In the year 1865 I was led to write the pamphlet “China’s Spiritual Need and Claims,” showing the urgent necessity there was for some further effort for the evangelization of China. Its circulation was blessed by God, and much interest in China was awakened. A number of persons were led to devote themselves to Mission work there; some who joined the China Inland Mission, and some who are members of other Missions, point to that book as having determined their course. A second ...
In the year 1865 I was led to write the pamphlet “China’s Spiritual Need and Claims,” showing the urgent necessity there was for some further effort for the evangelization of China. Its circulation was blessed by God, and much interest in China was awakened. A number of persons were led to devote themselves to Mission work there; some who joined the China Inland Mission, and some who are members of other Missions, point to that book as having determined their course.
A second edition was published in 1866; a third in 1868; and a fourth in 1872; but for a number of years it was out of print, and friends often urged its reissue. A revised and enlarged edition, with many illustrations and diagrams, was published in June, 1884. It was hoped that in its improved form it might be more widely blessed than before, in promoting interest in Missionary work in China. That fifth edition of 5000 copies being exhausted, a sixth edition, also of 5000 copies, substantially the same, only a few typographical corrections have been inserted, was issued the same year. The present edition of 10,000 is a simple reprint of the sixth, with the addition of Appendix B.
The Conspectus of Protestant Missions for March, 1884 will be found to bring into one focus a great amount of valuable information. It shows the population of every province, the number of Protestant Missionaries in them, with the stations they occupy, and the number of workers at each station; the Societies to which the workers belong, the date of each Society’s commencing work in China; and the total number of married men, single men and single women engaged in the work. The number of British, American, and Continental Societies represented in China, and the number of Missionaries connected with each in China, as a whole, and in each station in particular, together with other useful information, may be seen at a glance. A careful study of that one table, with the aid of a map of China, will give a comprehensive view of the extent of the work of Protestant Missions in the empire. A valuable table, given as an appendix, contains the names of all the Protestant Missionaries, and the dates of their arrival in China, arranged under their societies and stations, and will also be found worthy of study. It also indicated by the use of various types, the proportion of Missionaries, male and female, engaged in medical work.
The statistical table given in this edition as Appendix B, reprinted from “The Chinese Recorder,” gives a general summary of the position of Protestant Missions in China on December 31st, 1886. We trust the year 1887 will witness great additions to the number both of Missionaries and converts in connection with each branch of the work. In the China Inland Mission we are praying for a hundred additional Missionaries during the year. By the end of February, thirty towards the hundred had been accepted by our Council. We ask prayer for special guidance in the acceptance of
candidates, that only God-sent, fully consecrated men and women, “willing, skillful” workers, may go forth.
Many readers of this pamphlet may render invaluable service to China by diffusing the information it contains in the form of Missionary addresses. It will not be found difficult to enlarge the diagrams – on the blackboard or otherwise – to illustrate such addresses, which will greatly add to their value. Above all, let us not forget that we all may serve China by prayer to God, without whose aid no other help would avail.
James Hudson Taylor founded the China Inland Mission on June 25, 1865. He knelt upon the beach at Brighton, England and “prayed for twenty-four willing, skillful laborers” to reach the inland provinces of China.
Taylor and the requested workers began work in China the next year. The China Inland Mission (CIM) quickly established itself as a new kind of mission agency. The CIM sought to take the gospel where it had scarcely been taken before – to the inland, unreached provinces of China. To do this, CIM workers contextualized themselves – wearing Chinese dress, donning Chinese hair styles and eating and living among the Chinese people. Though now not so rare, at the time such activity was revolutionary, even for missionaries.
Through the turmoil of the Boxer Rebellion (the CIM lost 58 workers and 21 children) and civil war in China, God continued to bless the mission with new workers. Eventually, the CIM became the preeminent agency in China.
However, in 1950, following the Communist victory in China, the CIM began a “reluctant exodus” out of the country. In 1953, the CIM added Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) to its name and began work throughout East Asia. In 1964 OMF began accepting Asian members into the mission.
Today OMF International is a diverse evangelical mission agency of more than 1,600 workers from 30 different countries. We continue to press on to know the Lord and make him known among the peoples of East Asia.