Then a problem arose with a missionary couple who eventually returned to England and passed around bad reports about the work of China Inland Mission. The result was a great decrease in gifts to the missionaries.
Hudson Taylor- Part 7 (finish)
A Character story about Trust.
The year was 1865. Hudson Taylor told the Lord he was willing to take the responsibility for a new mission to reach the interior of China. Though he was laid up with poor health, he trusted God to raise him up to return to his beloved, adopted country.
Sure enough, on May 26th, 1866 Hudson Taylor, his wife and family, and a group of 24 missionaries set sail for England. God had brought in these workers without Hudson asking any of them to go! When some said he was fool-hearty to go to inland China and risk the lives of others, he replied, "I plan to take my children with me. As their father I care about their safety and provision. How much more does our Heavenly Father care for His children."
But he knew that trials and great burdens would come. And they did. The first great loss came a year later, in August 23, 1867 when their 7-year-old daughter went to be with the Lord. He wrote, "Our dear little Gracie! How we miss her sweet voice in the morning, one of the first sounds to greet us when we woke, and through the day and at eventide! Is it possible that I shall nevermore feel the pressure of that little hand... nevermore see the sparkle of those bright eyes? And yet she is not lost. I would not have her back again. I am thankful she was taken rather than any of the others, though she was the sunshine of our lives."
The next year the Yangchow Riot brought great distress to the little missionary party. Then a problem arose with a missionary couple who eventually returned to England and passed around bad reports about the work of China Inland Mission. The result was a great decrease in gifts to the missionaries. Yet Hudson Taylor refused to speak evil of the couple or to defend himself. He wrote, "It doesn't matter, really, how great the pressure is. It only matters where the pressure lies. See that it never comes between you and the Lord- then, the greater the pressure, the more it presses you to His breast." Just when things looked darkest, a letter came from George Muller of Bristol (the man who took care of orphans), promising to support all the CIM missionaries. Over the next years he gave a total of some $10,000 for the work, the exact sum that gifts had decreased during the problems.
In 1870, Hudson Taylor's dear wife suddenly fell sick. As she lay dying, one person said, "I never witnessed such a scene. As dear Mrs. Taylor was breathing her last, Mr. Taylor knelt and committed her to the Lord, thanking Him for having given her and for the twelve and a half years of perfect happiness together, thanking Him too for taking her to His own presence, and solemnly dedicating himself anew to His service."
These sorrows, along with the responsibility for the care of 24 missionary families would be too much for most to bear. Yet, Hudson Taylor had learned a lesson in 1869 that he called â€˜The Exchanged Lifeâ€™. He wrote, "I am a new man. No longer am I seeking to imitate Christ. Now I rest in the fact that Christ lives in me. Now I am not striving after faith, but resting on the Faithful One." After this, his favorite hymn was "Jesus, I am Resting, Resting." During the most intense struggles and pressures, he would often hum or whistle this song. During one such time, his friend turned to him and said, "How can you whistle, when our friends are in so much danger!"
"Would you have me anxious and trouble?" he replied. "That would not help them, and would certainly incapacitate me for my work. I have just to roll the burden on the Lord."
After the death of Mrs. Taylor, Hudson took his family home to England. While he was there, he married Miss Faulding who was his faithful life partner for the next 34 years.
During the years that followed, the mission grew far larger than he had imagined. They prayed for 70 new missionaries and the Lord gave them 78. Then they prayed for 100 new missionaries and the Lord gave them 102.
During the last years of his life, Hudson was deeply impressed with the words, "Preach the Gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15) How could he reach every Chinese person with the Gospel? The country had 280 million at the time! The Lord gave him faith to pray for 1000 new workers in the next five years. Again, the Lord was faithful. He eventually raised up 1153 new workers for China.
Mr. Taylor not only oversaw the work in China, but he also traveled to England, and even to Canada and the United States. He challenged young people with the need to reach China with the Gospel. Those who knew him were impressed with his genuine sincerity, his peace of mind, and his great faith in God. One motto that he lived by was, "God's work, done in God's way, will never lack God's supply." By the time Hudson Taylor gave up leadership of the China Inland Mission in 1900, over $4 million had been given for the work. None had been asked for and the mission had never gone into debt.
When Hudson Taylor passed into the presence of the Lord he loved, on June 3, 1905 at the age of 73, the world lost a great man of faith. But more important was what he left behind.
The mission believed strongly in the importance of the Chinese people reaching other Chinese. Thus, they were actively involved in training the new converts to take over leadership of the churches.
When the communists took control of China in 1949, Christians suffered and died for their faith. But because of the strong work begun 83 years earlier, the church has actually grew in spite of this persecution.
What would have happened if Hudson Taylor was disobedient to the Lord and never went to China? What if he refused to begin the China Inland Mission? (Today it is called the Overseas Missionary Fellowship. Hudson Taylor's grandson recently retired as the leader). If this had happened, millions of Chinese would never have heard about the Lord.
What task do you think the Lord has planned for you to do? Are you willing to prepare yourself and to be obedient to Him?