As for the book, it all started with Katie. She read it and bought a copy for Noah for graduation. Noah, a non-reader in our bookish family, told Emily it was a must-read. Emily bought it on her Kindle. Emily, Daniel and I took turns reading it aloud. Emily’s roommate gave her a paperback copy which Emily gave to Daniel when she left. Phil, Daniel and I continued reading until Daniel returned to school. Yesterday just Phil and I continued reading.
So, what is this fascinating book? Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, a missionary biography written in 1932. Not exactly a New York Times Bestseller. In 1853, Hudson Taylor left England to bring the good news about Jesus to the Chinese. He is our fellow missionary, but his life is poles apart from ours in Africa in the 21st century. The book contains powerful spiritual concepts as well as stories of what it was like back then.
One “payday” story was incredible. Hudson’s colleague, George Duncan was living in Nanking as the first resident missionary. Hudson was managing the finances for the small mission and Duncan gave Hudson the names of two banks to transfer funds needed for his work. However, one bank failed and the other left the city meaning there was no way to get the money to Duncan.
Meanwhile, Duncan exchanged his last piece of silver and his Chinese cash was soon gone. Hudson was unable to arrange another plan to transfer the funds and as the situation grew more desperate, he sent another missionary, W.D. Rudland, to Nanking by boat to take the money to Duncan. As they went up the canal, the water level dropped and the boat was unable to continue, prompting Rudland to take a four-day sixty-mile walk to the city! Rudland arrived at Nanking with the money and later that day Duncan returned home. He was met by his incredulous cook who told him everything was all right! Duncan reminded him it was always all right to trust in the living God.
Yesterday, our home office in Georgia made an electronic transfer of funds to our bank in New Jersey, and today we took our ATM card to our local mall in Nairobi and withdraw cash.
I’d say that’s different.
(source: Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor 1932)