Some Christians might have one or two testimonies in their lifetime of God opening a second door when the first had closed but for Jonathon Goforth, the celebrated missionary to China, looking for the next door to open became a way of life.
Jonathon was 67 years old and while as strong as ever in spirit, was aware that sickness over the years had taken its toll on his body; and his wife’s health was considerably poorer than his. The Presbyterian Mission Board was in debt and could not afford to send Jonathon back to Changte, where he had been in China.
That’s when Manchuria (then a separate country from China) became his new mission field. The railway was pushing west opening up the nation for new ventures. Jonathon and Rosalind Goforth arrived in the midst of a blizzard just in time for Manchuria’s coldest winter on record. Despite growing political unrest, the British Consulate’s dire warnings, inflated rents and scarcity of accommodation, the Goforths pushed on.
Within months they were seeing an average of 12 converts a day and a church of 200. The Goforths pleaded with their Board back in Canada for more missionaries but were knocked back. There was no money. That’s when a Bible College in northern China wrote to the Goforths explaining they had 60 graduating students but no ministry opportunities for them because of China’s civil unrest. All 60 arrived a month later but how would they be housed and fed? That’s when cheques began arriving from all over the world for the Goforths. No one but the Goforths, two other missionaries and God knew the need. The work powered ahead.
How easily are you put off? What does it take to stop you in your tracks? Jesus Himself said the violent take the kingdom (Matthew 11:12). Let Holy Spirit violence get hold of you. Rise up. Take the kingdom!
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