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Everlasting Pearl One of China's Women   By:

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EVERLASTING PEARL

One of China's Women

by

ANNA MAGDALENA JOHANNSEN

For Sixteen Years a Missionary in China

With Preface by Walter B. Sloan

Second Impression

[Frontispiece: EVERLASTING PEARL. The photo was taken after her marriage to Mr. Lü.]

China Inland Mission London, Philadelphia, Toronto, Melbourne and Shanghai Morgan & Scott, Ltd. 12 Paternoster Buildings, London, E.C. MCMXVIII

First Edition October 1913 Reprinted January 1918 Completing 5000 copies

PREFACE

Thirty five years ago missionary work was commenced in the city of Yüshan, situated on the Kwangsin River in Kiangsi, one of the central Provinces of China.

The conversion of "Everlasting Pearl," which is the subject of the following narrative, is a part of the harvest which has been reaped in later years by the missionaries of the China Inland Mission, who still continue to carry on the work in this city and neighbourhood.

In April of last year I had the privilege of spending ten days there, and of addressing the Church on the Sundays. On the first Monday morning we watched, with great interest, the departure of some of the country Christians to their homes. The party consisted of a simple looking company of men and women, clad in the plain blue garments that the country people usually wear. The men were walking, but the few women, with their diminutive feet, were perched on barrows, and one of them was pointed out as being "evangelist, pastor, and Biblewoman, all rolled into one," in the district from which they all came. This was the woman, a part of whose life story is told in this book, and after reading the many striking incidents which it contains, I gladly welcome the opportunity afforded me of writing a brief introduction.

Even as a study of human life, the story is one that is full of interest. It takes us far away from the ordinary beaten track right into the heart of China; and so intimate is the writer's acquaintance with the habits and customs of the people, that there are few, even of those who know Chinese life well, who will not be able to learn something from reading these pages.

The Chinese are a people of strong character; and although this woman stands out as being possessed of marked ability and determination, there are other lives of which we catch a glimpse in which similar features can be clearly discerned.

It is, however, as an illustration of the power of the Gospel, in the heart of one who was brought up in heathenism, that the narrative possesses its supreme interest. In this case from the time when the great decision was made, after long resistance, to yield to Christ and trust in Him, there was no going back. We read of many trials, sorrows, testings, but the onward and upward course is steadily maintained.

The religious devotee, when converted, always makes a better disciple than the person who has been entirely indifferent to the concerns of the soul; and so it was in the case of "Everlasting Pearl." She clung strongly to the vow that she had taken when she became a vegetarian, and on this account she long withstood the claims of the Gospel; but when at last she heard the call of Christ, then she turned to Him in full surrender and whole hearted obedience, and became a burning and a shining light amongst her relatives and neighbours.

The reader will observe the record of not a few dreams and visions in the story; but instead of these tending to discredit its truthfulness, they will only confirm it to those who know the life of the people of this class in China.

The statement is constantly being made that the Gospel spreads more through the life and testimony of the converts themselves than by the work of the missionaries. The way in which this woman was brought to Christ, and the way in which she led others to Him, illustrates this fact; but truth is many sided, and here we also see how large a ministry there still is for the missionaries to exercise, and how much they are needed to help the people in the midst of their struggles, perplexities, and sorrows, by their counsel, kind sympathy, and their prayers... Continue reading book >>




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