Year: December 1900
Jonathan Goforth-41 years old
Jonathan Goforth's Journal
The small group of missionaries that we have fled our Chinese missionary compound with have been under attack. We'd stopped at a village on the road and paid for a room. Seconds later villagers hurled rocks at us. They took their swords and guns and continued their attack.
One man gave us mercy and directed the crowd to loot our wagons. He whispered to me to get my family away while the people were distracted.
We tried. I called for Rosalind to climb down from the cart and bring the children. I was of no help to her. I could barely walk. My arm had been run through with a sword, my head was bleeding from rocks, my leg may have been broken.
The crowd went crazy yanking our belongings off the cart. Rosalind hurried the children to catch up with me. The crowd saw us leave and followed. They threw more rocks. I wanted to move faster but couldn't. Rosalind pushed the baby into my arms, and I held him close to me. She faced the crowd and shouted at them in Chinese to kill her but spare the children, they had done nothing wrong.
That was the last I saw. I held the baby close to me to protect him as I collapsed against the ground. Faintly, in the distance a few loud voices from the crowd said they'd killed the man. They cheered. Their voices faded, so I assumed they walked away.
Rosalind shook my good arm and shouted at me to get up. "There is a village just beyond the hill. Maybe someone from there will take mercy on us and help you." She tugged on my arm. "Get up, Jonathan."
I forced myself to stand. She pulled my good arm over her shoulder to support my weight. We struggled to the next village. But when I saw another mob with stones I lost my strength and fell to the ground again. All I heard was Rosalind's sobs and my little ones touching my face asking me to wake up.
Some time later, I have no idea how long I slept. But some time later I opened my eyes and found myself in a small brick room. There was hay on the floor. It looked like a jail cell. Rosalind spoke to me. "How are you, Jonathan?"
I tried to speak but only raspy sounds eked out. "What happened?"
"Lay still. A man helped to pack your wounds."
I blinked. Her face came into focus. She had bruises, blood on her, and her face was swollen. "Are you all right? Where are the children. What about Ruth?"
"Shh. You need to rest. Ruth isn't with us yet. When you fell, people from the next village came to see what the problem was. The women asked the men to help us to safety. They locked us inside here for our safety and have passed food and water through that window up there."
I thought of the others and the carts. "Do you know if any of the other missionaries escaped?"
The rest of that day and night, Rosalind and I helped each other, washing our wounds and caring for our children. We prayed for the other missionaries that God would protect them.
The next day the door opened. My friend, Mr. McKenzie found us. "Jonathan! You're alive!" He came to the place where I lay.
"Have you found anyone else?" I asked.
"Yes, Jonathan. Everyone is alive. Dr. Leslie is seriously injured, but he will mend in time. I was sent to find you so we could continue on our journey."
He helped me stand. The movement tore open my wounds. We had to leave, though, if we expected to survive. We walked out of the hut. The villagers gathered around us. Not like an angry mob. Instead they held gifts for us, an old blanket to keep the children warm, a worn pair of shoes for Rosalind's bare feet.
I couldn't help but ask them, "Why are you helping us?"
One man said, "We couldn't face our God if we harmed you."
I was surprised but so grateful. I don't know what will happen during the rest of our journey. Will you pray for us that God will protect us until we can reach safety? We need to reach Shanghai as soon as possible.
There is more to this story. Come back next time.
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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