In 1900, when there was an anti-foreign movement in China called ‘The Boxer Rebellion’, many people were killed, especially missionaries.
This book is about the missionaries from China Inland Mission who felt the need for missionization of China’s inland and preached the Gospel in the center of China. It consists of reconstructed diaries written in the moment of being martyred and the letters sent to their families.
They lived and died with faith as the Epistle of the Hebrews says. There is no word to express how I felt when I read a baby who was martyred a day after being born with his parents, and the children of missionaries who came to China with their parents and killed brutally by persecutors.
The son of pastor Piggott, William who died at his age of 12, said to his friends on his last school vacation, “I cannot become a martyr in England but my father, my mother and I could become martyrs in China.” As he said, he went to Heaven with his parents. Horace Pitkin who loved China left a will to his son on the letter to his wife, “Tell him that my last wish is my son’s coming to China as a missionary when he becomes 25.”
The Boxers were so cruel that they even offered a reward for western ladies. At that time Mrs. Eva left a confession of the faith “I feel like my heart would stop although I believe in God. My legs and knees are shaking although I want to be brave and calm. However we believe the Lord. We trust him in any circumstances.”
They were no strong warriors who were never shakable from the fear of persecutions. But it was the faith in the Lord and the love for China that led them to the life-giving victory. It was written on the missionary Frances Nathan’s last letter “Although what they are doing is wrong, I came here because I love them. Each of them is so precious, isn’t it? I just love them.”
The victory of Church is gained by the grave of saints
The love from the life and the truth of Jesus bore new life even in this storms of persecutions. Among thousands of Chinese Christians who died with missionaries, some of them died confessing their faith a few days after they were baptized. The Boxers killed Chinese Christians and even forced them to drink missionaries’ blood. The revival of life in China today is the fruits of the blood of the martyrs.
After The Boxer Rebellion, D.E. Hoste who was the president of China Inland Mission announced that they would not receive any compensation about their loss in China. One of the Chinese official said about that, “It is to show everyone that they are following the lesson of Jesus Christ, giving up their right for the welfare of people.”
I had to catch every single breath while reading this book. It was such a beautiful heartbreaking shout of victory and the love story about the cross that God loves the world that betrayed God. Many people might say “Why did they go there? They wasted their life!” But the victory of church is not gained without the graves of the saints.
At this moment, the beautiful innocent blood of Jesus Christ is being sowed over all nations for the victory of church, and it is shouting, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
One year after The Boxer Rebellion, Hudson Taylor prayed “Lord, nothing is better than you. Give us the grace that we could break our alabaster jar under Lord’s feet.”
Missionary, Sung Mi Kyung