Chinese Republican Progress Club which opened in and some time between and a mission founded by Gladys Aylward. Currently a restaurant. Snowdonia doubled as China in the film about missionary Gladys Aylward. It was amazing, it was really great and I have extremely fond memories of the experience Perry Lee, former child extra The film was based on the true story of how she led a group of orphans to safety across the mountains in war-torn China.
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Gladys Aylward was born in London in or a few years earlier. Gladys responded to the message, and soon after became convinced that she was called to preach the Gospel in China. At the age of 26, she became a probationer at the China Inland Mission Center in London, but was failed to pass the examinations. She worked at other jobs and saved her money.
Then she heard of a year-old missionary, Mrs. Jeannie Lawson, who was looking for a younger woman to carry on her work. Gladys wrote to Mrs. Lawson and was accepted if she could get to China. She did not have enough money for the ship fare, but did have enough for the train fare, and so in October of she set out from London with her passport, her Bible, her tickets, and two pounds ninepence, to travel to China by the Trans-Siberian Railway, despite the fact that China and the Soviet Union were engaged in an undeclared war.
She arrived in Vladivostok and sailed from there to Japan and from Japan to Tientsin, and thence by train, then bus, then mule, to the inland city of Yangchen, in the mountainous province of Shansi, a little south of Peking Beijing. Most of the residents had seen no Europeans other than Mrs. Lawson and now Miss Aylward. They distrusted them as foreigners, and were not disposed to listen to them. Yangchen was an overnight stop for mule caravans that carried coal, raw cotton, pots, and iron goods on six-week or three-month journeys.
It occurred to the two women that their most effective way of preaching would be to set up an inn. The building in which they lived had once been an inn, and with a bit of repair work could be used as one again. They laid in a supply of food for mules and men, and when next a caravan came past, Gladys dashed out, grabbed the rein of the lead mule, and turned it into their courtyard.
It went willingly, knowing by experience that turning into a courtyard meant food and water and rest for the night. The other mules followed, and the muleteers had no choice. They were given good food and warm beds at the standard price, and their mules were well cared for, and there was free entertainment in the evening--the inkeepers told stories about a man named Jesus. After the first few weeks, Gladys did not need to kidnap customers -- they turned in at the inn by preference.
Some became Christians, and many of them both Christians and non-Christians remembered the stories, and retold them more or less accurately to other muleteers at other stops along the caravan trails.
Gladys practiced her Chinese for hours each day, and was becoming fluent and comfortable with it. Then Mrs. Lawson suffered a severe fall, and died a few days later.
Gladys Aylward was left to run the mission alone, with the aid of one Chinese Christian, Yang, the cook. A few weeks after the death of Mrs. Lawson, Miss Aylward met the Mandarin of Yangchen. He arrived in a sedan chair, with an impressive escort, and told her that the government had decreed an end to the practice of footbinding. Thus grown women had extremely tiny feet, on which they could walk only with slow, tottering steps, which were thought to be extremely graceful.
It was soon clear to them both that Gladys was the only possible candidate for the job, and she accepted, realizing that it would give her undreamed-of opportunities to spread the Gospel. During her second year in Yangchen, Gladys was summoned by the Mandarin. She arrived and found that the convicts were rampaging in the prison courtyard, and several of them had been killed.
The soldiers were afraid to intervene. The warden of the prison said to Gladys, "Go into the yard and stop the rioting. I cannot hear when everyone is shouting at once. Choose one or two spokesmen, and let me talk with them.
Gladys talked with him, and then came out and told the warden: "You have these men cooped up in crowded conditions with absolutely nothing to do. No wonder they are so edgy that a small dispute sets off a riot. You must give them work. Also, I am told that you do not supply food for them, so that they have only what their relatives send them.
No wonder they fight over food. We will set up looms so that they can weave cloth and earn enough money to buy their own food. There was no money for sweeping reforms, but a few friends of the warden donated old looms, and a grindstone so that the men could work grinding grain.
Soon after, she saw a woman begging by the road, accompanied by a child covered with sores and obviously suffering severe malnutrition. She bought the child for ninepence--a girl about five years old. A year later, "Ninepence" came in with an abandoned boy in tow, saying, "I will eat less, so that he can have something.
She was a regular and welcome visitor at the palace of the Mandarin, who found her religion ridiculous, but her conversation stimulating. In , she officially became a Chinese citizen.
She lived frugally and dressed like the people around her as did the missionaries who arrived a few years after in in the neighboring town of Tsechow, David and Jean Davis and their young son Murray, of Wales , and this was a major factor in making her preaching effective. Then the war came. In the spring of , Japanese planes bombed the city of Yangcheng, killing many and causing the survivors to flee into the mountains. Five days later, the Japanese Army occupied Yangcheng, then left, then came again, then left.
The Mandarin gathered the survivors and told them to retreat into the mountains for the duration. He also announced that he was impressed by the life of Ai-weh-deh and wished to make her faith his own. There remained the question of the convicts at the jail. The traditional policy favored beheading them all lest they escape. The Mandarin asked Ai-weh-deh for advice, and a plan was made for relatives and friends of the convicts to post a bond guaranteeing their good behavior.
Every man was eventually released on bond. As the war continued Gladys often found herself behind Japanese lines, and often passed on information, when she had it, to the armies of China, her adopted country. She met and became friends with "General Ley," a Roman Catholic priest from Europe who had teken up arms when the Japanese invaded, and now headed a guerilla force.
Finally he sent her a message. The Japanese are coming in full force. We are retreating. Come with us. She determined to flee to the government orphanage at Sian, bringing with her the children she had accumulated, about in number. An additional had gone ahead earlier with a colleague. With the children in tow, she walked for twelve days. Some nights they found shelter with friendly hosts. Some nights they spent unprotected on the mountainsides. On the twelfth day, they arrived at the Yellow River, with no way to cross it.
All boat traffic had stopped, and all civilian boats had been seized to keep them out of the hands of the Japanese.
Ask Him to get us across. Then they sang. A Chinese officer with a patrol heard the singing and rode up. He heard their story and said, "I think I can get you a boat. As her health gradually improved, she started a Christian church in Sian, and worked elsewhere, including a settlement for lepers in Szechuan, near the borders of Tibet. Her health was permanently impaired by injuries received during the war, and in she returned to England for a badly needed operation.
She remained in England, preaching there. When Newsweek magazine reviewed the movie, and summarized the plot, a reader, supposing the story to be fiction, wrote in to say, "In order for a movie to be good, the story should be believable! Raise up, we beseech thee, in this and every land heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that thy Church may make proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Raise up in this and every land heralds and evangelists of your kingdom, that your Church may make proclaim the unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Unless otherwise indicated, this biographical sketch was written by James E.
Kiefer and any comments about its content should be directed to him. The Biographical Sketches home page has more information.
Biography of Gladys Aylward
Following a calling to go overseas as a Christian missionary, she was accepted by the China Inland Mission to study a preliminary three-month course for aspiring missionaries. Due to her lack of progress in learning the Chinese language she was not offered further training. The perilous trip took her across Siberia with the Trans-Siberian Railway. She was detained by the Russians, but managed to evade them with local help and a lift from a Japanese ship. She travelled across Japan with the help of the British Consul and took another ship to China.
Posted on September 10, by admin Gladys Aylward was born in London in or a few years earlier. Gladys responded to the message, and soon after became convinced that she was called to preach the Gospel in China. At the age of 26, she became a probationer at the China Inland Mission Center in London, but failed to pass the examinations. She worked at other jobs and saved her money. Then she heard of a year-old missionary, Mrs. Jeannie Lawson, who was looking for a younger woman to carry on her work.