About the Author

 •  2 min. read  •  grade level: 8
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My father, G. Christopher Willis, was born in Toronto, Canada in 1889. At an early age he accepted the Lord Jesus as His Savior and his whole life was devoted to his Master. As a child he used to read “China’s Millions”, a magazine published by what was the China Inland Mission. He was greatly influenced by this and from that time he wanted to go to China, to share the good news. He studied engineering at McGill University and was married a few years later. When he proposed to my mother, it was not, “Will you marry me?” but “Will you go to China with me?”
My parents went to China in 1921 with their three little children. They were “independent” missionaries and things were very hard at first. They moved from South China to Kuling, a beautiful spot in the mountains in Northern China, as the children could not tolerate the weather in the South.
Here my father obtained a job supervising the building of a post-office. Many missionaries used to go to Kuling for their holidays, and here, for the first time, my father met “liberal” Christians. He was so shocked at some of their beliefs, that he wrote to England and bought books to refute their teaching. He used to sell these on the side of the road, in front of the post-office building, during his lunch hour. It was here the idea of a good and sound Christian book shop germinated. In 1924, we moved to Shanghai, where my father opened the Christian Book Room which is still operating.
My parents were both interned by the Japanese during the Second World War and were home in Canada for only a short time before they went back. His whole life was spent serving the Lord and he loved and was dearly loved by the Chinese people.
In all his business he found time to write several books and was often working on illuminated Scripture texts. He operated the Christian Book Room and did a great deal of evangelizing. He finally returned to Canada in 1967.
Even in his old age he still wrote and worked on his illuminated texts and spent much time visiting. I remember so well, when he was unable to care for himself, and I looked after him, the thick calluses on his knees from all the time he spent in prayer. It can be truly said of him that even though he is now with the Lord, his works still speak.
F.M.W. (1989)