In missionary Rosalind Goforth’s book, “Climbing” she records a true story of a boy known as “Wootsi”. In God’s providence, the tragedy of this young boy being brutally attacked by wolves led to him being taken to a Christian hospital. It was at this hospital that he heard the Gospel and came to know Jesus Christ. In the end, he looked back on all that had happened to him and thanked God for allowing it to happen.
The following video is my (James Jennings) attempt at creating a short film out of this story that is for children. The part of the video in which Wootsi is read is directly taken from Rosalind’s account. Just to be extra cautious I do want to give this disclaimer: Some children may find the illustrated images that depict the boy’s injuries and cuts to be graphic.
Disclaimer: Some children may find the illustrated images that depict the boy’s injuries and cuts to be graphic.
Illustrations by https://www.instagram.com/jacy_loves_art/
Audio narration by Jeff Peterson
Mother: Honey, what happened? Are you okay? Shh, just get some rest till daddy gets home.
Father: Hey, how are you doing, honey?
Daughter: Okay, but my head hurts.
Father: What happened?
Daughter: I feel down the rope swing.
Father: Oh man, does your neck hurt?
Daughter: Yes, and mom canceled our trip to the park because of this.
Father: I see. Does that upset you?
Daughter: Yeah, I was really looking forward to it. Yeah, it’s not fair I’m going to miss out playing with my friends.
Father: Now, is grumbling about this the right thing to do?
Father: Think about this. There are people who have gone through far worse things than you have, and not only did they not grumble about it, they thanked God for what He let them go through.
Daughter: I see.
Father: Here honey, let me read you a book that has a story about a boy named Wootsi. He suffered far worse than you have, but in the end he saw God’s purposes and praised the Lord.
(A true story from “Climbing: Memories of a Missionary’s Wife” by Rosalind Goforth.)
Narrator: A lad about 14 years of age named Cheng Wootsi left his home in Changte City to visit his aunt in the mountainous region to the west. It was winter and the wolves were causing terror in the villages. (wolves howling)
Wootsi, as we shall call him, when delivering a message up the village street, was attacked by a great wolf. Before it could be driven off, the poor boy’s face was terribly mangled. For months, the ignorant villagers did what they could for the lad. But when it seemed the boy would die, he was brought to our mission hospital. The case was a most unusual one. For almost a year, he remained in the hospital tenderly nursed by his mother who was a widow and devotedly attached to her boy.
The doctor spoke of it as the most difficult case he had ever had. For many months, the process of grafting his skin was carried on, which proved only partially successful. One eye was saved and a new mouth formed. But when all was done that could be done, the boy’s face still remained such a horrible spectacle that he was obliged to wear a mask.
While in the hospital, the poor torn lad had won the hearts of all by his gratitude for every kindness, his cheerfulness and patience under suffering, and his simple loving nature. The hearts of both mother and son were open to the Gospel message by the kindness shown them, and both became Christians.
Our little band of Christians was startled and deeply moved at the weekly prayer meeting one evening when Wootsi rose and prayed as follows: “Oh Lord, I thank You for letting the wolf eat my face. If this had not happened, I might never have heard of this wonderful Savior.”
Later, Wootsi was given the humble position of water carrier for the mission station where the missionaries felt it would be the height of cruelty to turn the poor lad adrift to the “tender mercies of the heathen.” In spite of his terrible handicap, he became beloved by all – even the foreign children. Never can I forget the boy’s sympathy and sorrow when our precious golden-haired Florence was stricken unto death. For days and days, the lad waited outside the bedroom door every moment he could get from his work, praying for the word of hope that was not to come. But at last he was told the spirit of the child was no longer with us, his heartbroken grief was touching to witness.
Father: Do you see the difference not only in how he had a far worse injury than you do, but look how he responded!
Daughter: I would have been really sad if that happened to me.
Father: Yeah, but behind the scenes, God in His providence was working for Wootsi and his mother’s good.
Daughter: You’re right, dad! They wouldn’t have gotten to hear the Gospel if they hadn’t gone to the hospital.
Father: Exactly! See, Wootsi saw God’s purposes behind his sufferings and what God’s ultimate plan was – that he might hear of the Gospel and be saved from his sins. Wootsi’s injuries to his face can’t be compared to the joy of having Christ and being saved from eternal hell. Sadly, most, they respond in anger to God because of the suffering they face. They will say God is evil for allowing this to happen to them. And you know what? We live in a sinful and fallen world. And much suffering happens because of our sin.
Daughter: Uh huh.
Father: And God did not have to send His Son. He did not have to send Jesus Christ. He could have let us all die in our sin and He would be just and right for doing so.
You know, people often, they think about their own suffering. But how often do people think about the sufferings of Jesus Christ? He bore the wrath of God that I deserve in hell for all of an eternity – He bore that wrath for me on the cross. Isaiah 53:5 says, “He was pierced for our transgressions and He was crushed for our iniquities.”
Daughter: Crushed by who?
Father: He was struck down by His own Father to, in love, pay for the sins of His enemies. That’s amazing!
Daughter: His enemies?
Father: Yes, those outside of Jesus Christ are enemies of God. James 4 says if you’re a friend of the world, you’re an enemy of God.
Daughter: What makes you a friend of the world?
Father: To be in love with the things of this world. To be living for the things in this life only. That’s to be a friend of the world, to love your sin.
Now, honey, remember, just because your mother and I are Christians, that doesn’t make you a Christian. You have to turn from living for yourself and trust in Christ for yourself and trust that Christ will save you from the penalty and the power of your sin. But, you can see from Wootsi that your suffering and missing out on going to the park, that’s pretty small and insignificant compared to what he went through right? And how much more compared to what Christ went through on the cross?
You know, one thing that struck me about Wootsi? It shows the need for medical missionaries – for followers of Christ to go to other countries and use their skills in medicine in order to help people’s physical needs so that they in turn can give them the Gospel as well. And you know, honey, the only way to have true joy in the midst of suffering is to have Jesus Christ.