Monday, August 7, 2017

Jonathan Goforth-They Came Because of the Music

By Mary Vee
Year: October 1894
Jonathan Goforth-45 years old

Jonathan Goforth's Journal

My name is Jonathan Goforth. My wife, Rosalind, and I are missionaries in China and we are having an exciting time telling the people here about a living God who loves them. 

Sometimes, though, the men and women who trust in Jesus suffer. Their families reject them even to the point of throwing them out of their home or killing them.

This is what happened to Chang-san. He is a university student who came to one of our church services because he heard the music. He stayed and listened to me preach. He came back several times, asking many questions. One day he said he wanted to believe in Jesus.

He went to his home to tell his father about the living God. That they didn't need to pray to idols who could not speak and offered only punishments. His father dragged him out to the village center and beat him. When Chang-san refused to stop believing in the living God his father went in his house to get an ax to kill his son. 

The villagers helped Chang-san escape. He came directly to my house and asked what he should do.

Last night Chang-san stayed at my home. I told him I would gather all the mission workers in the area and ask their help.

I did as I said, and the meeting was set for later in the morning in my study. We sat in a circle facing each other. Chang-san told them the same things he told me about his faith in Jesus and what his father said and did.

Many suggestions were given. In the end we formed a plan that everyone agreed would be the best choice. We would all go to Chang-san's village. The other missionaries would preach in the streets to anyone who would listen. While they did, I would visit Chang-san's father and speak with him about his son.

The next morning, we thought it would be best for Chang-san to stay at my house, for his safety. 

We travelled to his village and were surprised not to be treated with the customary courtesies given to visitors. Usually a chair is brought for a traveler. A cup of water. But none of this or any other greeting happened. We decided to continue with the plan by setting up a place to preach. Curious children stopped and listened for a short time. A few dogs ran through the area. Not one man or woman came to hear us, though.

I paid a boy to take a message to Chang-san's father, asking him to come visit. He did not send back a reply.

Well, the preaching wasn't getting anyone's attention. The other missionaries and I talked about what we could do next. "Let's sing hymns and see if that will get some interest," one said. So, we sang a quick tempo of "Jesus Loves Me." What a wonderful surprise happened next. The people came in small groups, then more came. They sat down in the area where we met. 

One man was so interested, he carried a table and set it down near us. We put our Bibles there. Another man brought us benches to sit on. A woman brought us tea. The area was full of villagers sitting and listening. Once we had their attention we began preaching again. And the people stayed!

All of this was wonderful, except we came to speak to Chang-san's father and to find a way to help the boy return home. By three o'clock his father had still not answered my note. I refused to wait any longer. My job was to visit the father, and that was what I would do. 

I left the other missionaries and walked down the road toward Chang-san's father's home.

This is not the end of Chang-san's story. 

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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