Year: summer 1933
Jonathan Goforth 74 years old
Jonathan Goforth's Journal
In all the years I have been in Asia, I have never wanted to do anything else with my life than to tell the people in China and as it turns out, Manchuria, about the living God who loves them.
I have so many stories to tell about what God has done for the people here. How He has shown people, even in hardship that He is present and will care for them.
The Japanese have taken rule of Manchuria. The man in charge only does what the Japanese tell him to do. Many Japanese bandits have come here to rob the people.
These bandits have said they hated anything foreign. They've murdered Chinese Christians and burned churches to the ground. What brings tears of joy is seeing Christians standing firm in their belief.
I visited a church in Fanchiatun which is north of Szepingkai. Two girls, cousins, one age fourteen the other twelve, told me what happened to them.
"It was three weeks ago," Sun Wen's story started. "My mother, she yelled to us to run out of the house. Japanese bandits came to our home. We all ran toward the backyard. I looked for my cousin, Sun Guang and didn't see her. I sneaked back to the house and looked for her when I heard a loud noise at the door. The Japanese shouted, wanting the door to be opened.
"I called for my cousin from the kitchen until she answered. She was hiding in the storage room. It was too late for me to run to her. I didn't know what to do. I knelt on the floor and prayed.
"The door burst opened. I counted twenty men pushing to get inside our home. The leader saw me. He grabbed my hair and yelled, 'where is your father?' When I didn't answer he put his hands around my throat and shouted, 'where is your father. Tell me now or I will kill you.' I said, 'I don't know.' And I didn't because I wasn't sure which way my family ran."
Her eyes closed tightly for a moment. She wiped a tear then said, "My answer made the bandit angry." She touched her neck. "He squeezed my throat and yelled, 'You're lying. Tell me the truth.'
"It was so hard to speak but I managed to say, 'I am not lying. I am a Christian.' I don't know how or why but the idea came for me to sing to him. 'You would like to hear me sing.' These words confused him. He stood back and looked strangely at me. I sang 'Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so.' Even as they threw our things into a pile, opened cupboards and grabbed my family's things, I kept singing. I thought no one was listening.
"When I finished the song, though, several of the bandits said, 'Sing more.' I remembered Sun Guang in the storage room and said, 'I love singing. My cousin who is in the other room can sing even better.' I called her to come out.
"We sang the second verse of Jesus loves me and the chorus together in harmony. When we finished the song, the leader said, 'We have to stop. Put everything back where you found it.' The men looked at him like he was crazy, but they obeyed. After they put everything back, the leader took money from his pocket and gave it to us."
I said, "Weren't you afraid of them or what they would do?"
A beautiful smile came and she said, "Why no. I knew Jesus was with me no matter what happened."
You see? These are the stories that give me the life and breath to want to tell everyone I see about the living God who loves them.
I could never tire of hearing them.
This doesn't mean that God always brings these happy endings. Bad things happen even to those who believe in God. That is part of life here on earth. But if we endure to the end with a love for God, we will be with Him in heaven where there will be no more evil.
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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