Monday, July 10, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-The Offended Chief Official and his Sedan Chair.

By Mary Vee
Year: October 1902
Jonathan Goforth-43 years old


Jonathan Goforth's Journal


My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind, and I are missionaries in China. I've been so excited to have my family back here with me. The work kept me busy while they were in Canada, but I was very lonely.

Rosalind and the children returned to our home in China a few weeks ago. We are packed ready to leave first thing in the morning for a new village called Wuan. It is twenty miles away, which doesn't seem far until traveling with three carts, several families, and equipment on roads mostly destroyed in the last rebellion.

My family rode in the first cart with the driver while I walked behind that cart. The rest of the missionary families rode in the second cart. The third cart held our supplies and equipment for our work.

We left early in the morning. 

The journey took most of the day. About three miles before we reached the village a large rock blocked the way. We couldn't move it. Everyone, including the driver, stepped down from the carts and looked at the problem.

If we wanted to move forward, we'd have to jam our shoulders into the back of the wagon and lift while pushing it forward. The men all lined against the cart, shoulders pressing the wood. On the count of three we pushed up and forward.

"You have to lift a little higher," Rosalind called.

We pushed our shoulders against the wood again and counted to three again. The wagon raised just high enough to roll over the rock. We moved that cart forward and out of the way then did the same for the second and third carts.

There were so many potholes and large rocks in that twenty miles, we were exhausted by the time we reached the inn in Wuan. Not even the children were hungry after all the work we did. We reserved a space and flopped on the community bed. Hah...the kids didn't even talk or beg for water.

The next morning we woke refreshed and aching. I had bruises on top of bruises! We ate the breakfast served by the inn and were surprised to see a visitor asking to see us.

"Hello." The man bowed. "My name is Mr. Yen. I am the chief city official." He looked at our group and seemed to notice the children. "Did you travel with those children on the road from Changte? In the carts outside?"

"Yes. We've been to many villages in those carts."

"I went to Changte last month on that road. It was impassable by cart in places."

"Thank you for your concern, Mr. Yen. We are willing to travel those roads in what we have."


Sedan Chair used in China Photo Courtesy
He shook his head. "I will not hear of it. You will accept my offer of transportation by sedan for all of you, including the children. And in the future, if you come back, you must also use the sedans. If you do not, I will be offended."

I felt terrible. There were too many of us. It would take many sedans for our group. Not only that, I will feel terrible as a missionary who is to use money and services only for the work. These are chairs used by wealthy people. I began to politely refuse.

Mr. Yen held his hand up. "You will come to this city using the sedan transportation, or you will not have permission to come at all."

What could I say? "Thank you Mr. Yen. We are happy to accept your offer." I bowed. So did he, but he didn't leave.


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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