Gladys Aylward Part 2

Photo currently: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gladys_Aylward

The True Story of Gladys Aylward PART 2

By: Rosie Smith

(recap from last week: Gladys Aylward the missionary is on her way to China. She has a arrived at a border near Russia but still needs to walk 50 km. It’s freezing cold and she doesn’t even know if she will ever reach her destination – lets find out what happens)

It was a long, icy walk through the snow-covered ground to the nearest town. After more than a day of walking, Gladys finally made it. Shivering with cold and starving with hunger, she managed to find a sea-port where she hoped to board a ship to her ultimate destination – China.

But things didn’t go quite as planned. A soldier spotted Gladys and demanded to see her passport.

He opened it and read it, “You, machinist!” The soldier yelled.

Gladys watched in terror as she realised he had mistaken the word “missionary” on her passport. She tried to explain, but it was no use; he didn’t understand a word she said. To her dismay, the soldier kept her passport and would not let her go. Gladys prayed with all her heart, please God, I know you’ve called me to China, please help me get there! Miraculously, Gladys was soon rescued by an English-speaking woman. “I’ll get you to your boat.” The woman kindly told Gladys.

But before Gladys had a chance to ask her how she had found her – the woman was gone. Gladys quickly boarded the ship and found a cosy corner on deck. She closed her eyes. “Thank you God” she prayed, “You must have sent an angel to rescue me!” Then she fell into a long, deep sleep.

When Gladys finally stepped onto the shores of China, she felt a surge of relief. Jeannie, the lady she was coming to work for, was happy to see Gladys. She gave her warm soup to drink as Gladys told her the full story.

“Gladys I’m so happy you’re here.” Jeannie said excitedly, “I have so many plans.”

Glayds smiled, “What plans do you have?” She asked taking another drink of her soup.

“I want to clean up a building and turn it into an inn. A place where people can rest from their long journey. I will give them food and share stories about Jesus with them!” Jeannie clapped her hands excitedly.

Gladys loved the idea – especially about telling others of Jesus and his love.

They spent the next few were very busy and exhausting. Jeannie and Glayds spent the days sweeping and dusting and wiping down windows until it was finally finished. They called it “The Inn of Eight Happiness”.

At first, it was hard to get the people to stay. But before long the inn gained a good reputation for its entertaining stories and clean bedding and soon the gospel message spread. Over time, many people chose to become Christians, including the Chinese people who worked at the inn.

Things were going very well, but one day Gladys received a message that would change everything. Jeannie, the lady she worked with, had fallen from a balcony and was really ill. One week later Jeannie passed away.

Gladys was now alone with no money to survive.

But God had a way to provide. Soon after the accident, the leader of the town called for Gladys and offered her a job as a foot inspector, educating women against foot-binding which was their tradition. Gladys hesitated at first, but then realised the job would provide her an opportunity to share Jesus even more as she travelled from village to village.

As she was on her way to a village one day, a woman stopped her.

“Girl for sale!” She yelled. Gladys was shocked as she saw a little girl by her side, covered in dirt and rags.

I can’t leave her like this, Gladys thought. “Will you take these 9 pennies?” Gladys asked the woman, “it’s all I have.”

To her surprise the woman agreed, and suddenly Gladys became the mother to a little girl she named “Grace”.

One day, Grace invited an orphan boy back to the inn and soon there were many more orphans turning up at their doorstep! Gladys would never turn them away and before she knew it, 100 children were under her care.

The biggest challenge for Gladys was yet to come. A war had broken out between Japan and China. It was only a matter of time before enemy troops arrived in their small village. One day, Gladys heard planes flying over the village, when all of a sudden bombs starting dropping from the sky. It was no longer safe to stay. I must get these children to safety Gladys thought. She had been told of an orphanage in another city, but to get there, they would have to trek over 200 kilometres across a mountain range and river, without being seen by Japanese soldiers. It seemed impossible, but it was their only hope.

. With no time to lose, Gladys gathered up all the food they had and ushered the children to the safety of the mountains.

As the sun dipped behind the mountains on the first night, Gladys knew she had to find shelter for the shivering children. Praying for guidance, she soon spotted a little cave.

“Quickly children!” Gladys said “let us huddle in there to keep warm”.

Once inside, Gladys and a few boys managed to get a fire going to cook some rice. Little by little, she distributed the food to the children – but there was hardly enough.

“Eat slowly” she told them “it will help you feel full”.

Gladys finally sat down to her own meagre portion, then stopped. Ignoring her hungry tummy, she went and gave it to the children.

It was a long, difficult journey. Yet Gladys saw God provide for them in many ways. Sometimes they came across Chinese soldiers who kindly shared their food with them. Each day Gladys saw how God protected them from snakes and enemy soldiers. The children often became tired and wanted to stop, so Gladys sang songs with them, trying to take their minds off their sore legs and feet. When the little ones couldn’t walk any further, Gladys and the older children would give them a piggy back. The mountainside was sometimes so steep they had to hold on to each other to keep from slipping. When they finally got to the Yellow River, there were no boats to get across. Gladys and the children waited and prayed. Three days later, some Chinese soldiers appeared in boats and offered to take them across.  Finally, after 27 weary days, Gladys and her 100 children stumbled into the city of refuge. It was nothing short of a miracle.

The journey took its toll on Gladys though. She was so sick and malnourished that it took two months in hospital for her to recover.  But as soon as she got better she went straight back into ministry, sharing the gospel with prisoners, the sick, and those in the country villages.

Gladys served in China for 17 years and saw countless people give their hearts to Jesus. She gained such a good reputation that even the leader of her town decided to become a Christian! At the end of her life, she wrote, “My heart is full of praise that one so insignificant, uneducated, and ordinary in every way could be used for [God’s] glory for the blessing of His people…”


What about you? Has God called you to tell other about his love? Who will you tell about Jesus this week?


NOTE: This photos does not belong to us – The original uploader was Ibekolu at Chinese Wikipedia. – Transferred from zh.wikipedia to Commons by Shizhao using CommonsHelper.

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