This post contains affiliate links. As a Catholic, I’m not familiar with all of the Christian missionaries. However, my daughter and I are reading through YWAM’s Christian Heroes: Then and Now series, so we are learning more. The latest book we read, Hudson Taylor by Janet & Geoff Benge, left us with mixed feelings.
About Hudson Taylor by Janet & Geoff Benge
Hudson Taylor lived in the latter half of the 1800s and died in the early 1900s. From the time he was young, he knew he wanted to be a missionary to China. However, he also was interested in medicine, and throughout his life, the two interests seemed to compete for his attention.
In our age of world travel, I have trouble imagining what it’s like to move across the world to a place about which you know nothing. In fact, Taylor learned to read Chinese arduously at home by reading translations and trying to pick out what English word each Chinese symbol represented. When he went to China, Taylor was firm that he would not wear Chinese clothes. However, he later decided that the Chinese were distracted by his English clothes. He decided to wear Chinese clothes and began to wear his hair in the traditional queue. Only after he did that were the Chinese receptive to his message because they weren’t distracted by his English clothes and hair.
Personally, Hudson suffered greatly during his time in China as many people in his family died. I felt sympathy for him for that.
I have mixed feelings about this book. In the beginning, my daughter and I found the young Hudson Taylor to be annoying. For instance, even though he had a paycheck waiting for him, he decided not to remind his boss about the money to see if God would provide for him. I certainly think God can and does provide, but I didn’t like Hudson’s way of repeatedly testing God to see if He would come through.
However, once Hudson got to China, the story was more enjoyable. In the end, as I often find with YWAM books, I felt that Taylor’s life was glossed over. I would have liked to have known more about his life after he remarried, but very little was said. The Benges could have focused a bit more on his later life, especially his last 20 or 30 years and not gone into so much depth in his early years before he reached China.
I give Hudson Taylor by Janet & Geoff Benge 4 out 5 stars on the Mom’s Plans’ scale.