I knew of P. Hanson Jones at the first Church that I attended in the 1960’s. This was a very missionary minded Church, and although it was part of Assemblies of God, it kept in touch with a number of missionaries who were either independent or were linked to other denominations. One such missionary was P. Hanson Jones who served God in China and the Far East for over 50 years. I only recall hearing him speak once, but he certainly made quite an impression on me. At that meeting he told us of how God had called him to China, and how He had spoken to him to the effect that he wasn’t to make his financial needs made known to anyone, and not even to speak to Him about them! When a collection was made for him at the end of the service, he protested most strongly (it was not his practice for people to be asked to give any money for his support.) Despite this, God met his needs during the 50 years he served him in the Far East, although at times it was certainly very difficult, particularly during the 2nd World War, as you will read in this testimony, when he was unable to receive any help whatsoever from home.
As P. Hanson Jones was an independent missionary I have unfortunately been unable to find anybody who knew about his life, as all those in my first Church who knew him are all gone. From the booklet this testimony is taken from, however, i.e. "Thistles and Weeds," it appears that he was a student of art and music at some stage in his early life, and then became, as he puts it " a builder of modern homes." He was very active in his home Church, being on fire for God, leading open air meetings, or as he puts it "revival services on the street" and at some stage appears to have been asked to be the pastor of his Church. Through a succession of miracles, God led him to China in 1924 to a region where no white man had ever set foot before, and he remained in China until 1949 when the communists took over, and he then moved to Hong Kong. As I recall it he died in the late 1970’s when he would have been around 80 years of age, but unfortunately there is nobody I can ask to verify this. The booklet "Thistles and Weeds" was printed in 1949 and the copy that I have was signed by him in 1954. There was no copyright on the booklet, and it was distributed freely.
The experience about which he testifies took place sometime during the 2nd World War, when he was going through a period of depression. This as he testifies was a most unusual experience for him, as he was normally a very happy and contented person, always whistling and singing and begetting new songs, despite the appalling conditions in which he lived and worked. This fact was verified by a retired A.O.G. missionary that I spoke to, who was also in SW China at the same time as him, who remembers P. Hanson Jones, having met him on a few occasions out there.
Having read this testimony several times, I feel that it is one that should be widely shared, as I believe that it has a very relevant message for the Church today.
At the forefront of ‘Thistles and Weeds’ was the quotation from Galatians 6:14, which is why I have also included it at the forefront of this booklet.