no for an answer."

Wang lifted his head and I'm pretty sure there was a smile under all that dirt.

I opened the front door, "Rosalind, honey, guess who's here for lunch?"

She walked out of the kitchen with a dishtowel twined in her hands. She blinked. "Wang?"

I pressed him to walk in the house. "Yes, it's Wang. Can you believe it? We haven't seen him in so long."

"Lunch is ready, Wang. Please join us."

Wang followed her to an empty seat. She brought out a plate. "Tell us what's been going on in your life? We've missed you."

He sipped some tea. "Thank you, Mrs. Goforth." He turned to me. "I did want to talk with you."

Rosalind backed toward the kitchen. Wang looked up at her. "Please don't leave."

She sat down and sipped her tea. 

"Go ahead, Wang. We're listening."

He took a breath. "I've read through the New Testament twice and the words meant a lot to me. I believed them. It's just, I don't see any hope for myself."

"Why is that?"

"You know I was a drug addict. I tried to break free. I really did. It was stealing my life." He looked from Rosalind to me. "If you hadn't referred me to the help at the mission I would have never beat the addiction. As you know I placed my faith in the God who loves me. I walked away from the drugs and the gambling. This was my livelihood. I had debts I couldn't pay. I lost everything.

"I walked the countryside with no place to go. Nothing to eat. At times I ate bark off the trees." He sipped more tea. "Yesterday, I had the strangest feeling. Something inside made me want to come visit you. I don't know what I'm suppose to do here. But this is where I'm supposed to be."

He's supposed to be here? Right here? Right now? I looked at Rosalind. She looked back at me and raised her eyebrow. Well....we did ask God for help. I kinda had something else in mind. Like a trained missionary, or, yeah. Not a beggar.

"Ok then. Let's get you cleaned up and fed." Then we'll talk. Could this really be true? God sent Wang to help us?"

An hour later, Wang had a bath, he wore clean clothes. They were mine and hung on him at least two sizes too big.

He stood looking at me with such a hopeful gaze. I smiled. "I'm going to preach this afternoon. Do you want to come along?"

I don't think anyone could have been any happier.

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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