Martin Nystrom

China, 1893-1900

Martin NystromMartin Nystrom was born September 26, 1872, in Bjtirnlunda parish, province of Sodermanland, Sweden. His father was the district manager in the Vasteras province. On the occasion of his mother’s death, at age four, he became a ward of the “elders home” until he was eight. He then was able to move back home since his father had remarried. From an early age, Martin was the object of many prayers, he was inclined to let evil take the upper hand and many times his peers led him astray.

When he was ten years old, he said, “One evening after my father had preached in the mission house, I heard my parents having a conversation about the joy and freedom they had in Christ. My father asked me if I had experienced this. I could not answer but my heart became stirred. I felt very unhappy, and instead of falling asleep, I wept and prayed. Sometime around midnight, I went to my father and became saved by trusting Jesus Christ. I knew I was saved; however I quickly fell back into sin. One day while I was working out into the field my sins overtook me, and I went up on a hill and wept until I received grace and faith and God forgave me. From that time on I have walked with God, and He has been with me through many trials.”

After this, Nystrom worked to prepare himself by studying and witnessing for Christ. He became a traveling pastor and worked in Sjoigestad and surrounding parishes in Ustergotland. He fondly remembered the blessing he received working with these parishes. In the beginning of 1893, Martin Nystrom took part in a Bible course, held by Rev. Fransen in Gefle, and there was accepted as a missionary to China. In a letter he wrote about that time, “I cannot believe that father is against my going to China so help me pray to God, and learn the language, and receive much wisdom, gentleness and humility so that I may think of others before myself. God has ‘ordered’ my way to China; He is near even there; His mercy is there and shining.”

At the end of April the same year, Martin Nystrom arrived in the city of Kueihuacheng in northern China. After about six months of studying the Chinese language, he and several other missionaries traveled fourteen days to the city of Ninghsiafu in the province of Kansuh. Here he worked awhile with his brother, Fritiof Nystrom. During his last year, he served in the city of Pinglo in the same province, together with his wife who he married in the spring of 1898.

Most of the Swedish missionaries held an annual conference in Kueihuacheng. Nystrom, along with his wife and little daughter, attended this conference. After returning home from the annual meeting early in August, the family was forced to flee because of the disturbance caused by the Boxers. They planned to reach Gobioknen, then go on to Urga. Nothing was ever heard of them after they left. But because of the difficulties it is believed that the journey was their last one, and they have now ceased their wandering.

Nystrom’s humility and winning personality, along with his speaking ability made him a successful worker in God’s vineyard. His wish was for God to lead. So God has led you, beloved man, from the sinful land into God’s paradise.

Translated from Swedish article into English.

Anna Nystrom

China, 1896-1900

Anna NystromAnna Nystrom, in her biography, wrote the following: “I was born in Kaster Korsberga parish of Jenkbping province on June 2, 1870, and was privileged to be brought up in a Christian home. My parents were praying people and made such an impression on me that I accepted Christ at an early age and now am here, glory to God’s name.”

At age 17, Anna attended Hvetlanda seminary. “At that time, I eagerly attended meetings to hear God’s Word but did not have any real peace, which I longed for. Then came a time of inner strife when I felt torn between God and the world. One day under the preaching in the mission, I gave myself over to God. At that time a light shone in my soul, and I thanked God for my salvation.

At age 19, she gave herself to her calling in Trosvittnet, which she wrote about the first time she was in China. She did not suspect that she would be counted among the martyrs multitude, but she longed to thank and love the Lamb in eternity. “In my congregation, where I now had a place as a teacher, I was able to win many to His kingdom, even my own brothers and sisters.”

In the autumn of 1892, while visiting her brother, who was a school teacher in Sinkbping, she attended a meeting with Missionary Fransen who was conducting a Bible study and recruiting missionaries to go to China with the C&MA. She became determined to go to China. God opened the way, and in January of 1896 she left her homeland with several other missionaries and arrived in Kueihuacheng in northern China on April 25.

After learning the language, she traveled to Pinglo in Kansuh province where she worked together with Klara Hall, until she married Martin Nystrom in the spring of 1898.

Her zeal for the salvation of the Chinese and her energetic work would surely bear fruit even after death. We do not know about the final moments of Anna Nystrom, or those of her husband and children. Missionary Fridstrom still speaks in a letter about a family who had fellowship with a few fleeing Catholic priests, who later were martyred. She thinks that family was the Nystrums.

How they survived at that time, having been abandoned, hungry, distressed, mistreated, in pain, we wonder. They are now home with their Savior in eternal rest and peace. They have reached their goal. We will meet them there.

Translated from Swedish article into English.

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