Did You Know: Brighton Balm

On June 25th 1865, Hudson Taylor walked alone on Brighton beach in internal turmoil. In 1859, health reasons necessitated his return home to London from China. As ‘an invalid in London’, Taylor, together with his wife, compiled materials that eventually came together as the book China: Its Spiritual Need and Claims. In the process, Taylor discovered that the number of missionaries in China had declined in the last 5 years. Further, all existing missionaries were based in the 5 treaty ports along the coast—- with none in the 11 interior provinces of China.

To think of a million Chinese dying each month with no knowledge of Jesus Christ! This weighed very heavily on Taylor. He contacted various denominations but no one seemed able to initiate work in the Chinese inland. “And yet, if no one else was prepared to act, far from closing the matter, did it not open it up, leaving a clear field for someone else?” This thought came to his mind with the corresponding— “Well if you see these things why not go forward yourself and do it? Go yourself to inland China!… If power in prayer is given to you, you can get the men and means.”

Yet Taylor was daunted by the enormous responsibility of actually leading such an enterprise and possibly failing, only to hurt the many Christians who might go out to China with him. For weeks he mulled over this and could hardly sleep.
And so Taylor found himself on Brighton beach that June day when it struck him that if God was calling him to this mammoth task, the responsibility would then be God’s responsibility and not his own. He immediately prayed for “24 willing, skilful labourers” for China’s inland with himself as leader. “Conflict all ended— peace, joy. Felt as if I could fly up that hill… And how I did sleep that night! Mrs Taylor thought that Brighton had done wonders! and so it had.”
Back in London two days later, Taylor opened a new bank account with ten pounds— in the name of China Inland Missions (CIM). Thus CIM (now Overseas Missionary Fellowship International) was founded.

Source: The Shaping of Modern China: Hudson Taylor’s Life and Legacy Volume One (A. J. Broomhall)

Brighton beachfront today
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