Hudson Taylor staked everything on the plain words of Jesus: "Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do." He believed, as Jesus taught, that the Heavenly Father is not embarrassed by any shortage of supplies, and that if we ask, in childlike trust, our every need will be supplied. "Depend on it," he stoutly contended, "God's work done in God's way will never lack God's supplies." Was a confidence so artless justified? Jesus said: "Your Father knoweth that you have need ... Ask and ye shall receive." Was it as simple as that? We shall see.

Over the mantlepiece in Hudson Taylor's humble home in Ningpo were two scrolls, in Chinese characters -- Ebenezer, "Hitherto hath the Lord helped us," and Jehovah Jireb, "The Lord will provide." The faith expressed in these mottoes was subjected to many severe testings. Quite suddenly the angel of death took the wife of his missionary associate, Dr. Parker, leaving him with four motherless children. On their account and because his own health was shattered, Dr. Parker was compelled to return to Scotland. This created a crisis in the Mission, for Dr. Parker was the only doctor in Ningpo. It looked as though the mission dispensary and hospital would have to be closed, for hitherto the expense of their maintenance had been met by the proceeds of Dr. Parker's practice among the Europeans. This income was now cut off. Taylor believed that to close the hospital and dispensary on financial grounds would be nothing less than doubting God. Calling the hospital assistants together, he explained the situation and said: "If you are prepared to trust God to supply our needs, you are invited to continue your work here. Otherwise you are free to leave. I am confident that His grace is sufficient. Hath not our God said that whatsoever we ask in the name of the Lord Jesus shall be done?"

As the weeks passed, supplies decreased. One day the cook said that the last bag of rice had been opened. This was his answer: "Then the Lord's time for helping us must be close at hand." And so it was. Before the rice was completely gone, fifty pounds ($250) arrived from England. With overflowing hearts the workers went among the patients telling what had occurred and asking, "Have your idols ever delivered you in your troubles or answered prayer after this sort?"


From: Heroes of Faith on Pioneer Trails by E. Myers Harrison. Published by Moody Press, Chicago, Illinois, c1945.