As they approached the city, a group of drunken soldiers grabbed them and began to hit and kick them. "Let's kill them," one man said.
Hudson Taylor- Part 4
A Character story about faith.
Before Hudson Taylor finished his medical training, he faced a number of trails which God used to prepare him for his life work on China. On one occasion, he and other students were working on an autopsy of a man who died of a deadly disease. Suddenly Hudson got a pin prick from a contaminated needle. "Get your affairs in order," the doctor in charge told him. "You will be dead by tomorrow." Hudson Taylor did indeed get very sick, but God spared his life.
When his medical training was completed, Hudson felt he was ready to leave for China as a missionary. Though only 21 years old, he knew he could trust the Lord to provide for him and to use him to win the Chinese to Christ. When news arrived that war was dying down in China, Hudson Taylor traveled to the office of the Chinese Evangelization Society to offer himself for service. The director was surprised to see him and when Hudson Taylor told him why he came, the director replied, "Why, I just finished writing you a letter asking you to consider leaving soon for China. Here is the letter," he said, holding out a piece of paper.
Hudson Taylor was thrilled, but he knew he could not agree to go until he got his parents' permission. When he told them of the invitation to leave for China, they replied, "How could we say 'no'? It is for this purpose we dedicated you before birth. Go in the blessing of the Lord."
And so, on September 19, 1853 he boarded a sturdy little ship called Dumfries and sailed for China. He said 'good-bye' to his mother at home before leaving. His father was on shore to see him off as the only passenger on the 470 ton vessel. The ship traveled south through the Atlantic, around Africa, and east to China. Shortly after setting sail, they faced a violent storm. But a far worse trial came a few days later when no wind blew for several days. The ship drifted closer and closer to the rocky shore and sand bars where it would be broken and lost. "There is nothing we can do except wait to see what will happen," the captain lamented hopelessly.
"There is one thing we can do," Hudson answered. Four of us on board are Christians. Let us each go to his cabin and pray
for a wind to arise." The captain, one of the Christians, agreed. After Hudson Taylor prayed, he came up, confident that God would answer his prayers. "Let down the corners of the main sail," he said to one of the sailors.
"What would be the use of that?" he sneered.
"We asked for wind and I believe God will give it."
The man let down the sail, grumbling as he worked. But as he did, the wind grew and soon filled the sail, just in time to save them from the danger!
Arriving in a strange country after 5 months of sailing brings many strange surprises in itself. The customs, dress, language, and appearance of the people were different from anything Hudson Taylor had seen in England. But other problems also developed. He had difficulty getting a place to stay and he found that the war was still going on. Then too, his missionary support was not always sent on time from England. Not long after his arrival, he was told that a missionary couple, Dr. and Mrs. Parker, would be arriving soon and he was to find them a home. Hudson had little money, and great difficulty finding a house adequate for them. But he had learned to trust the Lord for supplies of all kinds.
His first task would be to learn the difficult Chinese language. As he roomed with a kind English missionary, he spent hours of hard work, mastering the picture-writing. Once he had learned to speak some Chinese, he began to work among the people. He rented a houseboat and traveled up and down the great Yangtze River to the small villages along its shores, making the most of the few sentences he knew to tell them about Jesus. Many of these people had never seen a foreigner dressed in queer clothes and with short hair. Some would come out of curiosity. Hudson Taylor and Dr. Parker would treat their medical needs and pass out New Testaments and tracts. Often they would speak to individuals at night on the boat. But in some cities they were not welcome. "Don't go to Tungchow," they was warned. "They are very wicked and will hurt or kill you."
"They need the Savior who can save them from their wickedness," Hudson Taylor replied. They decided to go anyway. As they approached the city, a group of drunken soldiers grabbed them and began to hit and kick them. "Let's kill them," one man said.
"No, let's take them to the Mandarin," another replied. They dragged them down the street to the city leader. But instead of beating the missionaries, the Mandarin accepted a New Testament. Hudson Taylor and Dr. Parker were given tea, and permission to tell the people of this city about Jesus. Hudson Taylor had many other adventures in the villages of inland China. But always something hindered his ability to share the good news about Jesus with these people. Because of his appearance, he was always viewed as a foreigner. Finally Hudson decided to do something about that. He shaved the front part of his head, dyed his hair black and fastened a braid in back. Then he took off his English clothes and put on short breeches and a loose shirt. Finally he put on flat, pointed slippers and a silk robe. When other missionaries saw him, they laughed or criticized him. But when the Chinese saw him, they said, "He is one of us.We will listen to him."