The successor of Hudson Taylor as leader of the China Inland Mission never sought fame but was remembered for his earnest prayers.

Dixon Edward Hoste (1861–1946) was a British missionary who served in China for over 40 years. Although he succeeded James Hudson Taylor as the general director of the China Inland Mission (CIM), much less has been written and recorded of his life and ministry than of Taylor’s.

This is not, however, because Hoste lacked achievements and contributions to the mission in China. He was instrumental to CIM’s development not only in terms of organization and mission mobilization but also in the indigenous principles that encouraged Chinese churches to self-grow and rely less on Western missionaries, as well as in dealing with the difficult Boxer Rebellion aftermath with grace and “the power of gentleness,” as former CT editor in chief David Neff put it.

One of the most important and striking characteristics of Hoste was his prayer life—and related to that, his true humility before God and in his ministry. Hoste never sought fame or power. Instead, he was determined that his name and reputation would be subsumed under the desire to see Jesus get all the honor for everything. Hoste “lived to be forgotten” because he chose to be “hidden with Christ in God” (Col. 3:3).

Talking to God

Dixon E. Hoste was born on July 23, 1861, four years before CIM’s founding. Both his father and his grandfather were military men. When Dixon was 17, he entered the Royal Military Academy. At 18, he received his commission as a lieutenant to serve in the Royal Artillery.

Three years later, in 1882, Dixon’s elder brother, William, invited him to attend a special meeting in Brighton where the speaker was the American evangelist D. L. Moody. Phyllis Thompson, author of D. E. Hoste: A Prince …

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