Monday, March 6, 2017

Jonathan Goforth The Earth is Flat!

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. 

A short time ago we moved into our new home here in northern China. We showed the inside to locals and to people who came from long distances. Why would the people walk long distances to see our home? Because we had wooden floors, cupboards, and separate bedrooms. 

Hold on, don't think this was glutenous. God allows missionaries a piece of home, especially when that piece is used to glorify Him. Every person who toured our home heard about the God who loves them and had their questions answered.

Except--the rascal students who came to the city for semiannual fair and the government-run testing required to qualify for public office jobs. Students scoring the highest advanced to training to become mandarins. I tell yah, I tried. I really did. They lined up at my home to see the inside like people in your time line up to ride an amazing ride at Disney Land. 

When I stood before them and said I wanted to talk with them, to tell a story and discuss a topic they sat, but they talked to each other. Told jokes. Poked one another, mocked me, and did everything but listen to words about God.

Hmmm. This was a challenge. These students came from wealthy homes and were, shall we say, spoiled. Thinking they could do whatever they wanted even if it disrespected those around them. But, these students were smart. This would be the key to communicating with them. Not this group. But the next one.

I sent away to Shanghai for some special props just for these sorts of students: a large globe, maps, and astronomical charts. When the next government exam takes place, I would be ready.

The day came, and just as the last time, these students were obnoxious. Hah. I was ready for them. I asked my helper, Wang to take the other guests and speak with them. I invited the students to my study, complete with new props set right in the center of my desk.

The first ones walked in. Their eyes widened and they pointed. "What's that?"

I knew how to best intrigue students, let them discover. So I said, "Oh, that? Well, it's a small likeness of what the earth looks like."

The students laughed. "No. Everyone knows the earth is flat like the papers on your desk." Another one said, "Hah, If the earth is round like that we'd fall off."

"Okay," I said. I waited for them to finish laughing because I knew eventually they would be so intrigued they'd want to listen. "Let me show you." I taught them the principles of gravity and how the planets revolve around the sun. They listened so intently, not one cracked a joke. They didn't even ask questions. Not while I explained. After I finished a basic teaching of these principles they asked questions. They were so hungry to know more.

Seeing I had their interest, I told them about the living God. The Creator. The one who isn't an idol made by man's hands like Buddha and other idols. They could learn about the living God by studying the Bible.

The students didn't mock any more. In fact many came back several days in a row with questions and several of these believed in the living God. These students returned to their villages and told their family and friends about what they'd learned. That there truly is a living God who created everything and loves 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.


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