Jonathan Goforth

Jonathan Goforth grew up on a farm in Ontario, Canada in the late 1800s. He was the seventh of eleven children. In his teenage years he was led by God to attend a small Presbyterian College. His goal was to be a missionary in some faraway place. His mother had worked hard to make a suit for Jonathan.

When Jonathan arrived at school he was dismayed to see that all of the other students, who had come from the city, had fancy suits. So he went into town and bought five yards of suit fabric. He planned to take the fabric to a tailor the next day to have a suit made. But something happened that night. After dinner
he went to his room to study. All of the other first-year students entered into his room. One was carrying a length of rope. They called him a “country bumpkin.” They tied the robe around his wrists. They found the fabric he had bought earlier. They cut a hole in the middle of it and placed it over his head and wrapped him up like a mummy. They lifted him into the air and carried him into the corridor.

One of the young men screamed, “Get back to your room if you can.” He hobbled the thirty feet back to the room as the students taunted and jeered and pushed him along. Ultimately, after about ½ an hour, he made his way back to him room. Someone unwound him and loosened the rope. Then they left him
alone. He fell onto his bed. His whole body shook with deep sobs. It was a frightening episode. But he did not retaliate and it did not deter him from his goals.

He joined the William Street Mission and became one its most successful workers. He showed kindness to his fellow students. After about a year he became one of the most popular students in the class. One by one, all the students in the class sought him out and apologized for the way they had treated him. They confided that they had expected him to go home after their merciless humiliation of him.

He graduated from college, but before he did, he was greeted by an incredible surprise. He had plans to go to China as a missionary. He didn’t know where the funds would come from. Those students had decided that they themselves would support him. They raised the funds amongst themselves to send him. He would later marry and go to China with the China Inland Mission. He was used by God to preach the gospel to thousands of Chinese men
and women. He was a man clothed with the compassion, kindness, humility, and meekness of Christ. And God used him in a mighty way. God has a purpose for you. Put on your heavenly attire. It is beautiful in Christ and will make you useful to Him in service

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain, preaching on occasion, and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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