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Doctor Captured

Doctor Captured

The Best of the Story: Miraculous Answers to Prayer (published 1993, reprinted 2001) was written by WGM retiree Burnis Bushong. The purpose of the book is to share miraculous answers to prayer experienced by WGM missionaries over the years. We hope these stories inspire you to pray for missions activities around the world. A new story from the book is posted each month.

"But there shall not an hair of your head perish" (Luke 21:18).

Dr. Henry Wesche, World Gospel Mission’s first missionary doctor, served in pre-World War II China in times of severe political and civil unrest. For many years, WGM missionaries labored where bandits and revolutionary forces invaded the towns as well as the countryside. Existing civil governments were frequently unable to maintain law and order. At times there was complete anarchy.

On August 10, 1929, a cable arrived at WGM's office in Chicago stating, “DOCTOR CAPTURED.” Rev. C. P. Hogle, the Mission’s chief executive, reported in Call to Prayer, “Of course we were stirred through and through for, if the secular press reports could be believed, we could imagine Dr. Wesche in the hands of godless pirates, but we remembered that God is on the throne. Of course, our office and friends who heard began to pray that God would come with speedy deliverance."

Meanwhile, in China, Dr. Wesche and Dr. Warner had been taken from the Mission station by a group of bandits. (Fortunately, all children and women missionaries had been evacuated prior, as it had become clear an invasion was imminent.) Dr. Warner had been released, but Dr. Wesche was still held captive.

“The saints began to call on high heaven for the protection and speedy deliverance of this good man of God who had given all for China and who was accomplishing such wonderful results representing the Great Physician who came to heal and tell suffering humanity of so great a salvation. So we prayed," Dr. Hogle continued.

Three days later, another cable arrived: "DOCTOR RELEASED." The relieved homeland staff praised God for His deliverance.

As more information came in about the incident, the story of the power of prayer grew to include the many Chinese believers who had worked to help the missionaries during the crisis and prayed for Dr. Wesche's release. "Many have come to us and said they had not slept for three nights but had been constantly in prayer. Some would say how God had given them such definite assurance of deliverance," wrote Dr. Warner the following month in Call to Prayer.

"We believe that these experiences are going to fall out for the furtherance of the Gospel and that they will help to bring revival for which we have been so earnestly praying."

When stability returned to the region, the ministry grew to include a clinic and training center for lay leaders. Although missionaries were forced to leave after World War II, the impact of their work continued with an active group of believers even today.

God hears His children when they pray and brings to pass what seems to be the impossible.

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