A real Studd

August 30, 2009

C.T. Studd

I just finished a very brief biography on C.T. Studd (1860-1931). He was a real stud (there, that’s out of the way). The book was C.T. Studd: No Retreat by Janet and Geoff Benge, which I bought on Amazon. It was written more for about middle-school age, so it was 188 pages (large print) and utterly devoid of details. I searched for other biographies on this man, but alas, none of them are over 250 pages. Well, complaining about shortness of the book is now also out of the way.

Life

I won’t write on the details of his life, because I don’t have the desire to, tonight. If you want to read up on him, I suggest ordering a book, but for goodness sakes, don’t get the “Christian Heroes: Then and Now” book by the Benges (unless it’s for your kids), get the one written in the 30s by Norman Grubb. Anyways, I mostly want to ponder his life, especially on his later years.

C.T. Studd was born into an incredibly wealthy family and lived the life of the British elite. He became an internationally famous cricket player in his 20s, then God called him to serve in China with China Inland Mission (now Overseas Mission Fellowship). Studd went out as part of seven famous young men who went out who became known as “The Cambridge Seven.” In China, he married Priscilla Stewart, who remained his wife until dying two years before C.T.

After serving in China for about 10 years, Studd had to head back to England because of severe Asthma, and his wife was also very weak. They stayed there for a few years, living the luxurious life of his family, and ministering. They served foreigners living in India for a few years, and again returned to England for the same health reasons. Studd continued a great ministry in England and the states. When he was about 50, he felt God calling him to go to the deepest parts of Africa (eventually, the Belgian Congo). He went there and founded World Evangelism Commission (WEC). Studd spent the rest of his life serving in Africa, where he saw great success, and he took only about two furloughs during that period.

So the story goes.

Radical Man

Studd was a radical man. He constantly faced opposition from others and constantly endured in spite of it. His family was strongly opposed to his becoming an overseas missionary (all three times he did it), yet he essentially ignored them and followed God’s command. Because of his father’s early death, he inherited 20,000 pounds, which was enough money to live comfortably on for the rest of his life. When he inherited it, he was in China, and he decided to give 100% of it to Christian ministries, despite everyone around him trying to deter him from doing so. His marriage was also a quick thing. Because they’d only seen one another a handful of times, He didn’t even know Priscilla’s age when he proposed. People also recommended against that as well, because Priscilla was very physically weak.

In particluar, everyone opposed Studd going to Africa. He was too old and in bad health because of his asthma. A board supported him at one point, provided he could pass a medical exam. He passed the exam, but the doctor said that he couldn’t go below a certain latitude (not into the jungle). Studd, being the man he was, refused this condition, and the mission board revoked their support. But he went anyways, wanting to form a new mission, which eventually became WEC. He went with a few other missionaries, but all except one abandoned him, choosing to serve in other parts of Africa. The one who stayed with him was Alfed Buxton, a young man who served faithfully with C.T. for over 15 years and later married C.T.’s daughter.

One of the Greats?

There are certian missionaries that I call “The Greats.” It’s a rather ambiguous term that refers to the likes of William Carrey, Hudson Taylor, and Adinoram Judson. Everyone interested in the histrory of missions should know the Greats. It’s a rather arbitrary distinction, because it’s based on the visible, well-known fruit of their ministries, so they’re not necessarily any better than any other missionaries. They just changed the course of history, that’s all. They were the first ones to go, and many of them founded missions. In Heaven, I don’t think that God will have any such distinction, and if he does, then some of the Greats will be people who no one has ever heard of.

Studd seems to have been one of the Greats. He had a long carreer and, after all, founded WEC, a mission which today has 1,500 missionaries and is responsible for such things as the Perspectives course, Operation World, and the Travelling Team. However, as I read this book, I realize what a difficult person he must have been to work with and wish I knew more details of his life. I theorize that his greatest strength: pushing forward in spite of all odds and opposition, became in his later years his greatest weakness.

Here are a few examples. When he went to Africa, he left his wife and adult daughters for about two years during the first trip. But then he left his wife again, and again, and during the last ten years of their lives, he only saw her once for about two weeks. He did not want to see her again, because he thought if they did, it might be too hard to part (according to this book). An official reason that they did not see one another was because he was doing such an important work in Africa, and she was doing an important work for the mission in Britain and America, and he didn’t want to risk her dying in disease-ridden Africa. She was, after all, rather frail. The only reason he saw for two weeks was because she took a brief trip to Africa, even though he told her not to.

During his later years in WEC, Studd was told time and again by the mission board to take a furlough, but he refused to. Not only did he ignore his wife to stay in Africa, but he ignored his mission board and developed quite a reputation on the home front for doing so.

At one point, missionaries around him started wondering why they weren’t allowed things like a day off, a wooden table and chairs, glass windows in their huts, and occasional foods from the West. They grumbled about it. Studd said about this in a journal, “Let us do one thing or the other – either eat and drink, for tomorrow we die, or let us gamble with life and death and all for our Lord Jesus. None but gamblers wanted out here; let the grumblers go home.” Please note that this was in response to requesting things like a day off and wooden tables.

In 1921, seven new missionary recruits from America came to the field. These were the first from WEC USA. In contrast to the existing British missionaries, mostly Methodist and Presbyterian, these were mostly Baptists, and they argued bitterly over some Biblical texts (again, this is where I wish a had a more detailed biography). Studd, being the experienced missionary he was, sided with the British against the Americans. Within a few weeks, the American missionaries left, never to return.

The rift gets deeper. Alfed Buxton (who was in Africa with C.T. from the beginning) was like a brother to C.T., as near as I can tell. A few years after the incident with the American missionaries, he went to America to try to smooth things over, because WEC USA was threatening to split from the rest of the mission. Studd felt that everything had been the fault of the rookie American missionaries, and when he found out that Alfred was trying to smooth things over, he sent a letter accusing Alfred of disloyalty and dismissing Alfred from the mission. In doing so, he also dismissed his own daughter (Alfred’s wife) from the mission.

Near the end of his life, to deal with the pain of untreated gall stones, Studd seems to have fallen into some level of morphine usage. Whether it was an addiction or not, it’s hard to say from my limited reading.

What Can We Learn?

I must say that when I read this story, C.T. Studd did not seem to finish his race well. Oh, he kept preaching till the very end, and he won thousands to Christ, to be sure. But he also deeply wounded many near to him, and maybe even fell into drug addiction. I must conclude as I find myself doing often, that we need other Christians. We can’t do it on our own. This journey is just too hard. Satan’s attacks are too constant. And not just that we need other Christians around us, but we need to listen to them. We need people who can speak into our lives and say, “You’re abusing your power and out of control. You need to slow down. You need to get back together with your wife.”

Studd and his wife lived apart for about a third of their married life. Decades. Is that Biblical? Is forcing your missionaries to work 7 days a week Biblical? And if it’s Biblical, is it wise, or are you just going to burn them out? Studd, for all his bravery and boldness in ignoring people who would hold him back in his mission, seems to have turned that into ignoring people, period. He seems to have closed his heart to listening to input at some point. And that is a very dangerous place to be.

Missionaries must be careful. We are more vulnerable than anyone to Satan’s attacks. Even “the Greats” had sin in their lives, and sometimes, that sin had serious reprecussions, like the dismissal of Alfred. That’s why “the Greats” is a bad label, anyways. They were big sinners, just like us. We all have to beware becoming grumpy old men, especially if we are stubborn in our youth.

And yet, even though he made some big mistakes, C.T. still won so many to Christ and started a major mission. He was a legend among the Christians in Africa. He accomplished impossible things for God. I he did more than I even dream of.

The way I seek to live as a missionary is this: my primary responsibility is to daily delight myself in God. And a high goal of my life is to pursue personal holiness (that is, right conduct and sanctification by God’s grace). I would gladly accomplish less in life rather than leave a wake of broken people behind me.

So, next I start a Hudson Taylor biography. I’ve read one or two on him before, but this is one of the Greats for one of the Greats. That is, it’s 400 pages. Taylor did not seem to leave a trail of broken relationships behind him. He seemed to love his wife and children. I’m really excited to get into reading about him, because he was an amazing man.

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Ride the wave

I think that I know what I want to do as a missionary. I want to get prepared to ride whatever wave God puts in front of me, then ride it. I want to learn Japanese and learn what it takes for a Japanese church to function, then I want to go start some.

I can’t get much more specific than that at the moment. In the end, it’s up to God to provide “the wave” (that is, a ministry situation where I will see fruit). However, the best thing I can do towards being fruitful is to spend the next couple years learning to surf, so to speak. I must get ready, then seize whatever opportunity He gives me to glorify Him and advance the kingdom.

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A meditation

If I write something that won’t be comprehensible to others, I generally don’t publicize it. However, due to the nature of this, I wanted to, just a little.

August 20, 2009

How often have I sat down and simply given praise to God in my writing? Simply given thanks and said what He has done? I write of Japanese culture and missionaries and theology, but what of praise? Am I capable of expressing adequate gratitude for what He has given me? It seems that I struggle with this! I scarcely even try. I ought to say to the whole world, “This and that is what the Lord has done to me.” My whole life ought to be a signpost pointing to Him.

I praise Him with my hands. I praise Him when I play the piano, be it Christian music or Squaresoft music, my heart is of praise to Him as I play. I praise Him in my other writings, for He has given me the mind to write, and so I glorify Him by using it. When I give out tracts and invitations to houses and strangers, it is praise to Him. As I read Religious Affections and struggle through the archaic English of three centuries past, it’s praise, because He is worth the mental pain. As I read a secular book about the world political/economic scene, it’s praise, because He has given me the brain used to read it. But I want to praise Him in writing. I’m no poet, but I would use my pen in thanks.

I operate under a state of mind that God is a God of deliverance. The waters come up to my neck… the enemy advances… I sink to the grave… But YOU! You, oh God, rescue me! Ever since coming to Japan, I have been praying, again and again along those lines. It has felt like drowning, and I’ve been begging the Lord for His salvation. Salvation is not only a word meaning to be saved from our sins, it just means to be saved. So, as Christians, we should often pray, “Save me, oh Lord! Give me Your salvation!” And I have been.

And then, about three weeks ago, I just started feeling better. I started having more energy. I got up more easily in the mornings. It seemed like He was lifting from my shoulders a curtain of sorrow that has weighed me down for a year. A month and a half ago, I began to have a weekly schedule of English classes and a college ministry and such. I saw friends and spent time with them, and I wrote an essay about His discipline with thoughts He gave me the power to have. It was good. He gave it all.

Then a couple Mondays ago, I spent some real time in prayer, and I felt the joy of the Savior washing over me. A thought came to my mind: I am loved here. Everyone here is so busy, not just the Japanese, but the missionaries as well, and people are not so warm, and oh so busy. But I think that an arrow of truth pierced through lies: I am loved, even though I haven’t felt it much. I know that God loves me, but knowing that humans do as well in this place, that fact gave me joy. It was something I needed to know, that they care for me, here where I am out of the reach of so many.

I meditated on the quest to know Him more, the quest that brings me here. I do care that the Japanese know Him, but my own relationship with Him is an even greater goal, and the only way for that to grow is to follow His steps here and preach His gospel here. If I do not do so, I cannot know Him more. So, the goal that the Japanese see Him and that I see Him are the same goal. Both cause both to happen.

I have tasted of the sweetness of Him, and though I do not taste it every day as deeply as I wish, I would give anything to see Him clearly and have the emotions of my heart well up in an adequate response to His goodness. If I truly understood his love and felt it in my heart, if my heart were to well up to feel what it ought to feel because of His love, forgiveness, and most of all the Cross… If that happened for even a minute, if I felt that for even a minute, it would change my life all over again. I want to see visions of glory. I long to hear His voice as clearly as any has on this earth. That is worth any trouble, and we must not mind a little suffering on the path.

His glory and goodness are such that if we could only catch a glimpse and feel what is accurate to feel about them (I am not talking about feigning emotions, for that implies feeling more than we should; I’m talking about feeling exactly what we should towards the truths of the Bible), it would surpass anything we have hitherto imagined. In Heaven we shall in fullness, and by His power we shall arrive there and see Him face to face, and all the darkness of this world will seem as nothing when we do.

I would rather have pleasures in Him than earthly pleasures. His are the best. I do think I believe this, but I have not experienced it. Physical pleasures of the flesh are more intense for a moment than anything I have felt in God, but I do believe that even on this earth, there is a pleasure in God that surpasses the pleasures of the flesh. However, I am certain that such a thing is true in Heaven; the pleasure there will cause even the most intense of delights of the earth to seem like sand in the mouth.

His pleasures are more lasting. Though sin can be a greater pleasure for an instant, it is just for an instant. Pleasure in God lasts. And it is morally correct. I just couldn’t stand to pursue pleasures that I knew were wrong. I must go for those that are right. At all costs, I must pursue the pleasures of God. I have barely glimpsed them, but I know they exist. I see them in His Word, which I trust. I believe that there is a quality of power and delight in this life (ultimately in Heaven) that I have not yet experienced, and I believe that the road to experience it is through the darkness and through suffering.

From that Monday, I’ve felt more like my old self again: having energy, being responsible with things, not waking up with a heavy weight upon my chest. God did something that morning, and though the deliverance is not complete, yet, the back of my depression has been broken, I believe, and it is only a matter of time until the Savior saves me completely. He is a good Savior, a faithful God to watch over me and care for me so tenderly despite all that has happened here. To watch over me in hardships and trials. To be with me and never leave, even when I cannot see Him. He is good, and He is faithful, and I hope that in some tiny way, this has served to express a fragmentary shard of the praise due His name.

By | 2013-12-03T23:16:36+00:00 August 21st, 2009|Uncategorized|Comments Off on A meditation

William Englund

I have another book report for you! Don’t forget to check my piece from a few days ago on God’s discipline.

August, 2009

William Gideon Englund

My book report on China Travail by William H. Pape.

Finding the Book

Much like the last book I wrote about, I found China Travail in a stack of trash-destined books in the Takamatsu Christian center. It was a pretty good find. Published in 1975 about TEAM missionary William Englund, this is more of a conventional missionary biography. I’m still dissatisfied with it, though. How are you supposed to cover a 54 year missionary career in a flimsy 147 pages? By cutting out all pre-field life details, any details about time spent in the states, and most personal details, of course! For a flimsy missionary biography, this one wasn’t bad, but it would have been good to know more of what drove this man.

His Life

William Englund was born in 1882. He arrived in China in 1903. The following table should give you a good idea of some dates as related to his life:

March 17, 1882

Birth

1898-1901

Boxer rebellion (200 missionaries killed throughout China)

1903

Englund and Lena (1st wife) Arrive in Shanghai.

Went to a village in Lantien province for Chinese study.

1916

Lena dies.

1919

Marries Ingeborg Hanaberg (wife #2)

1920

Furlough; Birth of Miriam (first daughter)

192x

Birth of Winifred (second daughter)

192x

Ingeborg does.

1927

Marries Anna, wife #3 (and thankfully the last)

1938

Furlough to America

1940

Returned to China during WW2

Dec. 23, 1948

Forced out of China by Communists; Left Shensi, never to return.

1948 or 1949

Work in Japan

Summer 1952

Furlough to America

October 1954

Work in Taiwan (started a Bible college there)

1957

Return to America, began work on his commentary of the Old Testament in Chinese (made it up to I Samuel before his death)

1964

World speaking tour through Europe, Middle East, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Japan.

1969

Death at 87 years of age.

William Englund worked extensively in the Shensi province of northwest China, especially in the city of Sian. Don’t know where that is? Well, check out the Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaanxi

My Admiration

Englund has my admiration for a number of reasons. The first is that he was a man of prayer.

Few people knew exactly at what hour he arose to pour out his heart in praise and intercession. His children remember that no matter how early they got up, their father was already shut in his room praying aloud, and his wife Anna, who knew him best, testifies that between 4:30 and 5:00, summer and winter, William Englund was preparing to seek audience with the King. Normally once a week, and on special occasions, he would eat neither breakfast nor noon meal but continue resolutely in what he called ‘fighting the Devil.’ He learned that prayer is not struggling with a reluctant God, but wrestling with a resistant enemy… Then at 7:30 breakfast time, he was ready to lead his family and any guests in Bible reading and prayer” (Pg. 75)

I think that definition of prayer is incomplete, but it is an interesting insight into his walk. But 4:30…. gosh. I wish I could do that. I really do. But at this time, I just don’t have that kind of strength. I would honestly just fall asleep again, even if I set my alarm to get up and pray at 4:30 every morning. And I’d be exhausted for the rest of the day. So, I do what I can, but man, I hope that at some point in my life I can pray like that every morning. And the answers to prayers he routinely saw! The revivals he saw… incredible. Even when he had a number of responsibilities in Japan during his time there, he still saw prayer as his “main responsibility.” He saw the spiritual realities behind all things.

Englund persevered despite overwhelming difficulties. He was in China for 54 years, and nearly all of those were filled with bloodshed. The Boxer rebellion occurred right before his arrival, and the blaze of revolution was not far behind. For the first half of the 20th century, it seems like China was in an almost constant state of war. Japan invaded in the 30s, and once they were trounced, the Communists and nationalists went right back at it for another few years. Churches got blown up, people were killed, cities were besieged with missionaries inside, and famine was a constant trouble that made money matters a nightmare (Englund served as a treasurer). The list could go on and on and on. However, despite all this, Englund did not give up.

Perhaps the difficulty that struck me the most was his deafness. Somewhere in the middle of his career, he started to go deaf, and though hearing aids began to come into existence, they couldn’t keep up with his loss of hearing, and he eventually totally lost his hearing. Nevertheless, it didn’t seem to slow him down. He still traveled through war-torn countrysides to preach in Chinese. He still founded Bible colleges. If anything, it probably made him more of a legend to the Chinese. Anna, his wife, became his ears, and motioned when he was talking to loud or softly in sermons. I suppose she also must have translated a lot for him to sign language or writing. However, to me, the thought of never hearing music or the sound of voices again is almost unbearable.

William Englund also was a fearless preacher. He constantly was going to different cities and provinces on evangelistic tours. On one occasion:

He decided on an intensive drive in the west suburb of the city as an alternate opportunity, and, except when heavy rain fell, services were held in front of the Bible school every afternoon. (pg. 81)

He had such boldness! The idea of “an intensive drive” into a part of a city is scary to me, but I want to have that kind of boldness. Right now, I wish I could do that, but, well, I have to learn Japanese to start out with. Maybe after that I can worry a little more about “intensive drives.” How about a quote from World War 2: “On one occasion, Englund and a Chinese believer, hiding behind a wall from a strafing run by a fighter plane, witnessed to a man with them in the ditch and led him to Christ.” (pg. 105)

His perseverance was an inspiration. The man went back in 1940, in the height of WW2, while the Japanese were busy conquering China. What kind of a person goes back from furlough to China in the middle of WW2?

How about his thankfulness in hardship? During WW2, when they had no money for milk, butter, or enough coal to adequately heat the house (so they spent all their time in the kitchen to stay warm), he wrote to his supporters, “Our meals come hot from the stove and this letter also comes warm from both kitchen and a heart filled with praise and prayer.” (pg. 105)

I’ll note one more quality about him: his relentless sense of humor. Whenever things would go wrong, be they bedbugs keeping him from sleeping or seasickness or the pain of travel in primitive China, he would joke about it. He even jested about his deafness. As he demonstrated, for a missionary, a sense of humor is utterly necessary. We simply cannot take ourselves too seriously.

Missiological Notes

Englund lived in an age of missions in China that Hudson Taylor started. Missionaries trimmed their hair like the Chinese (complete with pony-tail) and wore Chinese dress. This was a way of identifying with the Chinese and minimizing their foreignness. As I sit in modern Japan, where no one wears kimonos (except to special events) and dress is decidedly Western, I ponder this. In Japan, foreigners are and will always be foreigners. And that’s not all bad (if you’re Caucasian). Unlike early 1900s China, Americans are kinda cool. In addition to the fact that it’s impossible to totally become Japanese, I don’t think it should be held even as an ideal.

In modern Japan, I think the best thing to do is to learn to be an “acceptable foreigner,” rather than an “obnoxious foreigner.” In other words, everyone expects you to be weird because you’re a foreigner. So while you must learn how to communicate in Japanese in a Japanese manner (which is far bigger of a problem than the language itself), it’s OK to be a foreigner here. It’s OK to greet people in English and do weird things that no Japanese would ever do. It’s impossible to become Japanese. What you have to learn is how to be a good foreigner living in Japan. Sometimes, that involves becoming more Japanese. But often, that involves continuing to be a weird foreigner, because a lot of Japanese people like that. This is a different age. I’m still trying to find the balance.

I again realized while reading this that missionaries are people outside of society. In a sense, foreigners living in a country always are, but missionaries in particular. We do not fit any molds of the nationals, not even stereotypes of foreigners. In addition, problems hit us differently. For example, many missionaries (like myself) receive money from the west and exchange it into the local currency. This can be a huge problem if the exchange rate fluctuates the wrong way. It’s just another reminder that we are strangers and pilgrims on this earth. Here’s another example of this in Englund’s life:

Of the trial of faith through high food prices, limited finance and the perils of war was added a new and terrible element when Japan launched her surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The conflict in Asia took on a fresh aspect. The United States and China became allies and all Americans on territory occupied by Japan were arrested and put in concentration camps. Japanese military authorities confiscated the China Inland Mission school in Chefoo and moved staff and students…” (pg. 106-107)

Most Americans watched Pearl Harbor bombed safely from North America, and though they suffered some deprivations, they did not have to face the fate of those living in China. Missionaries, when international conflicts hit, are often a lot more vulnerable than those safely in the states. Sometimes, they’re more vulnerable than other westerners living in the developing world, because they live so far out there in “the bush.” And that, in my opinion, is the way it should be. Like Englund, people should go back in times like WW2. Missionaries should be slow to pull out of countries, even in unstable times. We didn’t go to the mission field to be safe.

Englund saw incredible revival in China. This book mentioned characteristics he saw in revivals. Here they are:

1) An intensely deep conviction of sin, especially in the sight of God.

2) Practical payback for sins (i.e. returning stolen property).

3) A new spiritual atmosphere in churches, where people would do things like break down and cry before the Lord.

4) Unity among Christians.

5) A new desire to pray.

6) An increase in giving.

7) A new passion to win people for Jesus.

Oh, to see this in Japan! I long to see revival here. A last quote for you: “Englund personally was convinced that persistent, fervent prayer would always bring revival. A Chinese Christian who knew him sell said, ‘If a foreign missionary having come to our land can feel so deeply for our people that he daily gives himself to pray for us with tears, then what he prays for must be very important. Let us join in prayer.” (pg. 25) Where are the prayers with tears for this land?

Ministry in Japan

One of the most interesting parts of this book for me were the years that Englund spent in Japan, shortly after China fell to communism. The reason it is interesting is not just because I am a missionary here, but because he came with TEAM, and I know some TEAM missionaries who came shortly after the war, which was a new era in missions in Japan. We call those people “MacArthur era” missionaries. Ralph and Stella Cox are two, and Bruce Helland is a third. Bruce recently came out of retirement to serve here in Takamatsu. He’s in his 80s and hard of hearing but filled with the Spirit, with a sense of humor like William Englund’s.

I wonder if their paths crossed? A story is told of Englund turning the entire tide of a TEAM conference in 1951 or 1952 by insisting on prayer. Were my friends Bruce and the Coxes at that conference? I’m not sure if they had arrived by then. However, if they ever did cross paths, that’s significant to me, because I, at the start of my missionary journey (a “McDonald era” missionary) have had the privilage of meeting some of the last remaining MacArthur missionaries. Englund and his comrades that were forced out of China set the path of TEAM Japan and gave the torch to the inexperienced and green-around-the-ears Coxes, who are now giving it to my generation.

Oh, as my old friend Samwise says, “We’re in the same tale still. It’s going on. Don’t the great tales never end?” “No, they never end as tales. But the people in them come, and go when their part’s ended.” My path just barely crossed with Ralph’s (he was on his deathbed). Perhaps he met William Englund. That alone is a tale going back a century. And Englund, who did he meet? What 80-year-old missionary did he meet in China, who met someone who met Hudson Taylor or William Carey? And they both read the tale of old David Brainard’s mission to the Indians in the 1740s, and he met the Moravians (the first protestant missionaries). Martin Luther started the Protestants, and he came out of Catholicism, which dates back centuries. On and on the story goes, back through Augustine and Polycarp and Ignatius, to Paul and the cross of Christ itself.

Ah, forgive my musings. The TEAM missionaries in this prefecture are at Karuizawa for their conference, and it struck my funny bone reading about Englund speaking at that same conference… over 50 years ago. It’s so close to home. May God bring revival in Japan.

Last Remark

When Englund left China, all seemed lost from an earthly perspective (which he did not have). However, now the largest revival in the history of the world is taking place there. In Japan, we’re still in a stage of darkness, dryness, shrinking churches, and an apparent defeat of the Gospel. So, I would like to close with a quote from Englund after the Communists took over, when he was in Hong Kong. This was after hearing the news of the death of a Chinese church leader:

Englund found assurance in the words of Nahum that ‘The Lord hath His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.’ He wrote home: ‘We may question why the enemy has been permitted to sweep over the whole land like a fierce whirlwind, raising the dust, disturbing missionary work and putting things under a dark cloud of uncertainly, but looking higher we see how the Lord’s way is above the clouds, and there is no need on His part to wait until the dust settles in order to get a clear view. Both clouds and dust are already under His feet as He moves forward to the final victory.’” (pg. 118)

Pape, William H., China Travail, (c) 1975. Published by The Evangelical Alliance Mission

By | 2013-12-03T23:16:36+00:00 August 18th, 2009|Uncategorized|Comments Off on William Englund