When you send your kids to Grandma’s house you never know what treasure they will find hidden away…

This time though it wasn’t the kids – it was me that found the treasure!

Pete just happened to mention that they had the complete two volume set (1200 pages) of Hudson Taylor’s biography written by his son Howard back in the early 1900’s.

‘You have what?!’ I responded…

‘Would you like to borrow them?’

‘Would I ever!’

Part 1 is entitled ‘the growth of a soul’ and part 2 ‘the development of a work of God’. Part 1 actually begins with Taylor’s great grandparent’s story and we eventually start to hear about him by page 200.

There are many journal/diary quotes that give a great insight into the character of this man. I am almost finished part 1 and looking forward to the story of the development of the mission work.

What is most amazing is that when he left England on a 5 month boat ride to Shanghai he was 21. Yes 21!…

Is he a rare breed or are there other Hudson Taylors out there today? I find myself constantly challenged and confronted by the old missionaries who lived lives of great sacrifice and risk at times when it was so much harder to do so.

Pure treasure!

10 thoughts on “Treasure!

  1. I think it shows how self focused we have become….not only did he, and many others, go when young, they did not expect or plan to come back. Now 21 year olds are all at university etc so they have a career, or some security for when they finish their mission…..not only does this keep many from going when they are younger it actually stops many going at all! Sad really.

  2. I think there must be Hudson taylor’s out there. Trouble is we never get to hear about them.

    I have a friend who is Pastoring a church in Iraq. He is in constant danger and has been threatened many times. The church he pastored started with 15 people when America and Britain invaded. The Church has now grown to 749 people.

  3. He was my hero. A Barnsley man nonetheless.(10 miles from us). His faith principle has been a pattern for us in ministry. What a movie his life would make!

  4. They are out there, and the last thing they want is to get famous. If you like more stiries like that, check thge early jesuits in asia and the americas. Some of them worked for over 50 years without any contact with civilization. One even made it across north america to the pacific in a canoe!

  5. Angry and Shallow, you are right. After reading your post I started to think about the missionaries of old. Eric Liddell, the runner feature in Chariots of Fire had parents who were missionaries in China. At age five his parents left him at a boarding school in England while they went back on the mission field. They didn’t see their son until they came home on furlough, six years later. That’s a tremendous sacrifice to make.

    Such people had an intense sense of the excellences of Christ and a desire to let others know that glory.

  6. The sacrifice that Eric Lidell made was even bigger than the one his parents made – not seeing his parents for half of his chldhood. I don’t suppose anyone asked his opinion either. Sorry, but I find his parent’s attitude more a case of shirking their God given responsibility to a child, rather than heroic service for God.

    Hudson Taylor was a product of a highly individual approach to Christian life and mission. I rather hope we aren’t producing people like him, but that we are producing teams of people like him.

    Another thought; I’m sure that there are heroes of the faith around today, but most of them are not keeping diaries, and when they are, they aren’t writing in English.

  7. Eddie I agree with you about Lidell’s parents – I don’t see much that’s praiseworthy in their abandonment of a 5 year old child. I have a 5 year old boy and the thought of leaving him for 6 years is incomprehensible to me.

  8. Fellas I need to push back here a bit.

    The old mishos were a product of their time I agree, and boarding kids out, or leaving them behind was all part of the deal for some.

    But if this was what God called them to do then I say ‘good on em’ for having the heart to say ‘yes’. I would shudder at the thought of leaving my kids for 6 weeks let alone 6 years – and it would seem terribly unwise, but if was at God’s call (and there wasn’t another option) then I don’t think I’d have a choice.

    I don’t say that lightly.

    I see one of the dangers in contemporary western society is the deification of the family – so we no longer sacrifice family on the altar of ministry – but we tend to sacrifice ministry on the altar of family.

    That’s not a dig at either of you! But it is me saying that maybe the pendulum has swung too much the other way.

  9. As someone who married a missionary’s granddaughter, I have seen the pain and resentment caused by the family who was left behind. In Peter Scazzero’s book, “The Emotionally Healthy Church”, he cites many “champions” of the faith whose families were left in tatters.

    In my opinion, to say such things are regretable but necessary, “Oh well, that was God’s call”, is disturbing and incorrect.

    Paul gave his opinion in 1 Corinthians 7 about how married people can give less devotion to the kingdom. Jesus stated in Matthew 19 that some make themselves eunichs for the sake of the kingdom. For those who are married, there will always be a choice between how much we can devote to the kingdom and how much we can devote to our families.

    I agree in part to your statement of the deification of the family. Maybe instead of saying a person is incomplete until they marry, we should point out that their opportunities to serve

    God in his kingdom are greater and more varied because they are not burdened with family responsibilities. Maybe instead of encouraging a couple to have kids by any means necessary, we should encourage them to the possibilities they have to serve God in his kingdom without worrying about the responsibility of child-rearing.

    Yes, we tend to bow to the idol of safety/stability when we have a family. Therefore, we tend to not serve others when we can because we hide behind the excuse of family. However, family responsibilities are family responsibilities. And once we decide to take on those responsibilities, we should endeavour to serve God to the best of our ability without shirking our responsibilities.

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