Monday, February 20, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-There Was a Poor Man Who lived on a Hill

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. 

There was a man who worshipped Buddha. He devoted his life to pleasing his god. While walking about his village, he heard a man speaking and went to listen because the days are long and hot in the summer and short and cold in the winter.

He sat and listened while my friend Donald spoke. He talked for more than a few hours. Villagers didn't mind listening such a long time. The change in their day was good. The man heard about the living God who created the heavens and earth. The stars, the sun, the moon. The God who loved him and sent His Son to pay for the sins of all who believed. The man pondered the words and believed. 

He became very excited to tell his friends about this living God. The God who loved his friends, too. He waited until others left then went up to Donald and begged him to go to his friend's house. So insistent was he that Donald agreed to go right away.

Cheng Ming-san was a poor farmer. His wife, three children, and his widowed mother lived in a small home on a hill. Cheng and his mother taught lessons about the Buddha religion to those in their village. They gave food from what little they had to a Buddhist hermit living in a cave. 

Cheng Ming-san was curious why his friend walked up the road toward his home, and who was that man with him? That tall man who was a foreigner. He set down his tools and waited for his friend to approach. They bowed and greeted one another.

The man said to Cheng, "Please listen to this man. Gather your family and listen to what this man has to say." Cheng's three children were busy and his wife worked in the kitchen. His widowed mother, though agreed to sit with Cheng and listen to Donald.

They sat and listened while my friend Donald explained the living God who created the heavens and the earth. The stars, the sun, the moon. The God who loved them and sent His Son to pay for the sins of all who believed. 

Cheng and his mother listened closely. They didn't say a word but listened. When Donald finished speaking they asked questions and he answered them. Both were amazed by this new teaching and suddenly wanted nothing to do with Buddha any more. Cheng's mother took all the Buddha idols from their home outside and threw them in the ravine. The idols broke into many tiny pieces.  

Cheng's wife was angry. She screamed at them. "We will all be killed by the gods. You know what you have done?" She yelled for a long time but neither Cheng nor his mother changed their minds. They had decided to believe in the God who loves them. The one true living God.

When my friend Donald finished telling me what happened, an amazing idea came to me. If Cheng's mother was so excited about her new faith in Jesus, God's Son and eager to learn more about God, maybe she could be the one God is sending to help Rosalind. 

I told Rosalind the whole story. She smiled. "Do you think she would come and help me teach other women about God?"

"I don't know. Write and ask."

That night Rosalind wrote Cheng's mother a letter inviting her to come help. She didn't receive an answer.

Instead, Cheng's mother came in person, ready to help.

God blessed us. We thought we needed more foreign missionaries to help, but God knew we needed local Chinese who loved Him. 


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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