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Opening the Work in Changte

Rosalind Goforth

Exploring the Land and Receiving It In Prayer

A few months after our arrival in China an old, experienced missionary kindly volunteered to conduct Mr. Goforth and his colleague, who had just arrived, through North Honan, that they might see the field for themselves. Traveling southward by cart, they crossed the border into Honan early one morning. As my husband walked beside the carts that morning, he felt led to pray that the Lord would give that section of Honan to him as his field. The assurance came that his prayer was granted. Opening his daily textbook, he found the passage for that morning was from Isaiah 55:8-13. Like a precious promise of future blessing for that field came the words: “As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void.”

For six years, however, our faith was sorely tested. Of all places, Changte seemed most determined to keep out the missionary. And there were other difficulties in the way. A presbytery had been formed as others joined us, and all matters had to be decided by that body. Two stations that had been opened, where a foothold could first be gained, required all, and more than all, the force we then had. So for six years the door to Changte remained fast closed. But during all those years Mr. Goforth never once lost sight of God’s promise to him, nor failed to believe it. Again and again, when Mr. Goforth and his colleague visited the city, they were mobbed and threatened, the people showing the utmost hostility.

Overcoming Opposition

But the day came, at last, when the long-prayed-for permission from the presbytery to open Changte was granted. The very next morning found Mr. Goforth en route for Changte to secure property for a mission site. Often has he told how, all the way over that day to Changte, he prayed the Lord to open the hearts of the people, and make them willing to give him the property most suitable for the work. Within three days of his reaching Changte he had thirty-five offers of property, and was able to secure the very piece of land he had earlier chosen as most ideal for the mission. Thus the Lord did break in pieces the gates of brass which had kept us so long from our promised land. A year later I joined my husband there, with our three little children. It was arranged that our colleague should take charge of the outside evangelism, while we opened work at the main station.—How I Know God Answers Prayer

Losing All of Their Possessions Again!

On a side note, they lost all of their possessions as the result of a flood not too long after they entered Changte.