British missionary Gladys Aylward traveled to China by train and boat across Europe and Asia. God protected her through many hardships and adventures during her trip. After she arrived in China, Gladys helped an older missionary manage an inn where they shared Bible stories with visitors who passed through the area.
Then a local leader appointed Gladys as a foot inspector to help end the custom of foot binding. The Chinese considered small feet to be beautiful, so preschool girls had their toes bent down under the soles of their feet and bandaged tightly to create smaller feet. The procedure was painful and made it hard to walk normally. As a foot inspector, Gladys unbound the girls’ feet and shared the story of Jesus with many Chinese people. (The photos illustrate the size of shoes worn by adult women whose feet had been bound since the women were children.)
Gladys also helped stop a prison riot and taught the prisoners about Jesus. She was able to serve God in many other ways in China, because she was willing to be used by Him wherever He needed her.
Gladys said, “I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done in China. I don’t know who was. It must have been a man, a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing. And God looked down and saw Gladys Aylward. And God said, ‘Well, she’s willing.’”
Note: “The Torchlighters: The Gladys Aylward Story” is a children’s DVD that tells how Gladys led more than 100 children on a hike through mountains in China to escape enemy soldiers. The DVD is available at vombooks.com. View an English trailer for the DVD in the video section and an Arabic version here.
To Think About
Why might someone not be willing to follow the Bible’s teachings and God’s will? Do you think they might not trust God to provide for all their needs if they follow Him? Read Proverbs 3:5-6.