Saturday, November 30, 2013

Elisha-This is not the Road You are Looking For.

By Mary Vee
II Kings 6:19

From A Spy in the Israelite Army's Journal

I started this story last week, if you want to read the first half, click here

I could barely contain my laughter while waiting to tell you the rest of the story.

Once Elisha prayed for God to open his servant, Gehazi's eyes, the situation still needed to be resolved.

Prepare yourself to laugh as you read what happened next.

Elisha went outside the city gate toward the army. Remember, God struck the army with blindness at the end of the story last time. Elisha found the commander and said, "This is not the road and this is not the city you are looking for. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you seek."

Elisha led the Aramean army to the city of Samaria. It took quite awhile to get there since the men couldn't see. 

Now the city of Samaria is where the king of Israel lived. Oh, you are figuring out what happened next, aren't you?

Elisha led the army inside the city gates and said, "Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see." As soon as he finished speaking, the men looked around and saw they were inside Samaria and had become captured prisoners.

The king of Israel ran toward Elisha and said. "You brought them here? By yourself?" He looked stunned and not sure what to do. "Should I kill them, my father? Should I?"

Elisha shook his head. "No. Do not kill them. Would you kill men captured with your sword or bow?" He held his hand out toward the army. "Set food and water before them, let them eat and drink then let them return to their master."

Really? He wanted us to be kind to our enemy? The king of Israel did as Elisha instructed. 

What happened next? Well, the bands of armies from Aram stopped raiding the Israelite cities and territory.

Being kind to the enemy isn't always the battle strategy given by God. It was this time. Perhaps it was because He knew the hearts of the people of Aram. 

God knows my heart and yours as well. He will help us to learn using what is best.

photo courtesy of

1. Elisha went outside the city gate where he hid and spoke to _____________
2. He told them ______________________
3. And asked them to follow him to find _____________________.
4. Once inside the Samarian city gate, Elisha prayed to God and asked Him to __________
5. The soldiers ___________ their eyes and were afraid.
6. The Israelite king asked Elisha if he could ____________
7. What were Elisha's instructions for the army?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Photo by Mary Vee

The entire book of Psalms is a song book used by the Hebrews to sing praise and thanksgivings to God. 

In our walk through the Bible, we have not yet read all the Psalms. 

Today lets read one of those Psalms:

Psalm 100

Make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the Lord, He is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture
Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

God has blessed us with everything we need. We may want much more, but we have what we need. And many days we have many of the things we want!

I am thankful you come to read the Bible and missionary stories on this post and look forward to seeing you every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday.

May God richly bless you and your family.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Hudson Taylor-When Love and Service is Not Enough for Sodom

By Mary Vee
Year: September, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35

From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

photo courtesy
Each time we felt ready to expand the ministry I accompanied the chosen missionary and two Chinese nationals to the new city. 

There, as a group, we walked through the city to determine if a mission could successfully be established. We made sure a bank account could be established and a house rented. 

Earlier this year, we chose to visit Huzhou, a city known for the Great Lake robbers, drunkenness, and all kinds of violence. Even the magistrate of the city had little control over the people. For the safety of the missionaries, we chose not to set up a mission. 

In the middle of September, I returned to Huzhou with James Williamson and two Chinese nationals to see if there had been any changes. We presented ourselves to the magistrate, paid a deposit on a house, which we were told they could have some time in the near future, and all seemed well. I returned to our base camp leaving the missionaries to establish a church.

James, Liu, and Yi lived on the boat, waiting to move into the house. They spent their days preaching and giving tracts to men and women who seemed interested in hearing about the God who loves them.

During the time of living on the boat, James became sick with malaria. Liu and Yi brought him back to the base camp to be treated for his illness. John McCarthy left the next day with Liu and Yi to take James' place.

We are not sure what happened, but a few days after John's arrival, citizens protested, carrying signs with messages against the missionaries. To make matters worse, missionary Carl Kreyer, visited John wearing European clothing. John tried each day after he left to recapture the people's attention, but it didn't work.

John, Liu, and Yi walked about the city of Huzhou one day looking for a corner to stand and preach. They passed through a narrow lane. A drunken man shouted insults at them. As soon as John passed, a small gang of men grabbed Yi and threw him to the ground. They hit him in the face. 

John ran back to the boat, grabbed their papers granting foreigners permission to be in the city. Liu ran for the police while John and Yi tried to calm the mob.

The angry crowd grabbed Yi, slapping him in the face and punching him. John tried to rescue Yi but the crowd closed in, preventing him from getting close to Yi. 

The police officer arrived after Yi had been beaten and commanded Yi to follow him. He didn't offer Yi any protection. As Yi stood to follow, the crowd continued to strike him with every weapon they could find.

John didn't know what to do. He wasn't prepared for this sort of violence.

Come back next time to see what happened.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of torment

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Elisha-God Foils the Enemy's Plan

By Mary Vee
II Kings 6:8

From A Spy in the Israelite Army's Journal

This event which I am about to share with you causes me to laugh just thinking about it. It proves God's sense of humor.

The king of Aram started a war with my country, the Israelites. Usually I had the job to go to the other camp and listen for their plans. This time, the king of Israel did not send me. 

The prophet Elisha sent a message to the king warning him to beware of passing by a certain place because the Arameans were going down there. 

The king of Israel sent a unit to check on the place mentioned in the note.

The next day, the prophet Elisha sent a similar message warning the king of the Arameans location. Each time the king followed through by checking on the location and held his guard.

The king sent me to spy on the Arameans to see what they were saying about having their plans ruined. I ran there and found a nice place to hide near where I could hear their king speaking. The tent filled with his officers. The king said, "We obviously have a spy in our midst. Which of you is telling the king of Israel our plans?

One of the officers answered, "None of us, my lord. Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom."

I had to cover my mouth to keep from laughing.

The king of Aram screamed, "Go find out where he is so I can send men and capture him."

I ran back and reported what I heard to the king of Israel. He sent me back to gather more information. 

The officers returned to the king of Aram's tent the next day and reported. "The prophet is in Dothan."

The king laughed. "We have him now. Send horses and chariots and my strongest army there and bring him to me."

The army went by night and surrounded the city. Unbelievable, they actually think this plan will work when none of the other had? Hah!

Still, I wanted to warn Elisha. I took a short-cut and hurried near where Elisha lived. The next morning I saw Elisha's servant step out from where they stayed. He could see from their high place the Aramean army had surrounded the city. He cried to Elisha, "Oh, my lord, what shall we do?

Elisha stepped out and stood next to his servant. My warning had come too late. Elisha turned to his prophet and said, "Don't be afraid. Those who are with us are more than those who are with them."

I don't know about you, but this sure seemed confusing. I only saw Elisha and his servant.

Elisha raised his hands toward heaven and prayed, "O Lord, open his eyes so he may see." 

The servant rubbed his eyes and looked toward the hills all around the city. "My lord, I see a great army of angels with horses and chariots made of fire. They are ready to protect us." The servant rubbed his eyes and laughed. 

The enemy shouted and their army moved forward to capture Elisha. 

Elisha prayed to the Lord, "Strike these people with blindness." I had learned from times in the past that the Lord put in Elisha's heart what He wants him to do. 

Moments later the entire Aramean army had been struck down with blindness.

Isn't that amazing?

Come back to read what happened next….there is more to this story of God's mighty power against the foolish Aramean army.

photo courtesy of

1. Who went to battle against the Israelites?
2. How did the Israelites know about each battle plan?
3. King Aram became angry with Elisha and sent his army to ______________.
4. Elisha's servant saw the army and became ___________
5. Elisha prayed and asked God to do what for the servant?
6. When the Aramean army moved to capture Elisha, what did Elisha ask God to do? 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Elisha-The Great Battle Plan

By Mary Vee
II Kings 3

From King Jehoshaphat's Journals

The prophet Elisha told us to dig ditches. Many of them. Throughout the entire valley.

The soldiers dug for several hours, even after the sun went down. When the last pieces of dirt flew out of the last ditch, all the men from the armies of Israel, Judah, and Edom went to sleep.

As the sun rose the next morning, we prepared to offer sacrifices in thanks to God for what He would do and for our sins. One of my men came running to me. "Look! All the ditches have water in them. The animals are already drinking."

I turned and found water flowing from the direction of Edom. Praise God He provided water for us.

A moment later one of my spies interrupted. "Excuse me, my lord. I have news."

"Tell me at once." He was the man I had sent to discover what the Moabites planned to do.

"I hid behind a bush and heard them as they woke this morning. They looked toward the desert and saw the ditches we dug and the water in them. But from where they stood, and with the red morning sky reflecting from the water, they thought blood filled the ditches. They did not know God placed water there for us.

"Once they decided blood filled the ditches they shouted, 'The kings must have fought and slaughtered each other. Let's go an take all the plunder we can!'  They laughed and have assembled their men read to plunder."

"Our God has given us the battle indeed and has shown us his battle plan. Tell everyone to lie down as if dead. Hurry. Tell them to wait for my signal then leap upon our enemy the Moabites."

The spy went throughout the camp, gathering many men to spread the word. 

I peeked out from my tent at the "dead" soldiers from Israel, Judah, and Edom. I listened for the rumble of the Moabite army and waited for them to come close. They would not carry their weapons to free their arms for plunder. 

As the Moabite army reached ten feet away from our army I shouted. "Attack!" Our entire army leaped to their feet with their swords in hand. The army fought valiantly until the Moabites fled. We invaded their land, and conquered everything just as Elisha said.

The king of Moab gathered seven hundred swordsman and ran after the king of Edom to attack however our armies protected the king of Edom. 

The battle had been won. 

We returned to our homes the victors and only because of the hand of God. 

photo courtesy of

1.  Why did the soldiers dig ditches throughout the valley?
2.  The next morning what did they find in the ditches?
3.  A spy reported the Moabites waking and seeing what in the valley?
4.  What did they think happened?
5.  What did the Moabites decide to do.
6.  How did the Israelites, Judaeans, and Edomites surprise the Moabites?
7. Who supplied the water? Who gave the perfect battle plan?

Monday, November 18, 2013

Hudson Taylor- No Food Left in the Cupboard

By Mary Vee
Year: August, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

God blessed by sending six men and one woman to serve as missionaries with us. We were so happy to have them join our work.

Our mission, China Inland Mission (CIM) had a person in charge at the London office, and I served as the administrator here in China.

Preaching the Good News to the Chinese, running the clinic, serving food to the hungry and training missionaries, these made up the core of my duties. There was no aspect of my work I didn't enjoy.

I must admit, though, I did wish to explore new places to plant churches. My experiences helped me to speak the language the best, but if I left the headquarters other missionaries would not be trained.

Several of the men prayed with me, searching for the right person in our group to send out and start a new church in Nanjing. George Duncan's name came to our attention. He not only had a reasonable grasp of the language, but his heart showed a deep desire to tell the Chinese about God's love.

George gathered supplies and left with two Chinese nationals who had joined our missionary group. I must admit I felt proud to see our group reaching deeper into China. We prayed with George before he left, asking God's blessings on the new work.

Nineteen days later George reached Nanjing and learned a difficult lesson in Chinese manners. The two Chinese missionaries who travelled with George went to the mayor to announce their arrival. The mayor responded by inviting George to lunch. George, naturally accepted. He didn't know the proper answer meant refusing with a thank you. 

The mayor didn't trust this new foreigner. He notified everyone in the town not to rent to the stranger. The two Chinese missionaries, however, rented a room. George had to sleep on the junk (a Chinese boat). The next day, the priest who lived in a tower had not heard the warning. He opened a loft room for George. Between the rats and the tiny space, George didn't sleep well.

Two weeks passed before the people in Nanjing realized George could be trusted, at least a little. He and the other two missionaries were allowed to rent a nice room from a carpenter. They also rented a room to use for a chapel.

I knew George would be running out of money soon. I wired him the needed funds. The bank close to him, however, closed and the second bank in town ran out of money. The wired funds were returned to me. 

George sent a note telling he needed money. In his note he said they would pray, asking God to provide a way to get the money to them. Days later, the three men ran out of food and money. "What should we do?" one asked George.

"Pray. God will provide for us." That day a man shared five dollars with George. This money gave them rice for a few days. 

While George condoned to pray, William Rudland unexpectedly arrived. He offered to take the money to Nanjing. Even with William's offer, George would have to wait many days for William to make the journey.

In Nanjing, George carefully managed the food they had, taking only what they absolutely needed to survive. They looked in the cupboard several days later and found it empty. He said to the other missionaries, "God will provide. Trust Him."

George went out that day and spoke with people in the city. He gave them tracts and told them about God. He invited them to a church service. By the end of the day, he'd become quite tired and hungry. 

George walked slowly back to his rented room. His stomach growled. As he rounded the corner to his street one of the missionaries ran out of the building saying, "Dinner is waiting for you. William Rudland arrived and he brought money."

There didn't seem to be a way to get the money to George. Yet, we all knew God had an answer and would take care of the three missionaries.

Great is God's faithfulness, O God, our Father.

Praise God for the servants He has sent to do the work here in China. All the Georges who serve God faithfully.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of need

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Elisha-Dealing with The Ornery and the Good

by Mary Vee
II Kings 3

From King Jehoshaphat's Journals

I know I shouldn't help Joram, king of Israel. He doesn't put his faith in God. However, we are brothers, and kings of the people chosen by God to live in the promise land.

My name is Jehoshaphat, king of Judah.

Joram sent me a message. I happened to be in Jerusalem at the time. The message stated the Moabites had rebelled against him. "Will you go with me to fight against Moab?"

We may not get along, but it is my duty to help protect the Israelites. I sent a message back. "I'll go. We are brothers, my people are as your people, my horses are as your horses. What is your battle plan?"

We met together with our armies not far from Jerusalem where I lived. Joram greeted me. "Here is my plan: We will go through the Desert of Edom to attack Moab."

We traveled to the Edom and there asked the king of Edom to join us. He did. 

The three armies marched for seven days then ran out of water. There wasn't any for the soldiers or the animals.

Remember, I said Joram hadn't put his faith in God. When he discovered there wasn't any water left and there wasn't a spring, pool, or lake nearby he became angry. 

"What! Has the Lord called us three kings together only to hand us over to Moab?"

Sigh. Of course he meant he was terribly thirsty.

I turned to the others standing nearby and asked, "Isn't there a prophet of the Lord here for us to ask questions to God through him?

One of Joram's officers nodded. "Yes. Elisha is here. He used to pour water on the hands of Elijah."

"Perfect. The word of the Lord is with him. Let's go ask him."

We found where Elisha was staying and asked to speak with him.

Elisha came out of his tent. "What do you want? You have the prophets of your father and the prophets of your mother."

This was not a good way to start. He had been looking at Joram and knew Joram didn't put his faith in God. I understood his point. Why give the king of Israel an answer from God when the man didn't believe in God?

Joram shook his head. "No, we can't go to them because it was the Lord who called us three kings together and now he plans to hand all of us over to Moab!" 

This wasn't the best way to speak to Elisha. If you want something from someone, insulting the person is not the way to get it.

Elisha took a deep breath and squinted at Joram. He pointed his finger and said, "As surely as the Lord Almighty lives, whom I serve, if I didn't have respect for the  presence of this man," he pointed at me, "Jehoshaphat king of Judah, I would not even look at you or notice you." 

He looked away from Joram and huffed. "Bring me a harpist."

A harpist would play sweet music to calm down the tempers. Good idea. A harpist was found and brought to Elisha. As the music played Elisha closed his eyes, not to sleep, but as if he heard something or someone. 

Elisha spoke, "This is what the Lord says: Make this valley full of ditches. You will see neither wind nor rain, yet this valley will be filled with water, and you, your cattle and your other animals will drink. This is an easy thing in the eyes of the Lord. He will also hand Moab over to you. You will overthrow every fortified city and every major town. You will cut down every good tree, stop up all the springs, and ruin every good field with stones."

We thanked him and set the men to work digging ditches and the Lord said.

I will finish this telling next time. Hopefully Joram will be kinder then.

1, ___________ is the king of Israel.
2. ___________ is the king of Judah.
3. ______________ caused trouble for Israel.
4. King Joram asked _______________ to help him fight the battle.
5. Along the way they asked the king of ______________ to help them.
6. The three kings traveled over the desert and became _____________
7. They asked _______________ for help.
8. ______________ was rude to Elisha.
9. Elisha still prayed to God for help. God told the kings to ________________

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elisha-God Helps in Time of Need-The Axhead Miracle

By Mary Vee
II Kings 6

From Elisha's Journal

I met with a group of prophets who lived near the Jordan River. I have met with them many times. We discuss the Scriptures, pray, and sing.

The group had grown to be large. We found it difficult to sit comfortably and discuss with all the prophets there. One of the prophets said, "This room is too small. Let's build a bigger place down by the river."

The other prophets agreed. 

I thought it would be a good idea, too, but felt the decision needed to be their's since I didn't stay there all the time like they do.

One prophet said, "Elisha, will you join us. We know you aren't always here, but we feel you are as much a part of our group as we are."

"Yes, I will," I said.

We gathered together tools and went down to the river. The group of prophets walked along the shore and found the perfect place to build. We leveled the ground and went to the woods to cut down trees.

Some of the trees grew close to the river. One prophet chose to cut those trees for his section of the room. He took out his axe and swung it at the tree. He made the first indentation, yanked the axe out and pulled his arm back to swing again. As he moved to strike the tree, the iron axhead slipped off the handle and fell into the river.

He stood there gasping at the sight. He looked at the handle and at the river. The water was too deep and mucky to see the axehead. 

The prophet looked at the water trying to decide what to do.

Finally he ran to Elisha. "My lord, I have a terrible problem. The axhead fell into the water and I can't see it. It was borrowed! Please help me."

I followed him. "Show me the place in the water where it fell."

It's over here. He walked to a spot right by the trees. "There, about  two feet into the river."

The Lord spoke to me to go to a tree, cut a stick, and cary it to the place where the axhead fell into the water. He then told me to throw the stick at the same spot. I did all that the Lord said to do.

We looked at the water. Under the stick, a piece of metal poked through the surface. It was the axhead! I turned to the prophet and said, "Lift it out of the water."

He did as I said and pulled the borrowed tool from the water.

Praise God. He is always willing to help us in time of need. The help may not always be what we think, but it will always be what we need.

photo courtesy of

1. Where did Elisha meet the men?
2. Why did these men meet?
3. What was wrong with the room they met in?
4. How did they want to solve the problem?
5. What happened to the prophet's axehead?
6. Why was the prophet so very upset?
7. What did Elisha do?
8. What happened to the axehead.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Hudson Taylor-Sometimes We Need Extra Encouragement

By Mary Vee
Year: February, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

Good things have happened. 

We recently turned the church in Ningbo over to a national pastor. The church had grown and many had been baptized. The new national pastor came to know Christ as his Savior when I first came. 

He eagerly studied Scriptures and trained with us, preaching to men, women, and children in the streets and in the chapels with us. This year we sensed he could take on the responsibility. He agreed. What a jubilant day when he took over the first service.

In July we sent three missionaries, James Meadows, Josiah Jackson and Feng Nenggui, a Chinese man who accepted Christ and wanted to help deeper into inland China.

Josiah chose to wear Chinese clothes and eat Chinese food in the new city as he promised the mission. James, on the other hand did not. As a result people on the streets threw stones and shouted at James but left Josiah alone. 

Feng met with the prefect and reported back to Josiah and James they would be allowed to stay in Taizhou.

That night Josiah, James, and Feng slept in their tiny rented apartment. While they slept, robbers broke in and stole almost of their possessions including lost equipment, a shotgun, and pistol.

They complained to the prefect. James decided to leave the group and went back to Ningbo. In a short time most of the stolen belongings were returned to Josiah and Feng. 

Josiah and Feng found themselves warmly welcomed in Taizhou. They rented a four roomed house to set up the new ministry. 

In time, though, their funds ran low. Few Chinese came to their church services or came to hear about God when they went to the streets to preach. Josiah became convinced God didn't want him in Taizhou. Josiah left for Ningbo to borrow money from James and sent a letter to me reporting the problem.

I immediately penned a letter back to him, understanding he needed encouragement. 

Dear Josiah,
I understand you have faced difficulties and need finances. I ask you to hold your faith strong and return to Taizhou. Who knows if one person you speak to today may become the next great evangelist in China. Please don't feel defeated, rather be strong. Spend time learning the local dialect and preaching to the people. Remember, God will provide. There is no need to borrow from any man or trust in the power of a gun or man. 

Did you know, Josiah, money had been allocated for your use even before you knew your need. James Meadows will send you twenty dollars to cover your losses in the burglary.

I am praying for you and look forward to your next letter.
J. Hudson Taylor

Thankfully I did receive a short note in return from Josiah. He said he felt encouraged and chose to return to Taizhou ready to continue the ministry.

Praise God for the servants He has sent to do the work here in China.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of trial

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Elisha-The Shunammite Woman's Cry for Help

By Mary Vee
II Kings 4

From Elisha's Journal

I didn't worry. 

My faith remained strong.

God said He wanted to bless the Shunammite woman with a son. The boy was a gift from God. I knew in my heart God would take care of the situation.

She came to the mountain searching for me and said her son had been sick and died. Immediately I sent my servant, Gehazi, ahead of us and told him to set my staff on the boy's face.

This woman had dome much for me in the past years. She first allowed me to stay in her home and fed me. She and her husband then invited me to come anytime the Lord's work brought me past their home. Last, she and her husband built a room on the roof of her home to give me a peaceful rest. Her kindness touched my heart. 

Gehazi followed the instructions then ran back and found us close to her home. He said, "I did all you told me to do. The boy has not awakened."

I continued to escort the Shunammite woman, walking faster to her house. Since I'd stayed with her family in the past, I knew where her son's bedroom was. I walked straight to the room. "Stay out here," I said to Gehazi and her.

I shut the door and prayed to the Lord, asking His mercy on the boy's life. After a time of prayer I got up and went to the boy's bed. I laid my hand on his head. God then commanded me to lay on the boy, placing our faces together. I felt the boy's body warming. 

I got up from the bed and paced about the room, talking with God the whole time. I then went back to the bed and lay on the boy as the Lord commanded. Suddenly, he sneezed. I sat on the bed next to him and watch him breathe. Six more times he sneezed and opened his eyes.

I went to the door and called to Gehazi, "Call the Shunammite woman" 

She ran to the room right away. I pointed to the boy, "Take your son."

Her eyes grew wide and she pressed her hands on her cheeks. She called out to her son and ran to him. As she held him in her arms she thanked God for sparing her son's life.

God gave me another message for her. "I have something to tell you. You and your family need to move away for seven ears. The Lord has decreed a famine in the land that will last the seven years." 

She told her husband the message. They packed their things and went to the land of the Philistines, and there they lived for seven years.

Praise God for his loving kindness.

photo courtesy of

1.  What problem did the Shunammite son have?
2.  What happened to him?
3.  ______________ went with the Shunammite woman to her home
4.  Elisha saw her son. He first _____________________
5.  Second, he __________________________________
6.  Third, he ____________________________________
7.  Fourth, he ___________________________________
8. What warning did Elisha give the Shunammite woman?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Elisha-Shunammite Pleads for Her Son

By Mary Vee
II Kings 4

From the Shunammite Woman's Diary

I love my son. After many years, I didn't think I would ever have a child. One day the prophet Elisha told me God would bless our family with a son.

He has been the joy of my days. I love his laughter and his giggles. Yesterday he went with his father to help in the fields. Before noon, I looked out the window and was surprised to see out servant carrying my son toward the house.

He brought my child inside. "He has a terrible headache. It has grown so terribly over the last hour."

I took my son and placed him on my lap, holding him tight and humming a soft tune. Nothing helped. He cried out in anguish. My heart ripped apart because there was nothing I could do to ease his pain.

As the noon sun sat in the sky, my son fell limp in my arms and took his last breath. I had to do something. Sitting here and crying wouldn't help. I carried my son to his bed and closed the door. 

Elisha told us where he would be when he left a few days ago. I ran out to the field where my husband worked, asked for a donkey and a servant to accompany me to visit the prophet. "I won't be gone long." 

"Why do you want to see him today? This isn't a festival or the Sabbath."

"I know. I just want to speak with him."

He shrugged and called for the donkey and servant. I saddled the donkey as quick as I could and said to the servant, "Lead the way, go quickly and don't slow down for me unless I tell you." He set a good pace, one that I had to work hard to keep up with.

In the distance Elisha's servant ran toward us. He must have seen us coming. He called out to us as he neared, "Is everything all right. Is your husband all right? Is your child all right? 

"Gehazi, I must speak with the prophet. This is urgent." 

He led us to Elisha's camp on the mountain. Elisha came out to greet me. I slid off the donkey and ran to his feet and wrapped my hands around them. Gehazi moved forward to pull me away but Elisha told him to stop. 

"Did I ask for the son to be given to me? Yet God gave me a son as a gift. This morning he died."

Elisha said, "Gehazi take my staff and run to the boy. If you meet anyone on the way don't greet them. If anyone greets you, ignore them. Hurry to the boy and set my staff on his face."

I wanted Elisha to come to my son, I just needed his presence. "Please, Elisha, as sure as the Lord lives, I will not leave without you."

Gehazi left ahead of us as Elisha commanded. Elisha and I traveled on the road together. 

As we walked a ways, Gehazi ran back in our direction. "I did all that you said, but the boy has not awakened."

I refused to give up. Come back next time to see what happened next.

photo courtesy of

1.  What problem did the Shunammite son have?
2.  What happened to him?
3.  What did the Shunammite ask her husband for?
4.  Why did she do this knowing what happened top her son?
5.  Who did she go to see?
6.  Did she find him?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hudson Taylor- The Prayers of a Little Girl

By Mary Vee
Year: February, 1867 
Hudson Taylor: age 35
From J. Hudson Taylor's Notes

The summer heat beat upon us. Intense heat saturated with humidity made breathing difficult. 

Our team suffered greatly. Stephen Barchet came down with smallpox. We tried to isolate him once we determined his illness, but failed. 

John Sell suffered the pox next. He seemed to recover and asked to go to Hangzhou to bring his fiance to the compound. On the way back, he died. 

Josiah Jackson also suffered from the pox, but recovered. 

The heat brought disagreements among the missionaries, it was silly bickering that wouldn't resolve.

I knew they all needed a vacation. 

I arranged for the group to vacation in the hills six miles away. The weather was cooler, helping those who were ill to rest.

While there I sat on the grass with my little daughter, Grace. She twirled around hillside and laughed. What a refreshing delight she was to me. While playing, she saw a man making an idol. "Daddy, look!" She grabbed my hand and tugged. "That man is making an idol. He needs to learn about Jesus."

I stood, with her help (as much as a young girl could offer), and took her hand. "Come with me, Grace."

We walked to the idol maker and started up a conversation. I watched him form the figure and told him about the love of a God who can not be confined to a statue. He asked me several questions and I answered him. He didn't ask Jesus to be his savior, but I am convinced he listened. Perhaps in time he will understand the words I shared.

Grace listened to the whole conversation with a pleading look on her face. We walked back to the grass where we played earlier. She plopped on the grass next to me and brought her little face inches from mine. "Daddy, we need to pray for that man." 

We sang a hymn together first. I pulled her bangs back from her eyes and smiled. "Would you like to pray?" She did. Her prayer touched the core of my soul How she prayed on the behalf of the idol maker for his salvation. She continued her prayer asking for God to have mercy on the Chinese people. She closed her prayer asking God to strengthen her daddy as he preached to the people. I cannot describe the joy in my heart over the words of this dear child.

Gracie came down with a terrible headache and a high fever. I tested her and found she had meningitis. 

On August 15th I wrote those in England, spilling my heart on the page to tell them my sweet Gracie was dying. Her symptoms worsened into pneumonia. Despite our prayers, Gracie's health continued to worsen. 

I took Maria aside to a room where we could be alone. "She isn't getting any better. I fear, God is going to take her home." We cried, arm in arm, and gave back to God our precious jewel to take care of until we could see her again.

At ten minutes before nine o'clock in the evening, my sweet little Gracie took her last breath.

I wrote in a letter to Mr. Berger in England: 'Beloved brother, the Lord has taken our sweet little Gracie to blossom in the purer atmosphere of his own presence. Our hearts bleed; but our Jesus has done all things well.'

We buried sweet Gracie in China, among the people she loved. She wore her Chinese dress and held a flower. 

Sickness attacks all people at one time or another. Some to the point of death. Maria and I are grateful our little Gracie lived her life among the Chinese people and share with them her love for God.

J. Hudson Taylor
Missionary to China--Inland China!
Blessed by God even in time of trial

Photo courtesy of

Research resources: J. Hudson Taylor, An Autobiography by J. Hudson Taylor; It is Not Death to Die, a new biography of Hudson Taylor by Jim Cromarty; Hudson Taylor Founder, China Inland Mission by Vance Christie; J. Hudson Taylor, A Man in Christ, by Roger Steer, and Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret by Dr. &and Mrs. Howard Taylor.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Elisha-Miracle of the Bread

Mary Vee
II Kings 4

From the Journal of a Man from Baal Shalishah

I had heard the prophet Elisha went to Gilgal. It wasn't far from my home. With the famine raging throughout our land I knew he'd be hungry. 

I decided to make bread loaves for him, after all, where would we be without the prophets?

I packed twenty loaves of barley bread baked form the first ripe grains in my fields. My stomach growled as the aroma seeped out of the satchel. I grabbed my staff and the satchel and walked to Gigal and went to the home where I heard Elisha stayed.

When the servant opened the door I heard many voices. I didn't realize there would be so many prophets meeting with Elisha. I began to feel pretty bad, knowing there wasn't enough food for all of the men.

The servant welcomed me into the room with Elisha and the men, I bowed in respect to everyone in the room. "If I may, I brought bread for you, Elisha. I apologize, I did not know there would be this many guests with you."

Elisha smiled. "Don't worry. Your gift is well received."

"Thank you."

Elisha turned to his servant and said, "Take the gift and give the bread to the people to eat."

I handed the bag to the servant as Elisha indicated.

His servant turned to Elisha. He eyebrows furrowed. "How can I set this before a hundred men?"

Elisha nodded and pointed to the prophets watching. "Trust me. Give the bread to the people to eat. The Lord said to me 'They will eat and have some left over.'"

Elisha prayed, thanking God for the food.

His servant grinned. "I will." He walked to the first man and gave him a loaf. He went to each man giving one small loaf of bread. After each man received his loaf, they ate. 

The servant brought the bag back to Elisha and they looked inside. Just as the Lord said, there were more loaves in the bag. 

I don't know that I've seen a miracle before, but I did that day. God provided enough food for everyone and he let me cook the first twenty! I walked back home feeling pretty good about my day. Thanks to a miracle done by God.

photo courtesy of

1. What is a famine?
2. A _________ from Baal Shalishah baked __________.
3. A bag containing ________ loaves of bread was brought to Elisha because _______
4. The man knew/did not know there would be 100 prophets meeting with Elisha.
5. Elisha told his servant to ____________________
6. What did Elisha see in the bag after the servant finished his work?