I would like to introduce three Christian woman missionaries in this post and encourage readers to read further about these unique women who made history. Their lives made interesting and touching stories.
(1) Jane Elizabeth “Jennie” Faulding Taylor (6 October 1843 – 31 July 1904), was a British Protestant missionary to China with the China Inland Mission. She pioneered the work of single women missionaries in China and eventually married the founder of the mission, James Hudson Taylor, after the death of his first wife, Maria Jane Dyer. As Taylor’s wife, she assumed many roles within the mission agency when Taylor was overseas—acting at times as a home director for the mission. She encouraged women, both married and unmarried, to participate in the work of the China Inland Mission in ways that had previously only been reserved for male missionaries. Quote : “How I wish that burning soul-stirring words could be written, words that would induce wrestling prayer and earnest effort. . . . How few are those who live for souls as worldly men live for riches, from year end to year end, first thing in the morning, last thing at night, every obstacle made to give way by persevering effort. . . . People speak of the progress of truth being slow, and in the half-truth hide the Church’s guilt”
(2) Mary Ann Aldersey 艾迪綏 (24 June 1797 – 1868), the first Christian missionary woman (married or single) to serve in China. She founded a school for girls in Ningbo, Zhejiang. Her pioneering the field of mission work for single women in China was the most remarkable outcome of her life.
Aldersey was a native of London from a wealthy nonconformist family. She studied Chinese under Robert Morrison in London when he was on home leave from 1824 to 1826.
Mary Ann Aldersey was the most independent and probably the most stubborn of all the single women who went overseas to found girls’ schools during the mid 19th century. She studied Chinese for years but never did become fluent in the dialect she most needed. Nor did she have much respect for Chinese culture. And yet she was obviously a great inspiration to many of the Chinese girls she taught. And it was, I believe, due to that that she was able to start what was most likely the first school for girls in China – at Ningbo in 1843.
For she travelled to China with three teenage girls: her ward, Mary Leisk (daughter of a Scottish merchant) and two Malay-Chinese girls whom she called Ati and Kit. She had taught Ati and Kit in Surabaya in Java and they had run away from their homes to join her when she left for China. It was these three girls who learnt the Ningbo dialect so well. And it was probably the presence of Ati and Kit at the Ningbo school which reassured parents that the strange white woman would not kill their daughters.
It had taken Miss Aldersey almost 20 years to reach the country to which she believed she had been called by God to work in. Picture : Mary Ann Aldersey as a young woman. http://www.pipspatch.com/2012/12/29/mary-ann-aldersey-and-the-first-girls-school-in-china/
(3) Isobel Selina Miller Kuhn, born Isobel Selina Miller, aka, “Belle” (December 17, 1901 – March 20, 1957), was a Canadian Christian missionary to the Lisu people of Yunnan Province, China, and northern Thailand. She served with the China Inland Mission, along with her husband, John, as a Bible translator, church planter, Bible teacher, evangelist and authored nine books about her experiences.
Fifty years after the death of Isobel Kuhn, Christianity has been thriving in the Salween River valley where the Lisu live in China. Of the 18,000 Lisu who lived in Fugong, Yunnan, in 1950, 3,400 professed faith in Christ. As of 2007, it is estimated that 80-90 per cent of the 70,000 population make the same profession. In Yunnan, it is estimated that there are between 100,000-200,000 Lisu Christians in total. More than 75,000 Lisu Bibles have been legally printed in China following this explosive growth.
Today, this strong Christian presence in the Lisu communities of China and beyond can be attributed at least in part to Isobel Kuhn and her idea to start what she called the “Rainy Season Bible School.” This was a school borne of the fact that, in the heavily agricultural area where the Kuhns ministered, the rainy season disrupted all normal life. Isobel Kuhn formed a plan to hold classes during this agricultural down time, not only to preach the historic Christian Gospel but also to teach the Lisu the basics of the Christian faith. These classes were taught by Kuhn and others. From these classes, countless men who became evangelists and pastors took the Christian message to untold numbers of nationals and travelers throughout China.
“When I get to heaven they aren’t going to see much of me but my heels, for I’ll be hanging over the golden wall keeping an eye on the Lisu church!” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isobel_Miller_Kuhn