Monday, June 5, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-One Window That Faced An Angry Crowd

By Mary Vee
Year: October 1901
Jonathan Goforth-42 years old

Jonathan Goforth's Journal

My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind and I are missionaries to China. I say to because things aren't going as I had hoped.

Sounds like I have a story to share, right? 

I'd barely survives my injuries brought on by Chinese villagers who were ordered to kill all foreigners. The foreigners who managed to escape fled to other countries. I took my family back home to Canada to rest and heal.

Each day in Canada, my thoughts were of the Chinese, the church we'd set up, the Christian Chinese. I wanted so badly to go back but had to wait for the Chinese government to allow visitors back into the country.

One year and one month later, news reporters said the Chinese government changed their minds. Visitors would be allowed in China. I didn't know how long the Chinese government would allow foreigners to visit and didn't want to miss the opportunity to return. I packed my bags and bought a ticket for the next boat. I kissed my wife, Rosalind, good bye. "I don't know what will happen. You and the kids need to stay here until I'm sure it is safe for you to come."

She placed her hand on my face. "Be careful."

I didn't want her to see my tear as the boat pulled away. I would miss her and the children, but staying away from China would drive me crazy. God asked me to go and be a witness, so I had to go.

It took a long time to sail to Shanghai then change to a river boat and finish the journey on land back to our mission compound in Changte. I was tired, but not too tired to find the church and our house and see what condition they were in. 

Everything of value had been taken from the compound. I had expected that. There were repairs that would need to be made. I expected that too. We'd rebuild in time. As I walked through the house, I heard a noise outside. A voice calling my name. I walked to the front yard and saw Mr. Ho. He ran to me, laughing as he always did when he was happy.

I invited him inside. "Come. Tell me what has happened."

We sat on the floor in the kitchen. 

"Ku-Mu-shih." That is the name he called me. "After you left, I camped inside the church to protect it."

"But I asked you not to. You could have been killed."

He lowered his head. "I know. But I had to. That place was more than a church. It held the memories of you and the other missionaries. I tried. I tried so hard. On the second day, though, soldiers came. They tied my arms and pulled me through the city leaving me in the center. A mob swarmed around me, yelling, spitting, and throwing rocks. They said I should be cut apart for listening to the foreign devils."

He rubbed one arm then continued. "The soldiers finally untied me and dragged me to the courthouse, leaving the mob outside. They took me to a room and locked the door. I was alone. But there was a window. I looked outside and saw it faced the mob that had grown even larger."

He laughed. "This may sound crazy but I saw it as a chance to speak to a thousand people." He laughed again. "So I did."

"You did?" 

"Yes. What was the worst that could happen? They'd kill me? Even if I didn't speak they'd kill me. So I did. I stood at the window and," he paused, "I told them all about the God who loves them and what He did for them." He closed his eyes.

"What happened?"

He opened his eyes. "The mob seemed curious at first. A few minutes later the yelling started." He sighed. "They said I had been poisoned with your medicine. I didn't care. I spoke as long as I could. Soon the soldiers came and took me to the magistrate. I knew he had the power to kill me."

I wanted to know what happened next as badly as you do, but this post is getting long. I'll finish Ho's story next week.

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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