At last the joyful news reached us women, waiting outside of Honan, that our brethren had secured property in two centers. It would be difficult for those in the homeland to understand what the years of waiting had meant to some of us. The danger to those dear to us, touring in Honan, was very great. For years they never left us to go on a tour without our being filled with dread lest they should never return; yet the Lord, in his mercy, heard our prayers for them; and though often in grave danger, none received serious injury. This is not a history of the mission, but I cannot forbear giving here one incident illustrating how they were kept during those early days.

Two of our brethren, after renting property at a town just within the boundary of Honan, and near the Wei River, moved in, intending to spend the winter there; but a sudden and bitter persecution arose, just as they had become settled. The mission premises were attacked by a mob, and everything was looted. The two men were roughly handled, one being dragged about the courtyard. They found themselves at last left alone, their lives spared, but everything gone.

Their position was serious in the extreme – several days’ journey away from friends, with no money, no bedding, and no clothes but those upon them, and the cold winter begun.

In their extremity, they knelt down and committed themselves to the Lord. And according to this promise he delivered them out of their distresses; for even while they prayed a brother missionary from a distant station was at hand. He arrived unexpectedly, without knowing what had occurred, a few hours after the looting had taken place. His coming at such an opportune moment filled the hearts of their heathen enemies with fear. Money and goods were returned, and from that time the violent opposition of the people ceased.


Rosalind Goforth (Mrs Jonathan Goforth)

Missionary in China


From Rosalind Goforth, How I know God answers prayer, Philadelphia, The Sunday School Times Company, 1921, pages 18-19


Rosalind Goforth (1864-1942):

Rosalind Bell-Smith Goforth was born near London, England, and moved with her parents to Montreal, Canada, three years later. Her Dad was an artist, and Rosalind graduated from the Toronto School of Art in 1885. In 1887 she married Jonathan Goforth. They served together as missionaries in China and Manchuria. They were married for forty-nine years and had eleven children (Gertrude, Donald, Paul, Florence, Helen, Grace, Ruth, William, [Amelia] Constance, Mary, and [John] Frederick), five of whom died as babies or very young children. She was the author of How I Know God Answers Prayer (1921), her husband's biography, Goforth of China (1937), and Climbing: Memoirs of a Missionary's Wife (1940).