Matthew and Eliza Yates
How does a missionary trapped for months in his house due to war spend his time?
After a short time in China, Matthew Yates was not content to witness through interpreters. He recognized the power of preaching in the heart language of the people, and he was willing to face the obstacles to learning. He studied the difficult Chinese language until his eyesight suffered. When he
struggled to read and write, he dedicated hours to conversing and developing his oral language skills. When his eyesight was restored but the Tai Ping Rebellion forced him to stay in his house away from people, he dedicated his time to developing a Chinese-English dictionary and wrote a language training book called First Lessons in Chinese to help future missionaries.
Matthew and his wife Eliza faced another obstacle during the Civil War in America. When financial support from America was no longer available, they needed new means of funding in order to stay in China. Committed to their calling, Matthew found work as a translator, and God even opened doors for them to invest in Shanghai property. These investments provided opportunities for generosity toward Christian causes in China and in America and enabled them to remain in China until their deaths.