His father had died when he was small and his mother had deserted him. Stunted in growth by cold and hunger, all his life he remained weak and sickly yet his zeal and achievements were heroic.
Hearing the Gospel from Hudson Taylor in the Bridge Street chapel of Ningbo, Feng - a basket-maker - soon responded. Even before he was baptized (around 1858) in Ningbo by James Hudson Taylor, Feng became an effective evangelist, partly because his resolute obedience to Christ attracted the attention of others. His refusal to make an incense basket for a customer “amazed the painter Wang Laijun, working up a ladder, and led directly to his conversion. Unemployed because he would not work on Sundays, [he] went into a tea shop and sat talking to other customers.” One listener moved into his house to learn more, and was introduced to Hudson Taylor’s preaching.
Feng later became a key factor in the “inland” advance of the CIM. In 1866 he accompanied John Stevenson and James Meadows on their first visit to Shaoxing, 90 miles west of Ningbo, and helped them establish a meeting-point there. With Josiah Jackson, in 1867 he pioneered the CIM work in Taizhou.
- Broomhall, A.J. Hudson Taylor & China’s Open Century, 3.177, 179,4.99, 215, 341-4, 389; 5.175, 194-195, 355, 390. Two Volume edition: The Shaping of Modern China (SMC).
- Taylor, J. Hudson, CIM Occasional Paper 32