Monday, October 01, 2001

Why Did You Not Come Sooner?

J. Hudson Taylor (1832-1905) was an English missionary to China and founder of China Inland Mission, which at his death included 205 mission stations with 849 missionaries, and 125,000 Chinese Christians. After a Buddhist man’s conversion, he asked Taylor how long the gospel had been known in England. When told it had been known for hundreds of years, the man was shocked. “What! For hundreds of years you have had these glad tidings and only now have come to preach it to us? Oh, why did you not come sooner?”

In 1998 I met Jim and Deb Phalen who were busy making plans to become “teachers” in China. They jokingly extended an invitation for me to come and do my performance when they received their position at the University. It was over a year before they made to China but three years later, what was once a humorous plan between new friends became a reality.

But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. 2 Pet 3:8

My impressions of China left me feeling I’d explored a varied fruit orchard planted in faithfulness by the likes of my friends and the legacy of men and women like Hudson Taylor. Tended by many down through the years – the full harvest of fruit is yet to be realized. The voices of Communism and state promulgated atheism come in to destroy the sprouting buds of the Word. Those who come to spread the good news fight the blight of a society closed to the Gospel. Supporters like you place nets of prayer over the tender branches, and we wait for the harvest.

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish... 2 Pet 3:9