The next two people on my list are two great hero's of the faith for me. Number three has to be Hudson Taylor.
There were a few missionary books I read growing up that really captivated me, and certainly a few about Hudson were amongst them.
He was a man in a very different time to me - an English man who went to China. China then was this long lost place - his first trip took 6 months to get there by boat, and they nearly sunk before they'd even passed Ireland from their Liverpool exit.
Today, we are a 3 hour 30 minute flight from the UK - and have Skype, emails and the like to stay in touch - even when letters and packages are sent, it's something like up to a month.
Not so in Hudson's day - letters would take months to go one way - twice that if you were waiting for a reply! When he wanted to propose to his first wife who was with him in China, he had to write to her parents in England and then wait months and months for their reply. I couldn't imagine that wait!
Hudson Taylor was one of those men that got on and did it. I remember a statistic he'd use from his time that said out of every 100 people that said they'd 'go to the mission field', only 1 person ever actually made it. That challenged me. I think the stats are at least the same today.
Hudson Taylor was part of the few that first started going to China and then to the interior, and even dressing like the locals. He knew suffering and hardship, death and sorrow. He was such a man of faith.
It is because of people like Hudson Taylor that I shudder when I hear myself being referred to as a missionary. He was a missionary - I'm just a normal Christian! It is also because of people like Hudson Taylor that China today is sending thousands of missionary's out - his heart helped change a nation.
Hudson was misunderstood by those around him, even maybe looked down upon because he dared to dress un-English and make himself look like a Chinese man. I relate very much to the being misunderstood! Maybe it comes with 'our' sort of lifestyles. Maybe we do have something in common.
Quite simply Hudson Taylor is a superb role model and wonderful example of a Man of God. And for that, and his impact on my own life, I honour him.
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