Before Christmas 2018, a Chinese translated version of the book Samuel Pollard: Pioneer Missionary in China was published.
A pastor who has served the church in Yunnan for years said, "Right now, this is the best Christmas present!"
The translators of the book, authored by English writer William Alexander Grist, are Dong Renda and his two daughters.
Dong Renda, one of the first Chinese scholars who studied and translated Shimenkan, and his daughter Dong Wen translated In Unknown China into Chinese and self-published the Chinese version. It took them more than a decade to translate the series of books that contain 700,000 words about British missionaries who served in Shimenkan. On Nov. 5, 2018, about a month before the biography's publication, Dong Renda passed away.
The publication was aided financially by the Shenzhen Pollard Shimenkan Education Public Foundation which aims to call Chinese people to think back on the British missionary to China and the stories of Shimenkan.
Chen Haowu, the director of the foundation, stated in the preface of the book that this is "the best biography of Samuel Pollard".
He wrote, "After the 'Chinese Rites controversy', the missionary Robert Morrison came to China in 1807, beginning the modern history of the Protestants' mission to China. The China Inland Mission (CIM), founded by Mr. Hudson Taylor, is especially notable. The missionary history in Shimenkan, represented by Samuel Pollard, is an outstanding part of CIM's history. The book's author Grist followed Pollard to China in 1897 and preached the gospel with him in Zhaotong. He was Pollard's colleague and friend. So this book is generally accepted as the best biography of Pollard. It helps to deepen the knowledge of the figure Samuel Pollard. The translation by Ms. Dong Wen matters to those who are interested in Pollard, the culture of Shimenkan, and the history of a century ago. The previous biographies of the missionary mostly described the history when Pollard ministered in the Miao region and in 1904 when he started work in Shimenkan. Of course, they are very objective. The most important part of this new book is the elaborate description of his 17 years in Zhaotong. If we want to know the history before his entry into Shimenkan in 1904, the book provides rich information of great research value."
Chen adds that another significance of the biography lies in the objective and real presentation of the life of Pollard, an ordinary person who, to readers, did miraculous things on many fronts.
"The first impression of him was that he was like God. After years' of being acquainted with and seeking to find the truth about Pollard, we can indeed define him as an 'average man' who worked wonders. His unflinching will stemmed from his firm faith."
In 1885, Rev. Pollard learned Chinese in Shanghai before being sent by the Methodist Church to Yunnan. After arriving in Zhaotong, he preached the Gospel to the Yi and Miao people groups. He also worked with Pastor Tai Mulian in building churches and schools in Zhaotong and Huize, all which were written about in Pollard's journal In Unknown China.
- Translated by Karen Luo