Friday, March 28, 2014

On the Name James Hudson

We've gotten some questions and confusion on baby Hudson's name, so I thought I would write a bit to explain it.  In short, he is named after a British missionary from the 1800's to China.  James Hudson Taylor also went by his middle name, and is more commonly known as Hudson Taylor (or sometimes I see J. Hudson Taylor).

As aspiring missionaries ourselves, Hudson Taylor has always been inspiring and challenging to us.  Alex was the first to read his biography, and I read it myself about a year ago.  Hudson Taylor was unique and innovative among missionaries.  He felt it was more important for the Chinese to embrace Jesus, rather than English culture.  At the time, Christianity and Western culture were seen as being hand-in-hand.  Taylor chose to wear Chinese garb (see above picture) and eat Chinese food in order to fit in with the people he was reaching out to.  Taylor's influence in China was broad: it is estimated that his work resulted in about 18,000 Chinese people choosing to follow Jesus, which has expanded to 100 million Chinese Christians traceable to his ministry today.

It is not just the results of Taylor's work that we admire.  He was a man of God and it showed in many aspects of his life.  He never raised support for his missionary work, but trusted God and prayed for it to come in.  It always did.  (Side note: we are not against raising financial support, we have done it before and expect to do it again.  But his faith in not doing so is truly remarkable.)  He also had the faith to trust God and continue his ministry in China even as he lost his first wife and many children (I can't find the exact number, but I think it was at least 4 or 5).

Here are two (of many) great Hudson Taylor quotes:

"All God's giants have been weak men who did great things for God because they reckoned on God being with them"

"The Great Commission is not an option to be considered, it is a command to be obeyed"

James Hudson Taylor Costa, we pray that you would have such faith!

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