When Hudson Taylor first sailed to China in 1853, there were only a few dozen missionaries, all in coastal cities. Taylor adopted Chinese garb and grew a pigtail (like Chinese men at the time). Drawn by a vast inland population untouched by the gospel, he set out for the interior.
Trusting God to meet every need, Taylor pressed ahead despite criticism, illness, deaths, depression, accidents, robberies, riots, and civil war. One statement summarizes his absolute faith in God:
I have found that there are three stages in every great work of God:
first, it is impossible, then it is difficult, then it is done.
Taylor recalled the Lord’s question to Abraham and Jeremiah: “Is anything too hard for me?” (Gen 18:14; Jer. 32:27). He remembered Gabriel’s word to Mary, “For nothing will be impossible with God" (Lk. 1:37). He relied on Jesus’ assertions that “all things are possible with God" (Mt. 17:20; Lk. 18:27; Jn 14:14). And he prayed with confidence, knowing “that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us" (1 Jn 5:14).
In 51 years of ministry, Taylor founded the China Inland Mission, deployed 800 missionaries, recruited 500 local workers, established 300 mission stations in all 18 inland provinces, and recorded 18,000 converts. Today, according to the best available statistics, there are as many at 115 million Christians in China.
And all this started with one bold missionary, daring to ask God for the impossible.
Impossible. Difficult. Done.
Current stats on China by Wesley Granbert-Michaelson in
From Times Square to Timbuktu, p. 8
Read more at the Christianity Today website, "Hudson Taylor: Faith Missionary to China."