Monday, March 27, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-The Scary Journey

By Mary Vee
Year: December 1900
Jonathan Goforth-41 years old

Jonathan Goforth's Journal

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

We built a home in Changte. Several of our children have been born here and two have died due to illness. We made our ministry in this city, teaching locals about Jesus. Gaining their trust. Living among them and speaking their language.

We ate the same foods, grew gardens, and dressed like the people. So many men and women came to us with their question, wanting to know more about Jesus. A few even worked with us.

Maybe the next events came because everything had gone well. Maybe we needed to have a new task. I don't know.

The Boxer Rebellion was a time in China when Chinese people grouped together to rid the country of foreigners. Some of those in the rebellion were simply evil people who wanted an excuse to kill people. Many missionaries, businessmen, and travelers lost their lives.

The rebellion was nearing Changte. We could stay, knowing we would die, or we could go to another place. This time, though, in my prayers and medications I felt God strongly telling me to get my family out of Changte and let the Chinese Christians continue the work.

My six month old baby sat on Rosalind's lap. My three-year-old daughter cried. We'd woken her. Tiredness, and sensing something wasn't right brought her sobs. My son, Paul worked hard to help us pack. He understood the urgent need to leave right away. He didn't complain. What a strong young man.

Nine other missionaries joined us. Their things packed in the carts. The two Chinese who had been helping us teach men and women about Jesus chose to come, also.

Some of our team stood strong, but held back tears. Others wept. We may never be able to return to this city we love.

I looked at the compound and thought of all the people who had heard God's word. I looked over at the room that had been my study and thought of the Chinese students who were intrigued with the heavens and learned about God. I looked at our home and the tree where my two daughters were buried.

I took a deep breath, understanding God had a new chapter for our lives. I commanded the oxen to move forward and waved goodbye to our Chinese friends who stayed behind.

The oxen left the city pulling the belongings of the compound on the narrow roads before us. We climbed mountains and crossed plains. 

Danger lurked all around us. Thieves. Murderers. Those wanting to kill any foreigner they saw. Had I been alone, I wouldn't have been so afraid. But my family was here, my children, my wife, the food we need to survive, the other missionaries and their families. 

My heart pounded and my head ached. I trusted God to guide and protect us. I truly did. But I am also a frail human with limitations. I hear and see the evil men and am afraid what might happen to my family and the others who travel with us.

Even though this time has passed would you pray for us and other missionaries? This will be a very scary journey.

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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