Did You Know: Goodbye Maria

While giving birth to their ninth child in a China increasingly hostile towards foreigners, Hudson Taylor’s wife Maria contracted cholera. The newborn Noel was frail and Maria’s decline was also rapid. 13 days later, Noel died. And on July 23rd, just a few days after, Maria Taylor passed away.

These losses had come on the heels of others. In February, the Taylors’ 6 year old son Samuel died during a trip across the Yangtze river. A month later, the couple sent their three oldest children back to England. This had been done with painful reluctance, out of concerns that the children were often ill and struggling with the “unsettledness of life” in China. It was tragic that Samuel had died before he could return to England with the others to recuperate, as planned.

For Taylor, the loss of Maria was especially devastating. The day after Maria’s funeral, he caught dysentery and fell seriously ill for two months. “[God] only knows what her absence is to me….Twelve and a half years of such unbroken spiritual fellowship, united labor, mutual satisfaction and love, fall to the lot of very few . . .”

Yet there was joy in grief. “Never does [Christ] leave me…He who once wept at the grave of Lazarus often now weeps in and with me… Often I find myself wondering whether it is possible for her, who is taken, to have more joy in His presence than He has given me [now].“

Source: A. J. Broomhall, The Shaping of Modern China: Hudson Taylor’s Life and Legacy Volume Two; Dr & Mrs Howard Taylor, Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission: The Growth of A Work of God.

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