Leaving the seminary, he served as a pastor in Fredrikshald, Norway, and married Hedvig who also had a desire to become a missionary. Nevertheless, when they had received an unexpected invitation to go to China as missionaries, they worried about the future of their church and wondered if they should leave their home and about what their parents would say.
After much struggle and prayer, they reminded themselves of the desire that once they had and surrendered to God.
The couple arrived in China in 1894 and settled in Kiaohsien (now Jiaozhou) in Shantung province. With great difficulty, they learned the Chinese language. During their missionary work for over 45 years, along with fellow missionaries they established medical clinics, schools, and churches in and around Kiaohsien.
Johan Alfred is also credited for establishing the first post office in Kioshsien and aiding in disaster relief.
While in China the couple experienced many hardships: wartime, natural disasters, fleeing for their lives, losing their loved ones back in their homeland in their absence, sickness, above all, persecution of Christians was at its peak during that time. “Boxer Rebellion” (1899-1901), an anti-foreign and anti-Christian movement in China, resulted in the slaughter of countless missionaries and Chinese Christians. Despite many struggles, sufferings, and dangers, the missionary couple served the Lord faithfully.
After spending most of his life in China, Alfred was fondly called by his Chinese congregants as ‘The Old Pastor’. He also authored several books including a book about the Boxer Rebellion and persecution of the Christians in China. After his death in 1941, the Chinese Christians erected a memorial stone to Johan Alfred.
Beloved, are you ready to leave everything behind to go to the far-off lands where God is leading you?Take away from the article
“Lord, here I come forward surrendering to Your call without a second thought. Amen!”Word of Prayer
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