Missionary Story

Winter 2016-17

A Love for the Unlovable

by Julie Alexander

 In 1887, Amy Carmichael heard the founder of China Inland Mission (Hudson Taylor) speak, and her life was never the same.  Born in 1867, the oldest of seven, she grew up in privilege.  Her father, a mill owner, provided a comfortable living, and she spent much of her childhood gleefully riding her pony along the shores of Northern Ireland.  Her family attended the Presbyterian church where she received Bible training, but it was an encounter with a poor elderly woman that caused Amy to consider her Christian walk. As she stopped after church to help the woman with a heavy bundle, the Holy Spirit reminded her, “Every man’s work shall be made manifest…it shall be revealed by fire…” (1 Corinthians 3:13). Gold, silver, and precious stones or wood, hay, and stubble—was she building that which would last for all eternity? This question haunted her.  She spent the rest of the day alone with God, and when she emerged, her life had a new purpose.

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Fall 2016

Missions in America

Jacob Bower was born to Christian parents who practiced regular morning and evening worship. His mother died when he was only six. The desire to see her in Heaven and the belief that only good people go there caused Jacob to live a virtuous life. But at age nineteen, he was influenced by Universalism which taught that God would save everyone. He later wrote, “I came to the conclusion that, if all the world are to be saved, I certainly would be included, therefore I was sure of salvation.” This false doctrine caused him to throw off his conviction of sin and spend five years in drunkenness and immorality.

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Spring 2016

God Commands Me

by Courtney Hamrick

“Should I tell you I do seriously think of leaving my native dwelling, my friends and companions for ever; would you upbraid me?” Harriet Atwood asked her sister in a letter. “[God] now offers me an opportunity of visiting the Heathen.” She then poured out the great conflict of her heart—the choice between living a normal life at home among friends or accepting the proposal of Samuel Newell, an aspiring missionary. Samuel was bound for India with Adoniram Judson; and in the year 1811, a life of missions was practically exile.

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Winter 2015-16

A Story of Faithful Love

by Emanuel Schrock

Born in 1941 in Duncan, Oklahoma, Thomas Laymon Sloan, M.D., grew up during the post-depression years. His unbelieving father permitted Tom’s mother to take him to church regularly. He was saved at age seventeen when a pastor led him to the Lord. Tom was a quiet but radical young man, criticized by some as an eccentric fanatic. He graduated as a pediatrician and planned to enter the medical field, until God changed his plans.

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Fall 2015

Only One Life

by Courtney Hamrick

The son of a wealthy British planter, C.T. Studd accepted Christ at the age of 16. He lived the next several years in selfish pleasure and fame. An outstanding cricket player, he became captain of his team his last year at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1882, Studd heard the preaching of Moody and began to be burdened for lost souls around him. However, it wasn’t until 1884, when his brother took seriously ill, that Studd was faced with the question, “What is all the fame and flattery worth … when a man comes to face eternity?” He made a decision and later wrote: “I knew that cricket would not last, and honour would not last, and nothing in this world would last, but it was worthwhile living for the world to come.”

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 Summer 2015

Fifty Faithful Years

by Courtney Sword

“A missionary who truly wants to see the gospel flourish and spread on the foreign field will work toward the end of seeing nationals won to the Lord and trained for the ministry to reach their own people.”

That is exactly what Sonny and Beverly Fritz did. Theirs was the work of many hands—national hands—and most importantly, God’s hand. God had used a very short mission trip to Mexico to set a fire so great in Sonny’s heart that he would give his entire life to God’s work among the Mexican people. His wife followed with an identical zeal. In 1965, after only a year and a half of deputation, they took their few belongings and their daughters to a new life in Monterrey.

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Spring 2015

When the Fantasy Wears Off

by Suzanne Olson

After Maude Cary heard of the heathen in Morocco, no physical or spiritual trial could deter her from joining the missionary work in North Africa. Just before her twenty-third birthday, Maude and four other co-workers embarked for Morocco with the promise to spend their life’s energies evangelizing the Muslims and Berbers. As they departed, they sang, Anywhere with Jesus I can safely go; Anywhere He leads me in this world below; Anywhere without Him dearest joys would fade; Anywhere with Jesus I am not afraid. Surely there would be opposition and heartaches, but Maude thought only of exciting campaigns to bring the gospel to wild tribes!

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Winter 2014-15

To Whom Does the Prophet Refer?

by Suzanne Olson

Solomon Ginsburg asked his father—a Jewish rabbi—this question when he was only thirteen. Despite being soundly slapped in the face, his interest in the prophesy of Isaiah 53 did not die. As a young man, Ginsburg left his native Poland for London, England. There, a fellow Jew found him on the street and explained Jesus as the Messiah prophesied by Isaiah. After reading the New Testament, Ginsburg trusted Jesus Christ as his Savior, but was promptly disowned and cursed by all his relatives. He bore it gladly, recalling that Christ had been made a curse for him. Even several assaults by orthodox Jews in London could not dissuade him from his new-found faith.

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Fall 2014

The Story of One

by Suzanne Olson

Ellie sat on the rough church bench clutching a small paperback book in her hands. Her brilliant white smile revealed her excitement as she spoke to me in Melanesian Pidgin, the trade language of Papua New Guinea. “This story strengthens my heart!” she exclaimed. The irony of her simple words silenced me for a few minutes. Ellie and I had just finished reading two chapters in a Pidgin biography of George Müller—a man who had been born two hundred years ago on the other side of her world but whose story was still living.

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Summer 2014

She Hath Done What She Could

by Jessica Clarke

Fourteen-year old Attie Bostick sat in rapt attention, listening as her older brother, a missionary to China, preached on Mary anointing the feet of Christ with the most precious thing she had. “She hath done what she could.” Attie could not forget those words and years later would say, “That day God spoke to me, and said that I would not be doing all I could unless I was willing to go to China, too.”

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Spring 2014

iMissionaries

by Courtney Sword

Picture a teenage girl in a school cafeteria…. She’s slouched in a chair popping bubble gum. The whole world passes her by, yet she doesn’t even notice. Why? Because she’s tuned in to that little thing in her hand—a cellphone. Most likely she’s texting, instant messaging her friends, or browsing Facebook. Picture a young man on a computer in an internet café somewhere in a third world country. Or how about a young college freshman browsing the web on a laptop? The new generation coming along is radically different from you and me. I’m a young man myself and can barely recognize or connect with this new generation. But what if we could present the gospel to each of these people through their medium of communication? ….We can! (~Jared Rowe)

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Winter 2013-14

Baptist Bondslave

by Courtney Sword

It was 1782, and George Leile didn’t see any other way: to escape slavery once more, he had to become another kind of slave. Years ago, his former master, Henry Sharp, had graciously freed Leile so that he could wholly pursue preaching the gospel in the Savannah area. But now that Sharp was dead, his family sought to re-enslave Leile. And so he struck a deal. To escape to Jamaica with his family, he would become the indentured servant of Colonel Kirkland.

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Fall 2013

Labor till Life Ends

by Jessica Clarke

Nathan Brown, the oldest of five boys, was born on June 22, 1807, to devout Baptist parents. At age nine, he was convicted of his sinful condition after attending local revival meetings, trusted Christ as his Savior, and was subsequently baptized in a stream.

Brown graduated from Williams College at the top of his class and married Eliza Ballard on May 5, 1830. They moved to Brandon, Vermont, where he edited a religious newspaper. As he prepared to print letters from Adoniram Judson, the Lord burdened him and his wife for Burma. “What Christian,” he wrote, “can read the late appeals from Mr. Judson, and not feel a desire to go? I cannot think of staying back.”

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Summer 2013

“Gentle Giant”

by Wendy Gillies

The patient stirred. Dr. Wallace tried to soothe him in his Tennessee-accented Cantonese. The patient was waking from an abdominal surgery. They alone were left in the upper story of the Stout Memorial Hospital in Wuchow, China. Everyone else had taken refuge in the basement when the air raid alarm had sounded. The year was 1938, and the Japanese were invading China. Just then there was an explosion on the roof directly above them—and doctor and patient were thrown to the floor! Miraculously, neither were hurt.

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Spring 2013

A Road Builder

by Wendy Gillies

Alexander Mackay was born in Scotland in 1849 and surrendered his heart to Christ as a young boy. Reports of David Livingstone, a fellow Scotsman and missionary in Africa, inspired young Mackay. He was interested in mechanics and building and went to engineering school, but he longed to serve God, too. In 1875, a letter published in the local paper spurred Mackay to action. The letter was written from Uganda by Henry Stanley: “King M’tesa has been asking me about the white man’s God… Oh that some practical missionary would come here…who can cure their diseases, build dwellings, and turn his hand to anything.”

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Winter 2012-13

Pastor, Missionary, & More

by Wendy Gillies

“You are a good man; we will not harm you.” Roger Williams was face to face with the fierce Native American warriors. There was fighting all around him, and the town was on fire. Roger was an old man now, and the Indians still respected him. Perhaps he was the only white man in the colonies that they trusted. This time, however, his peace-making efforts had been swept aside.

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Fall 2012

You’ll Forget….

by Mary Sutek

Watching a missionary’s slide presentation, eleven-year old Mary Baker knew she would be a missionary. The first person she told responded, “Oh, Mary, did those pictures of the Africans bother you? They almost bothered me, too. But you’ll forget about them. ” Though she needed years of preparation, Mary forgot neither the pictures, nor the burden God had placed on her heart. He had called her to Africa, and nothing would dissuade her.

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Spring 2012

He Did What He Could

by Rex Cobb

Pastor Brent Coley took his sermon idea from Mark 14:8 speaking of Mary of Bethany, “She hath done what she could.” He applied those words to the life of his grandfather, Jesse Coley, as he preached his funeral. Jesse will probably not be mentioned in any church history book, but he did what he could. He was not a great preacher, but he did what he could, and he made a difference. Thousands of people around the world have read God’s Word because Jesse did what he could.

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Winter 2011

Unshaken Trust

by Mary Sutek

I have made my boast of God amongst the people, and told them that I had unshaken trust in God…”

At just forty-three years old he was financially ruined, ostracized by many of his fellow missionaries, and teetering on the brink of insanity; John Thomas was a failure. But that is only half the story.

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Fall 2011

Nothing Withheld

by Mary Sutek

And shall I now draw back? Shall I withhold anything from Jesus?”     —Eliza Grew Jones, March 24, 1830

February 17, 1831: The brig Bucephalus unloaded its cargo on the banks at Moulmein, Burma. Among the disembarking passengers was newlywed couple John and Eliza Taylor Jones. In a land just beginning to experience Western influence, the Jones were part of a great influx of foreigners: merchants, diplomats, and teachers. The Jones, however, were not seeking to fulfill any personal interest.

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Summer 2011

Striving or Abiding?

by Laura-Lee (Part 2)

The early years of the China Inland Mission (CIM) brought tremendous struggles to Hudson and Maria Taylor. During this time of tempest and tragedy, though, the mission did not lose focus on their purpose: they pressed inland to pioneer new stations and carried on with the work at the home base. In August of 1867, the Taylors’ oldest daughter became ill. Hudson had to leave her side for a day, but he hoped to find little Gracie well when he returned. However, an urgent message that a missionary at another station was sick took him further away from his daughter. Discovering it was a false alarm, he rushed home, only to find Gracie languishing. Hudson diagnosed her condition, but it was too late. She died, leaving her father wondering if an earlier return could have saved her.

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Spring 2011

Striving or Abiding?

by Laura-Lee Alford (Part 1)

Most of us have at least heard the name of Hudson Taylor. Perhaps many of us know something about his life’s work, his beautiful relationship with Maria, and his establishment of the China Inland Mission. However, it seems that well known missionaries are often viewed as super-spiritual   giants of faith who seldom, if ever, struggle with the “common” battles of “ordinary” Christians.

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Winter 2010

Victory in Jesus

by Laura-Lee Alford

The year was 1914. William Christie had called China and Tibet home for twenty-two years when the outlaw band led by Bai Lang (also known as “White Wolf”) swept through Central China, ruthlessly pillaging and slaughtering. Through God’s protection, the missionaries of Min Chow were spared the physical harm that ravished their city and many others.

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Fall 2010

Brick Walls

by Cheri Williams

After twenty-two years of serving the Lisu, John and Isobel Kuhn came to a brick wall. It was 1950, and the communists recklessly took over China. With an uncertain future, Isobel (Belle) decided to take six-year-old Daniel to America for schooling. John agreed with their mission agency to survey Thailand before joining her. He assured Belle he would make no promises until they had discussed together the possibility of serving in Thailand.

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Summer 2010

Press Onward!

by Cheri Williams

John Hunt sailed for Fiji in the 1800’s and immediately began studying the language and spending quantity time with the natives. Knowing the people motivated him to preach and begin translating the Bible within six months. He would first read from the Greek and English New Testaments, research word definitions, and study Bible resources. He then consulted many natives to improve his use of the Fijian language.

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Spring 2010

“Our Gilmour”

by Gracie Sullivan

“Finding his contact with civilization was hindering him in his strenuous efforts to master the Mongolian language, he resolved…to persuade some Mongolian to receive him as an inmate of his tent…Gilmour feared nothing, but strode cheerfully over the plain making for the first tent he saw on the horizon.”1

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Winter 2009-10

White Queen of Africa

by L. G. Sullivan

Into the trepid jungle of Africa strode a young Scotch woman intent on spreading the gospel of Christ. She was a small, naturally timid woman, but nothing was too perilous when the cause of Christ was at stake.

Mary Slessor found Jesus as a slum child in a textile factory and instantly gave her life to Him. Born in Aberdeen, Scotland, she had high dreams of evangelizing the little black children of Calabar, Africa. When not working at the factory or studying, she was playing at teaching a class full of little black boys and girls. She prayed to be sent to Calabar. When she grew older, she took on a class of wild street children for Bible instruction. She wept for Calabar. She took on a Sabbath School class. Still she longed for Calabar.

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Fall 2009

God’s Lost and Found Department

by Laura-Lee Alford

“ ‘He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for My sake shall find it.’ I have been directed to these and similar passages again and again. I should like to put these truths to the utmost test… Seemingly God delights in many instances to place men in situations which magnify their weaknesses for the simple delight of showing Himself strong to all observers” (Unfolding Destinies by Olive Fleming Liefeld).                                  

Peter Fleming was raised in a Christian home but was not a believer until age thirteen. In his youth he was respected for his spiritual maturity and knowledge of God’s Word. As a gifted athlete he had opportunity to pursue a career in sports. However, it was God, not sports, that had Pete’s heart.

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Summer 2009

Called From the Cobbler’s Bench

by Kelli Davis

In 1783, above a cobbler’s bench in England, there hung a large hand-made map of the known world. As the young cobbler worked, he prayed for little-known lands full of people who were ignorant of the Gospel. Between shoe-making, school teaching, and itinerant preaching, he found time to teach himself Greek, Hebrew, Latin, Dutch, French, and Italian. In 1789, eager to spread his vision of the need for organized world missions, he went to pastor a large church in Leicester.

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Spring 2009

Winning One Tribe

by Kelli Davis

“From the very first, I wanted to go to the most primitive people in the world and so was thrilled when God gave me the privilege of going to West Papua.”* So writes Margaret Stringer, who served for thirty years among people who never heard the name of Jesus before 1980. After ten years on the southern coast of West Papua (1964-74), Margaret went to Senggo, an island village where mission work had just begun. As a linguist, she was there to help translate the Bible into the Citak language, but the team at Senggo had another assignment for her. Several villages had just been discovered further upriver—practicing cannibals who had recently killed four men from an oil company. The team sent Margaret with two Christian Senggo men to learn whether these villages spoke Citak, or some other language.

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Winter 2008-09

 Answering the Call

by Kellie Davis

“I shall never go into the ministry until God takes me by the scruff of the neck and throws me in.” Most Christians would be surprised to know that these words were spoken by Oswald Chambers, author of the devotional book “My Utmost for His Highest.”

When he wrote these words, Oswald Chambers was in art school, preparing to turn the world of art upside down by being a witness for Christ to an exclusive group of people. He was a gifted artist and probably would have done well, but God closed door after door in his face and called him in another direction.

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Fall 2008

No Regrets

by Erin Randall

Any life lived wholly for Jesus is a life with “no regrets.” Will it cost something? Yes, but the earthly cost fails to compare with the eternal rewards. William Borden was a young man who understood this truth and lived it out.

Though born into the wealthy “Borden Milk” family, William soon discerned that only heavenly riches are lasting and sought to use his resources to advance God’s Kingdom. While taking a trip around the world at age seventeen, William grew burdened by the spiritual darkness and needs he saw in other lands. He determined to prepare for service on a foreign field.

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Spring 2008

Soldier of the Cross

by Erin Randall

“Lassie, whatever you do, be a good soldier for Jesus Christ.” Dr. Jaffray’s last words to Darlene Deibler filled her mind as she approached the door of her cell. She was on death row, imprisoned to face a trial and death sentence by the Imperial Japanese Army.

Many years earlier at a missionary convention, ten-year old Darlene heard God’s call to a life of total commitment. She responded whole-heartedly, “Lord, I’d go anywhere for you, no matter what it cost!”

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Winter 2007-08

Partners in Prayer

by Erin Randall

Turning his back on a promising engineering career, 22 year old James O. Frasier went to the mountains of China to reach the Lisu tribespeople of Yunnan Province with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Intense opposition confronted him. Not afraid of primitive living, James was an adventuresome person who loved mountaineering. But the thought of working alone to start a church that could stand against such a powerful form of spirit worship was daunting. Though all God’s hosts stood with him, James realized that “he would be a missionary simpleton who expected plain sailing in any work of God.”

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Fall 2007

God Made a Way

by Laura-Lee Alford

With a weary sigh, Jacob Chamberlain stretched out on the floor of his bamboo hut. A long walk through the Indian jungle to reach the little village had left him tired and footsore. He opened his New Testament and commenced reading. As he let the Book slide through his fingers, Dr. Chamberlain suddenly became aware of a pair of beady eyes and a forked tongue a few feet above his face. A ten-foot snake was coiled in the rafters, descending towards the resting missionary. Bounding to the doorway, Dr. Chamberlain seized an iron spit, speared the snake to the rafter, and beat its head furiously with a bamboo cane!

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Summer 2007

Strength for the Journey

by Laura-Lee Alford

The silver planes that zoomed overhead sent the children scattering in all directions, falling face down and hiding behind rocks, under trees, and in tall grass. Gladys Alyward waited to see if the Japanese would return, and when she was certain the planes were gone, she called the children together again. On they journeyed, footsore, hungry, and fatigued, hoping they would soon reach their destination.

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Spring 2007

Power unto Salvation

by Laura-Lee Alford

For the Balangao people in the mountains of the Philippines, the spirits were in control of every aspect of life. Their lives were centered around satisfying the spirits’ demands, even if it meant great personal sacrifice. Yet still, their children and wives died in childbirth, they became sick, and their crops failed. The Balangaos were in bondage to the god of this world, whose desire is to kill and destroy.
God had given Joanne Shetler the desire to translate His Word for an unreached people. After arriving among the Balangaos and learning their language, she began to see the reality of spiritual warfare.

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Winter 2006-07

A Prepared People

by Laura-Lee Alford

“Oh, Tsong-ma, aren’t you going to sacrifice to the demons? Toong is our only child; we cannot lose him!” The young mother wept as she saw her son’s little body racked with pain.

“No!” Tsong-ma replied. “What good can it do? Others have tried, and their children still died. There must be something else…” Tsong-ma sat in his hut, high on the mountains of Northern Thailand. All his Hmong village had ever known was a life of bondage,oppression, appeasing demons, darkness, and fear.

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Fall 2006

Not in Vain

by Laura-Lee Alford

Envision yourself living in a tiny room, furnished with one stool.  The only heat you can obtain is by burning animal waste in an iron stove.  You have ample funds in the bank to sustain your hungry family, but you can’t access the money. You are friendless and stuck in a foreign country with little hope of getting home. As a child of God, what would your attitude be?

Arthur and Wilda Matthews were serving in China with the China Inland Mission when the Communists began forcing Westerners to leave the country in 1950. However, a church in Northern China invited the Matthews to work with them. Believing it to be God’s will, Arthur and Wilda stayed. They soon discovered that the situation was not as it had seemed.  The Chinese were afraid to associate with them, and the government forbade them to preach or go out among the people.

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Summer 2006

Living Water

by Laura-Lee Alford

“And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely” (Rev. 22:17).
I wonder if the two evangelists from North Ireland ever learned of the full effects of the meeting they held in Inverary, Scotland, in November of 1859. For in their audience sat a wild young man of eighteen who came to break up the meeting but found himself compelled to accept their offer of Living Water. Because of hearing the call to come, this young man, James Chalmers, was saved a few days later.

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Spring 2006

The Everlasting Arms

by Laura-Lee Alford

Sometimes in life we find ourselves in the midst of a series of events perceived as misfortunes.  Often, however, God intends for these times, when it seems everything goes wrong, to bring us closer to Him.

Such was the case for Rosalind Goforth in the summer of 1900.  She and her husband, Jonathan, had been ministering to the Chinese people since 1888, when the first of the “hurricane of horrors” struck.  After previously losing three precious babies, seven-year-old Florence went to be safe in the arms of Jesus.  While the presence of God was there to sustain, the pain was still very real. Only a few months following, the Goforth family was forced to flee China because of the Boxer Rebellion.  Picture this missionary family hurrying to gather what little they could take with them, find passage on a crowded steamer, and keep track of five young children—and you might see the hardships of this time in their lives.

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Winter 2005-06

Preserved in a Pillow

by Laura-Lee Alford

“The words of the Lord are pure words…Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever” (Psalms 12:6-7).

With a crash the door flew open as Adoniram and Ann were enjoying a meal together. Without invitation, a Burmese police officer barged in and growled, “Mr. Judson, You are under arrest!”

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