Did You Know: Sleepless in Shanghai

The Shanghai Bund, circa 1850.

Hudson Taylor’s first year in China was an extremely difficult one, with “the cold, even the hunger, the times of watching, the sleepless nights of danger, and the feelings I had when I was alone and helpless”— as he recounted years later. Yet, God was certainly present.

That first year included Taylor’s harrowing experience on October 18, 1854. Taylor had gone to bed late at 2:45am, only to be awakened shortly. A fire was moving towards his house! Fires and shelling were not uncommon then because a civil war was raging between a triad and the Imperial Chinese government forces in and around Shanghai, where Taylor was stationed.

Taylor prayed and watched the wind blowing the fire closer and closer when it suddenly started raining. What an answer to his prayer! Even as Taylor breathed a sign of grateful relief, a shell hit the roof of a nearby house….

Source: Irene Chang et al (eds), Christ Alone. A Pictorial Presentation of Hudson Taylor’s Life and Legacy.

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