Sunday, January 03, 2016

2016 is an Open Door by Rose McCormick Brandon

Jonathan Goforth
Missionaries Jonathan and Rosalind Goforth arrived in China in March 1888. Their assignment to open a new field in the northern section of Honan province was a daunting one. The young couple struggled to learn the language, adjust to the climate and raise a large family in primitive surroundings. They met many discouraging challenges, including the death of a child.

One day a letter arrived from Hudson Taylor, then a pioneer with China Inland Missions. He wrote:
We understand North Honan is to be your field; we, as a mission, have tried for ten years to enter that province from the south, and have only just succeeded. It is one of the most anti-foreign provinces in China . . . Brother, if you would enter that province, you must go forward on your knees.
The Goforths took Taylor’s advice. With persistence and prayer, they mastered the language. People began responding to their message of a loving Christ. A female convert filled their need of an assistant Bible teacher for women.

Rosalind Goforth
Rosalind Goforth
Years later, Rosalind Goforth wrote a little book that has become one of my favourites, How I Know God Answers Prayer. She wrote of miracles of revival, guidance, healing and comfort. Through the Boxer Rebellion and many other life threatening events, the Goforths proceeded on their knees.
Prayer sends tremors down the enemy’s spine. It puts courage in the weak-kneed and takes the whine and worry out of life. It resurrects the fallen and revives the discouraged.
Only God can give us courage to face impossible situations. Only He can open closed doors.
The new year, 2016, is an open door. Let's go through it on our knees.

See! I have set before you a door wide open which no one is able to shut . .  Rev. 3:8

Prayer: Father, make me alert to the opportunities You provide. Give me courage to walk through the doors You open for me. I dedicate this new year, 2016, to You. At the end of it, I want to be found Faithful to Your Word and to Your purpose for my life.

  Rose McCormick Brandon is the author of four books,, including Promises of Home - Stories of Canada's British Home Children, and many articles. Visit her website: http://writingfromtheheart, her faith blog, Listening to my Hair Grow and British Home Child blog, Promises of Home.


Glynis said...

Oh Rose. I love the way you make history relevant. I have always loved the name of these dear missionaries - the Goforths! What a trail they blazed. Thank you for this.

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

I love their name too - perfect for missionaries - Goforth!

Peter Black said...

Wonderful! Thanks Rose - so much said in few words! I wonder whether the Goforth's association with Oswald J. Smith (founder of People's Church, Toronto) supplied some influence and inspiration for their "going forth on their knees" - their remarkable prayer life. Perhaps they also shared in Smith's evident hunger for spiritual renewal and revival. ("Iron sharpens iron.") ~~+~~

Violet Nesdoly said...

I love the story of the Goforths. What a great encouragement to pray!

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Peter - I didn't know the Goforths were associated with Smith. It's not mentioned in their books. They were sent out by the Canadian Presbyterian church. But, it could be that Smith, because of his commitment to missions, also played a part. Wondering though about the timeline. Will have to check when Smith was ministering.

Peter Black said...

O.J. Smith began his pastoral ministry with the Presbyterians, if I remember correctly, and was later associated with CMA, before establishing People's Church. (I read some of his story years ago.) BTW Rose, I have two books by Rosalind Goforth. One is a 1920-something edition of the one you mentioned, "How I Know God Answers Prayer." I've had it for more than thirty years and haven't read it through . . . yet (shame on me!). ~~+~~

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

Peter, very interesting that Smith began with the Presbyterians. You may also have Rosalind Goforth's book, Climbing. An excellent work. You've got some reading to do :)

Peter Black said...

Chuckle! Rose, your mentioning the title rang a distant bell, so I headed to my bookshelves. I have it. This is a Moody Pocket Books 72 edition paperback. Another one I've yet to read. ~~+~~

Rose McCormick Brandon said...

I think you'll really like his book, Peter. I've read it more than once - a gem.

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