Season 2 | Episode 8 | China | TBN

Season 2 | Episode 8 | China

Watch Season 2 | Episode 8 | China
October 31, 2019
26:50

China

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Season 2 | Episode 8 | China

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  • The day he saw missionaries in those two provinces
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  • would be the day that the Lord took him, that his mission on earth was complete.
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  • This is Hong Kong. It's the Southern Ocean gateway into China.
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  • People fly into China these days, but the early missionaries took long and dangerous boat journeys to get to China.
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  • The first missionaries in the 7th century were the Nestorians and they came in through the Silk Road.
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  • Then in the 16th century, Matteo Ricci and the Jesuits came via the ocean.
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  • Then 300 years later, Hudson Taylor arrived in Shanghai.
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  • Now, that's a long way north and east of where we are here in Hong Kong.
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  • And he came to bring the message of Jesus to China.
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  • Later on, Hudson Taylor would call his ministry the China Inland Mission,
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  • precisely because he didn't want to stay via the ocean and he didn't want to stay
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  • in the safe treaty ports, but to take the message of Jesus into inland China.
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  • That was 160 years ago.
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  • And yet the influence of Hudson Taylor and those who followed him are still being felt in China today.
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  • How did Christian faith first come to China?
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  • The history in China is really quite remarkable.
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  • The first missionaries to hit China arrived almost at the exact same time
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  • that the first missionaries hit the United Kingdom.
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  • And so, you have these missionaries arriving in China in around 635,
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  • just really early, being sent by the bishops somewhere in the Middle East,
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  • we can't identify exactly where they came from, but somewhere in the Middle East, with this message of Jesus.
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  • And they called it the 'luminous religion', this religion of light that they were bringing into China.
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  • It's remarkable because you're talking thousands of miles that people had to go over the Silk Road
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  • where they could be killed by bandits any minute, and get all the way to China.
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  • A lot of the missionaries who went to China turned back before they got there.
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  • But the Nestorians were also settling along the Silk Road.
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  • So, you had ethnic groups, Christian ethnic groups, across Central Asia, along the Silk Road
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  • The Nestorians went along those roads, went to China and founded a Christian faith
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  • that eventually was outlawed when Buddhism was outlawed.
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  • There is now in the city of Xi'an, an enormous stele.
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  • It's about nine feet tall. It's larger, much bigger than I am.
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  • And it writes down the history of these missionaries and their arrival and their reception by the emperor.
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  • And so, that's really where a lot of our historical facts come from.
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  • But it's not just this huge block, this giant stone, but we also have various books
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  • that were written as these early missionaries are beginning to try to express the gospel
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  • in terms that made sense in a country that was becoming increasingly influenced by Buddhism.
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  • It was a couple of hundred years before the next incursion of Christianity into China.
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  • What was that?
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  • Roughly the 16th, 17th century, we have the Jesuit missions to China under the auspices of the Portuguese.
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  • In particular, the Italian Jesuit Matteo Ricci was perhaps the most famous of those missionaries that came over.
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  • Because the Jesuits came, they also brought with them Western science,
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  • including astronomy, including mathematics, and also fine arts, and painting from the West.
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  • And so, it actually created a space for people,
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  • for two countries or for two different kinds of people to come together.
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  • So the Jesuits arrive. They'd been trying to get into China for some time.
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  • They'd been working in Japan.
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  • They were down in this island of Macao, just off the Chinese coast for a number of years, maybe 30 years.
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  • And finally, they had this invitation to go in.
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  • And so really, the first missionary group was led by Matteo Ricci.
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  • Matteo Ricci himself also dressed like a Chinese.
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  • And it's a gesture of showing respect and honor to the Chinese culture.
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  • The Jesuit mission to China, we could probably say that their influence was twofold.
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  • One was sort of short-term, in the sense that it lasted a couple of hundred years.
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  • It was because of conflicts between the Jesuits and the Chinese emperor.
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  • And as such, Catholicism was stomped out, was oppressed during that time
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  • and was not really continued, missionaries were ejected from the country and so forth.
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  • Secondly, there are many Christian converts to Catholicism during that time.
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  • And this would eventually develop little enclaves, little villages,
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  • what we call Catholic villages, throughout China that lasts until today even.
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  • So, many of the Catholic Christians that we may speak of as being significant figures in the 20th century,
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  • can trace their history back to the early Jesuit missions.
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  • But the real period where many Christian groups, when missionaries go to China, is the 1800's.
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  • By that time, there are a lot of Protestants interested in mission.
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  • So, that is when most missionaries start going into China, after the mid 1800's,
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  • and they find themselves connecting too, with the remnants of the Christian church
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  • that had been underground for centuries.
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  • In the early 1800's, Robert Morrison was the first Protestant missionary to China,
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  • and he came under the auspices of the East India Company,
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  • and he was based primarily in Canton and worked in translation work
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  • One of the next great characters coming into China was Hudson Taylor.
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  • What was different about what he did?
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  • He is really an amazing man.
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  • Protestant missions in China had largely found themselves gathering
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  • in Western controlled parts of China, or at least where there was a lot of Western influence.
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  • And they would begin to recreate little Western enclaves
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  • and invite people into those, to the churches that were based in there.
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  • And it was very much sort of, 'You come to us'.
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  • And Hudson Taylor breaks this mold and flips it on its head and says, 'No, the gospel is going to you'.
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  • Knowing that you're the great-grandson of somebody that has such an important place in the church and church history,
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  • did you feel any sense of pressure about the name and the heritage you were carrying?
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  • Absolutely. Growing up in Taiwan, my English name is already bad enough, James Hudson Taylor IV,
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  • my Chinese name, the literal translation of my Chinese name would be, 'To follow in the footsteps of my ancestors'.
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  • So, I remember 5, 6, 7 years old being asked, 'Are you going to be a missionary, too?'
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  • Which was actually part of my rebellion, so to speak, against the Christian faith,
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  • because I just got tired of being asked that question.
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  • And so, as I describe it, for a significant period of my growing up years,
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  • the thought of, or the idea, or the knowledge of me being in this line of missionaries
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  • was actually more of a burden than it was a blessing.
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  • We want to explore Hudson Taylor's story. What was his motivation to go to China?
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  • Well, I think there was, obviously it was God's work in his life.
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  • And God used probably his parents, if you read his biography.
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  • He was a man who came to faith at 17, surrendered his life to the Lord Jesus.
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  • But he grew up in a family where his mom and dad loved the Lord Jesus,
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  • but they also loved China. His father had a passion for China.
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  • There was a growing awareness for missions, following on the heels
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  • of William Carey going to India in 1793 and then Robert Morrison going to China in 1807.
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  • At that point, he had heard that medicine, medical missions was a good avenue to go into missions.
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  • And so, that's what he did.
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  • He went and started his medical studies and saw that as a bridge to serve the Lord in China.
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  • I think in addition to that equipping, obviously, he was very much involved
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  • in evangelism just within the context of where he was living.
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  • He certainly realized going to China was going to be a very difficult thing.
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  • He prepared himself over a long period of time, didn't he?
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  • It wasn't like one day he woke up and thought he should go and then went off.
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  • It was a journey to go, wasn't it?
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  • That's right. He did his research.
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  • He got to know what was the culture in China, he got to know what it would mean to learn the language in China.
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  • But he also paid attention to the spiritual aspects that he knew
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  • he would need to get to grips with to sustain himself in a place like China,
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  • to share the gospel with people and a culture very different from his own.
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  • So, he worked hard.
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  • He did away with his, you know, his feather pillow.
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  • He did away with a nice mattress on his bed.
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  • He exercised. So, there was a physical awareness as well.
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  • He tried to teach himself Chinese by copying out the gospel of Luke in Chinese
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  • and learned probably 400, 500 characters along the way.
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  • So, there was a number of things, I think, that he saw as critical.
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  • And certainly, the whole aspect of faith and dependence upon God,
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  • a lot of that emerged out of his experience, those years in medical school,
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  • and the awareness that God was faithful, and God heard prayer and answered prayer.
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  • And so, it was with that kind of assurance of God's presence that he went then to China to serve.
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  • Give people a picture of how long it would take to get to China. What was that journey like?
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  • It took him 163 days.
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  • Hudson Taylor wanted to go beyond the treaty borders.
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  • The treaty ports were these little enclaves that protected foreigners from the local Chinese.
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  • Hudson Taylor wanted to bring the mission inland into China.
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  • That's why his organization would be known as the China Inland Mission.
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  • It was illegal to really go inland from the standpoint of Chinese regulation.
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  • He realized that China had 300 million people and the vast majority of them
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  • lived outside of the coastal parts of China.
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  • There were 18 provinces without one missionary in them.
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  • And so, his call and the beginning of the China Inland Mission was a call for 24 willing and skilful workers
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  • to go to these 18 provinces scattered in the inland parts of China.
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  • That's the name the China Inland Mission with a focus on the inland parts of China.
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  • This is a bound volume of, '1875 China's Millions'.
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  • It was a remarkable piece of work. And Hudson Taylor was really ahead of his time.
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  • And this contained maps, details about China, the situation with the church,
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  • stories and insights from missionaries. So, this also ignited the imagination of many British Christians.
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  • And it fueled the prayers of Christians.
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  • Tell me about the Cambridge Seven.
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  • These were seven young aristocrats. Two of them were very well-known in the U.K.
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  • One of them was the captain of the rowing team in Cambridge.
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  • The other was the captain of the cricket team.
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  • And so, when these chaps, and there were a couple of churchmen and the others were in the army,
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  • they were not necessarily the type of people to give up
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  • what they would eventually give up, to go into the backwaters of China.
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  • This is Lord's Cricket Ground in London.
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  • If you come from countries like Australia, New Zealand, India, South Africa, this is sporting holy ground.
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  • To play here for England was a huge honor. In 1882, C.T. Studd played here against Australia.
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  • C.T. Studd's background is very interesting.
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  • His dad made a fortune in business in India.
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  • He then brought his three sons back here to England.
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  • He educated them at Eton College and then they went on to Cambridge University.
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  • All three boys played cricket for Cambridge University.
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  • C.T. Studd became famous for being part of another group in Cambridge, the Cambridge Seven.
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  • These were seven young men who had given themselves to go to China with the China Inland Mission.
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  • At the age of 25, C.T. Studd also inherited a fortune from his family, 25 thousand pounds.
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  • He gave it all away.
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  • In fact, 5 thousand pounds he gave to D.L. Moody, who used it to start the Moody Bible College.
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  • C.T. Studd would go to China and then to India, and then at the age of 50, would go to Africa.
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  • He and his wife, Priscilla, started an organization called the World Evangelization Crusade.
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  • It still exists today, WEC.
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  • Studd once wrote, 'Some people want to live within the sound of a church or a chapel bell
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  • I want to set up a rescue shop within one yard of hell'.
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  • Studd gave up sporting fame and personal fortune to take the message of Jesus to the ends of the earth.
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  • Tell us about C.T. Studd's cricket career.
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  • C.T. Studd was one of the most promising young all-rounders in English cricket in the late 1870s and early 1880s.
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  • He captained his school side at Eton, he'd captained Cambridge.
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  • He came on to play for Middlesex, but he was actually picked for England
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  • while he was still at university, which even then was a fairly rare thing.
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  • One thing you have to remember about him, he was the second player after W.G. Grace
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  • to score a thousand runs and take 100 wickets in first class cricket in an English season.
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  • No one had done that apart from Grace until Studd came along.
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  • He did it two years running. Then he played one more season of cricket, 1884,
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  • and then he gave it all up, just at the point where, he was 23 years old,
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  • he could have gone on to be one of the all-time greats.
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  • Hudson Taylor believed in the lay-evangelist and he mobilized women,
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  • whether wives obviously went with their husbands, but also single women.
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  • And the simple reason for that was he realized that Chinese society was very conservative
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  • and so male missionaries could not go into Chinese homes.
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  • Male missionaries could not have any contact with the women in Chinese homes.
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  • Women are critical people in this work of God.
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  • They are not someone that are just behind the scenes.
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  • They are very visible players. And so, Hudson Taylor sees them as Bible women,
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  • which means that they are equipped to go and to not just spread the gospel,
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  • but also disciple other people in the gospel.
  • 00:17:44.000 --> 00:17:46.270
  • But what he didn't realize, I think, is all the repercussions this would have.
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  • For him, it was really an evangelistic move, 'We need women to be able
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  • primarily to talk to other women who are locked away from men'.
  • 00:17:54.210 --> 00:17:58.060
  • But what did he didn't know is by making them Bible women, they needed to learn the Bible.
  • 00:17:58.080 --> 00:18:02.210
  • Well, almost no woman in China could read, and so now you have this new literate class of women emerging.
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  • The Boxer Rebellion, around 1900, was basically a revolt
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  • that was happening within different religious groups within China.
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  • And in particular, there was a very strong antagonism towards foreigners and foreign religion, namely Christianity.
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  • And one of the rallying cries was, 'It's your foreign God that has brought this judgment on us,
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  • because the Chinese gods have been insulted that you would turn to someone else'.
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  • And so there became this idea of, 'We have to expel the Christian presence'.
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  • They moved very swiftly through China.
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  • And what they did, as they went about, is they would round up many Christians and they would kill them.
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  • Now, we often talk about the missionaries and indeed, around 250 missionaries lost their lives,
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  • but the estimates for Chinese believers is close to 20 thousand, maybe 25 thousand.
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  • So, there's a much larger scale, a lot of people gave their life for Jesus in the Boxer Rebellion.
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  • What's your reflection on your great-great-grandfather losing his wife and losing children in China?
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  • To realize the cost that they paid to be obedient and to be faithful to God's call in their life,
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  • I think, is a significant reminder to each subsequent generation
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  • that to be faithful is not necessarily an easy road.
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  • And in fact, more often than not, it's a road that comes with testing,
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  • comes with difficulties and, 'How can I be faithful in my generation?'
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  • Tell us about your earliest memories of being in China.
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  • Well, I was born in North China during World War 2.
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  • So, my memories of that are extremely hazy and much of it comes from my parent's stories which I heard afterwards.
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  • I had two brothers. There were three of us.
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  • My grandfather had founded the hospital and my mother, who was a surgeon, was one of the doctors there.
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  • And we were caught in a terrible famine.
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  • So, we had the Japanese army on one side who had killed 17 million in their invasion,
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  • and then we had the communist army north of us
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  • and the nationalist army on the other side.
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  • And then there was a famine, locusts.
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  • Chiang Kai-shek could have sent food, but he didn't because he wanted it for his own troops.
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  • And in three months, 5 million died, including my two brothers.
  • 00:20:53.240 --> 00:20:57.150
  • And when, I nearly died, my mother nearly died, when we joined the refugees
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  • on the road looking for food and so on, there were 10 million on the road.
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  • And there was cannibalism, people selling their children for an evening meal, all sorts of horrendous things.
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  • So, the end of that were my first memories of life.
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  • Wow. Why were your parents there?
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  • Your mom was working as a surgeon. They went as medical missionaries?
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  • Yes. My great-grandfather was a friend of Hudson Taylor's.
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  • And then my parents were both born in China.
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  • Was it just medical work that they did or was there a sense of bringing the message of Jesus to the Chinese?
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  • Even as a doctor, she brought the message of Jesus.
  • 00:21:52.230 --> 00:21:55.260
  • But my father was, you might call, a straightforward missionary, teacher, evangelist and so on.
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  • It's interesting because the last time he traveled through China was in 1905.
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  • He died on June the 3rd, 1905.
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  • And his desire on that last trip to China was to visit two provinces,
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  • the province of Henan and the province of Hunan, which are sort of in the central part of China.
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  • And the reason why he wanted to go to those two provinces was
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  • because those were the last provinces to open their door to missions.
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  • The day he saw missionaries in those two provinces would be the day that the Lord took him,
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  • that his mission on earth was complete, that the gospel had gone into these 18 unoccupied provinces,
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  • and through the efforts of CIM missionaries,
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  • the church had been established in these 18 provinces.
  • 00:22:57.060 --> 00:23:01.050
  • In 1949, the Communist Party basically was taking a stance with Christianity,
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  • that to be Christian you have to be loyal to the Chinese state.
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  • Foreign missionaries would be kicked out of the country,
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  • Chinese Christians would need to state their allegiance with the state.
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  • From 1966 to 1976, during the Cultural Revolution, this was a period where
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  • a lot of Christians would be imprisoned or eventually die.
  • 00:23:32.040 --> 00:23:36.030
  • In the late 70s, early 80s, China opened up again, because there were those who thought there'd be no church left.
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  • What did they find?
  • 00:23:46.220 --> 00:23:48.070
  • Just an incredible, dynamic and vibrant group of Christians
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  • who had not only survived, but now were actually multiplying at unbelievable rates.
  • 00:23:54.110 --> 00:23:57.120
  • The church in China is actually looking to do mission itself,
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  • it doesn't see itself as just a place receiving missionaries,
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  • now it sees itself as a missionary and they do it in unique ways.
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  • I love, one of the places where I've been, meeting a group of young people who were training to be missionaries.
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  • And during the daytime, they would have, they were learning how to cut hair,
  • 00:24:15.000 --> 00:24:18.140
  • and so they were getting a degree in hair cutting as barbers.
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  • But then in the evening at school, they would gather together and they would do Bible study.
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  • They were studying mission theory and evangelism and then also a foreign language.
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  • In this case, they were studying Urdu together.
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  • And at graduation they were handed a diploma
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  • that said, 'You are now certified in China to cut hair' and given a pair of scissors.
  • 00:24:37.030 --> 00:24:41.030
  • But then they were also given sort of a silent charge that said,
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  • 'And now go in the name of Jesus Christ, with these scissors, to the ends of the earth'.
  • 00:24:44.180 --> 00:24:49.010
  • And the idea was, wherever you go, you can always find someone who needs a haircut,
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  • and that can buy enough rice for you to walk to the next town and then to the next town
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  • and then the next town till you reach somewhere like Pakistan,
  • 00:24:58.020 --> 00:25:00.270
  • where you can be a missionary for Jesus, cutting hair and sharing the good news.
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