earned him a unique form of respect from many in his adopted
Despite its perils the move inland was crucial to connecting
with unreached people groups, and
Taylor (who was born in Yorkshire,
England, but learned several Chinese dialects) blazed the first path
in China. For that reason Chinese
Christians, including many first-generation Canadians, revere him.
Yan says they celebrate Taylor
the way he would have wanted,
with the emphasis on Christ, the
source of his strength and courage.
“We don’t want to see Hudson
Taylor lifted up. We don’t want to
see OMF lifted up. If it was merely
Taylor’s love for China that sent
him to that place, he wouldn’t have
survived long. He lost his first wife
and five of his children there, but
he went with his heart for Christ.
And that’s what kept him there.”
That devotion will be chronicled
in an upcoming film about Taylor’s
life with the working title A Thou-
sand Lives, referring to Taylor’s
famous words (written in a letter to
his sister Amelia) – “If I had a
thousand lives, China should have
them. No! Not China, but Christ.”
OMF Canada’s national director
Jon Fuller is an advisor on the pro-
ject, which is being written by
UK-based screenwriter Bart
Gavigan ( The End of the Spear, 2006,
and Luther, 2003). “We really be-
lieve that Taylor’s life is relevant
today,” Fuller tells Faith Today. “His
story is still very powerful.”
The centrality of prayer to the
organization is evident in the list of
anniversary events, which includes
a yearlong prayer focus, another
way the echoes of Taylor’s life still
resonate with OMF. After all,
“Prayer is central to being engaged
in a wounded world,” says Fuller.
OMF will host Cantonese, Mandarin and English events in Toronto and Vancouver. The Chinese
ministerials in Greater Toronto and
Vancouver have been particularly
active, unifying across denominational lines to organize a number of
celebrations. Jamie Taylor, a fifth
generation Taylor descended from
Hudson, will speak at Knox Presbyterian Church on Spadina Avenue
in Toronto, where Canada’s first
China Inland Missionaries were
commissioned in 1888.
OMF’s head Patrick Fung, a
medical doctor who spent 25 years
serving with OMF, seven of those
in Pakistan, will also travel to Canada to speak. Fung is the first Asian
general director of OMF, reflecting
a general trend in missions. “It’s no
longer the West to the rest,” says
Yan. He estimates that about ten
years from now non-Western missionaries will make up the majority
of those in Asia.
Hudson Taylor would be pleased.
The concept of indigenous ministry
Solina Chy carries
on Taylor’s legacy
OMF CURREN TLY HAS
137 missionaries in the field
from Canada. About 34 per
cent of those are ethnically
Asian. Solina Chy is an example
of the type of missionary – the
product of one of many Asian diasporas – that’s ever
more common in the organization’s ranks.
Chy fled the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in her native
Cambodia. While living in a refugee camp in Thailand,
during a self-described time of deep hatred for her
people and country, a YWAM missionary shared the
gospel with her, softening her heart for her people.
She immigrated to Canada in the early 1980s, where she
met and worshiped with Cambodian believers in different
cities. Chy eventually returned to Thailand on a short-term
mission where she was mentored by an OMF missionary as
they visited Khmer refugees in jails and hospitals.
Today Chy hosts a number of Christian radio programs
that reach across the entire country of Cambodia. This
spring she will work with a team of local missionaries in
the province of Ratanakiri to help launch broadcasts to
area tribal groups.
“When I look at my journey, how the Lord brought
people alongside to love, care, support, encourage, mold,
shape and model to me . . . I keep all these as a heritage,
treasured in my heart as a museum,” she says. “But I give
glory to [Christ’s] name alone.” –JEFF DEWSBURY
IN EAS T ASIA.
“means all our people live incarnationally in the environment they are
in, so the response they have represents the culture that is around
them,” says Fuller, who grew up in a
missionary family in a tribal village
in the Philippines.
“Jesus came and lived amongst
us, and we want our people to live
sacrificially with integrity where
the gospel wasn’t before. There is a
missions movement out of Asia
today that would have thrilled
See www.omf.ca for details on
OMF events across the country, in-
cluding those this fall in Toronto and
in Burnaby and Victoria, B.C. /FT
Jeff Dewsbury of Langley, B.C., is a senior
writer at Faith Today.
Today, the general director of OMF is
Patrick Fung, a medical doctor, who
spent 25 years serving in the field.
THE CENTRALIT Y
OF PRAYER TO THE
ANOTHER WAY THE
ECHOES OF TAYLOR’S
LIFE STILL RESONATE