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Hudson Taylor: Gospel Pioneer to China Review by Cindy WestBy Vance Christie
P & R Publishing
PO Box 817
Phillipsburg, NJ 08865
I love reading missionary biographies with my children. There's nothing quite like reading about someone's entire journey from hearing God's missionary call and obeying that call to watching God work through it all. Although we have read several missionary biographies, I was not familiar with Hudson Taylor's story before reading this book. (I know, shame on me!) What a wonderful testimony his life was to God's timing, provision and power!
Before Hudson was born, his parents prayed, "Dear God, if you should give us a son, grant that he may work for you in China." And that he did! The best part, though, was that his parents never told Hudson of this prayer until after he decided to go to China. But that's not the only obvious answer to prayer or clear provision from the Lord that you learn about in the biography. Time after time, seemingly impossible situations work out to weave a beautiful story of God's guiding hand through it all.
Trials, closed doors, and changes of plan--all of which are exciting to read about--served to strengthen Hudson's resolve and vision, too. In the end, he became one of the most influential missionaries of all time. His systematic plan, immersion in the Chinese culture, and development of the China Inland Mission (CIM), among other things, still influence how missionaries all over world "do business" today.
While engaging, the book is tad on the factual side. However, in 200 pages, there's a lot of ground to cover in order to show the entire picture of Hudson Taylor's life. By no means am I suggesting that the book is boring! It's just a little dry at times. My children and I all enjoyed it and took great pleasure every time the author would demonstrate how God's hand had been at work. Hudson Taylor's biography is both uplifting and encouraging!