Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Probably he got caught in a steel trap like this one over here," their dad said, pointing to an exhibit in the next case.
"But how could he get free from that?" Julie asked.

Continue Reading...

– posted 12.04.2009

Hudson Taylor- Part 2

A Character story about determination.

The strict discipline of Hudson Taylor's father was important to his success later in life. But while he was growing up, he didn't always appreciate it. Once when he complained to his mother, she replied, "My Dear, he is your father. Not a word! Remember, 'Honor thy Father.'"
When Hudson or Amelia, his sister, had a need, their mother would usually say, "Pray about it, Children. Learn to pray about everything." And time was given to do just that. After their 8am breakfast, the family met for Bible study and prayer together. Then each family member was given half an hour to read and pray alone. Early Hudson Taylor learned the importance of time alone with God.
When Hudson was not accompanying his father on a trip to preach, Sundays were spent singing hymns and reading the Bible together. The children were allowed to play with their nicest toys that day, and to read good books. The family also read Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress together.
But in spite of this strong and consistent teaching in the ways of God, Hudson Taylor had put off making the most important decision in life. He had never personally accepted Jesus Christ as his own Savior.
It was June of 1849 and by now Hudson was 17 years old. He was working as a junior clerk in a bank where most of the other workers made fun of his 'old-fashioned notions' which he would parrot from his father. After listening to them talk of their fun, Hudson grew weary trying to act like a Christian. However, God soon sent him away from these evil friends. Hudson's eyes became inflamed from overtime work by gas light and he had to resign and return home. But he was not happy, and Amelia his sister could tell. Though only 13, she promised the Lord that she would pray three times a day until her brother was truly converted.
Mrs. Taylor had to be gone for some weeks visiting friends. While there, she was greatly burdened to pray for the salvation of her son. Excusing herself, she got alone and prayed several hours until the Lord gave her assurance that He had answered her prayer. Meanwhile, at that very moment Hudson was home alone and, to take up time, went through some tracts his father had, hoping to find an interesting story. "Ah, here's one," he said to himself. "I'll just read the story, and skip the sermon after." But as he read, he was captivated by five simple words: the finished work of Christ. "Why did the author use that expression?" he wondered. The reply came as if his mother or father was instructing him. "Jesus made the full and perfect atonement for sin. Nothing more can be added to His work on the cross." Then came the thought, "If the whole work was finished and the whole debt paid, what is there left for me to do?"
"Nothing, but to fall down on one's knees and, accepting this Savior and His salvation, praise Him for evermore," came the answer. Hudson Taylor did this and was immediately filled with a joy he had never before experienced.
Several days passed before he was willing to share the good news with his sister. But he made Amelia promise she would not tell anyone until he had told his mother. When she returned two weeks later, he met her at the door. "Mother, I have the most wonderful news," he began.
"I know, my boy."
"Why, has Amelia broken her promise? She said she would tell no one."
"No, my son. The Lord assured me he had answered my prayer when I set myself to pray for you. I have been rejoicing with you for the past two weeks."
"You will agree with me," Hudson wrote later, "that it would be strange indeed (after such amazing events) if I were not a believer in the power of prayer."
Hudson Taylor immediately began to grow in the things of the Lord. He enjoyed reading the Bible whenever he could and now prayer was not a required burden, but a delightful privilege. He often spent Sunday afternoons working among poor people there in Barnsley, England. As he continued to help in his father's pharmacy, he also studied Latin, Greek, theology, medicine, and he also began the study of Chinese.
But, though Hudson did love God, he failed often in living in a way pleasing to his Heavenly Father. In December of 1849, after much inner struggle concerning this failure, he told the Lord he would totally dedicate his life to Him, to "go anywhere, do anything, suffer whatever His cause might demand, and be wholly given to His will and service." He later wrote of what happened following this prayer. "Never shall I forget the feeling that came over me then. Words can never describe it. I felt I was in the presence of God, entering into covenant with the Almighty... Something seemed to say 'Your prayer is answered, your conditions are accepted'. And from that time the conviction never left me that I was called to China."
But to be a missionary in China, Hudson Taylor would need more than just a dedicated heart and will. He would need medical training, and he would need His faith in God strengthened. Life in China would not be so pleasant as in England and he needed to prepare himself. Thus, Hudson removed his feather bed, and replaced it with a simple mat. He replaced his English food with the simplest things that would give nutrition. And He moved to the city of Hull to work under the tutelage of Dr. Robert Hardy, a busy medical man and godly Christian. Hudson rented a room in a very small shack in an area of town called Drainside, there to be near the poor and needy while he studied. During these months Hudson Taylor would learn some valuable lessons which were needed to prepare him for future work in China.