When Hudson Taylor and William Burns went to Swatow in war-torn China as missionaries, Hudson was only twenty-four years old. The two Christians found lodging in a basement apartment and had to enter their living space through a trapdoor in the floor of the house above.
Soon after they set up a medical clinic, Taylor had to travel to Shanghai for medical supplies. He put his spare clothes in a box and mailed it. It would reduce the baggage he’d have to carry, Reaching Shanghai, he discovered that his promised medical supplies had been destroyed, so he continued on to Ningpo, where he hoped he could find what he needed. On the way his servant robbed him and escaped with all his money.
At Ningpo he found what he needed, but some of the people he was traveling with got sick and he had to wait a month for them to recover. During that time, he met a girl by the name of Maria Dyer. They later married.
Friends lent him money for his return trip to Swatow, but before he left, riots broke out there and his partner, William Burns, became a prisoner. Had Taylor been with him, he’d have been in prison too.
While he waited for things to cool down, a missionary friend became ill with smallpox. Taylor took care of him until the pers son died, then had to burn all of his own clothes because of possible smallpox contamination. That’s when the box he packed In Swatow arrived with all his extra clothes.
Hudson Taylor learned that when bad things happen, you’ve got to give God time to show you how He’s still looking out for you.