source: | 2000 Games, Devotions, Themes, Ideas and more for Youth Work
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Overview: Short stories – stories for children and teens

Hudson Taylor

It is midnight at 5 Drainside Street, in a poor part of town in Hull (a town in Ireland). Hudson Taylor lives there and it stinks terribly. His little room is in an old house directly on the canal which flows through Hull. The people throw all of the rubbish and litter into this canal. Suddenly someone hammers on his room door. "Please come quickly, my wife is dying. Pray for my wife with us."

Hudson Taylor snaps up his coat and hat then sets off with the stranger. The passageways are getting narrower and darker. Gloomy scowling people cross their path. Hudson Taylor looks at the stranger from the side studying him. "Is that really true what he told me?" he considers and folds his fingers around the last coin in his pocket – it is really his last coin. "Why didn’t you go to the priest?" he asks the man. "He would have asked us for money and I don’t have any. We haven’t had anything to eat for days. And we can’t afford a doctor either” answers his companion.

"If I had two coins I could give them one", thinks Hudson despairingly "but if I hand over my last coin, the only money I have, then I will starve tomorrow. No one could expect that of me." - "God, what should I do? God, you can hear my prayer. Please help me" he prays in his heart. They reach their destination.

Hudson Taylor had not counted on that – a room without furniture, windows without curtains, empty boxes in a corner and in the other corner lays a meagre, pale woman on a sack of straw with a newly born baby next to her. A little candle is lying on the ground which gives off some light. There are older children sitting in an alcove staring at the visitor with big, hungry eyes. Hudson thinks about his coin again and turns it over again and again in his trouser pocket. "If I only had two coins ... enough now!" he reminds himself. "It is my job to announce the gospel to these people." He begins slowly: "You do not need to despair. We have a God in heaven who cares for us and loves us if we believe in him and place our trust in him ..."

He hardly manages to get those words out and the words shoot through his head “you talk about trust in God and you are holding on to the coin in your pocket with all of your trust.” Then he remembers the word of the Lord Jesus: "Give to those who ask it of you." – Give it! Hudson Taylor slowly pulls his hand out of his trouser pocket and hands over his last coin to the family, his whole possession. Then he is free inside, as he can give the dying inconsolable woman the best message possible: "Jesus loves you, believe in him and confess your sins to him. Then he will forgive you your sins. You will be in saved by him forever."

Hours later Hudson Taylor arrives back home. He now has nothing: no money and only enough food for one meal. In his bible he reads: "He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done." (Proverbs 19, 17.) Now Hudson Taylor understands: The money which he had to the given to the poor family yesterday was actually lent to God. Somehow it will be returned to him one day.

On the next morning he sits at the table and eats his last bowl of porridge. Hudson does not know what he shall eat tomorrow. The landlady knocks on his door. "This package was let for you by the postman." "Who would send me a package?" he wonders. As Hudson opens the package he finds a pair of gloves wrapped in silk paper. "Strange", he mumbles and carefully studies the interesting present.

Suddenly something falls to the ground. Hudson lifts it up – a gold coin! There is no letter in the parcel and no sender is on it. Hudson Taylor would never find out who sent him this parcel with money. However he had gotten to know something much bigger: The principle of God’s „bank“. He had lent a silver coin to God and God had given him a gold coin in return. Working as a missionary in China Hudson Taylor needs medical training, which he receives in London. He could only save a little money so his daily rations are scant: black bread, apples and water.

The notebook which he desperately needs is put together by the medical student by cutting paper to size and then sewing the pages together. He manages to prick his right hand with a needle while sewing.

On the next day Hudson takes part in an autopsy (medical examination of a dead person) on a man who has died from a terrible fever. Everyone works with great care. Despite this Hudson feels awful a few hours later. His right arm is swollen and he cannot move it with the pain. Might he have caught something? But how?

Hudson immediately goes to look for the surgeon and the diagnosis is dreadful: Infected! He has been infected by a deadly fever through this tiny little wound from the sewing needle on a finger on his right hand. "Go home as quickly as possible to make arrangements. You do not have long to live. Hurry!" is the only advice the doctor can give him.

"I will be healthy again", answers Hudson to the doctor, "God has given me this task of going to be a missionary in China and I must take on the task. And anyway, I have already made arrangements with God for my whole life." As he comes back home he falls to the ground unconscious.

Hudson Taylor is found half dead in his room. His uncle who lives nearby helps him and calls a house doctor. However the diagnosis is devastating: An illness which leads to certain death. Only a miracle can help here. Hudson lies in his bed for days suffering from the fever before a miracle happens. The fever goes down and in a couple of weeks he can even stand up for a couple of hours. At this time he discovers that two other medical students had also been infected but they had both died. "Why have I survived?" considers Hudson. He becomes clear to him once again: "A big job working as a missionary is waiting in China for me."

As the doctor sees Hudson Taylor’s happy face he says, deeply moved: "I would give everything to have faith like you have. Such trust in a God which we cannot see and cannot hear – I have never experienced anything like it."

"You can also have the faith. Everyone is allowed to believe in God. Everyone - no exceptions", answers Hudson calmly. You must take one important step: Recognise that you sin and that you have sinned in your life. You must confess these sins to God and God will forgive you. God will then become your Father. Then you will learn to trust him."

Possible parts of the bible relevant to the subject:

  • Call upon me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honour me. (Psalm 50,15)
  • Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you. (Matthew 5,42)
  • Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. (Psalm 23,4)
  • Then the man said, "Lord, I believe," and he worshiped him. (John 9,38)
  • He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. (Proverbs 19, 17.)

(Source: "Der Kompass" edition 2000, a daily calendar for children and young people in Germany. The story was allowed to be included in the collection of materials ( / with kind permission.)
Copyright: Christian circulation (

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