Volume. XXVII, No. 19
Sunday, 04 November 2012

Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman with a Great God Part 1

On October 15, 1932, a poor, short, dark haired parlour maid boarded a train in London with a one-way ticket to China. Her name was Gladys Aylward. Gladys Aylward was born in Edmonton, London on February 24, 1902. She was the daughter of a mailman and the oldest of two sisters and a brother. As a child, she was disappointed in two things: one, that she had black hair, while her school-mates had light coloured hair; two, that she was shortonly four feet ten inches. Gladys was not a good student, and she didnt like school; so she dropped out at fourteen, not really qualified for any job. Her parents helped her find a place in a Penny Bazaarthe two dollar store of that day. Then she went to work in a grocery store. After that she went into service, working as a nanny and then a parlour maid in wealthy households. Obviously, these jobs didnt pay well, but Gladys was enjoying life in the city. In the evenings she attended drama classes, because what she really wanted to be was an actress. Her Calling But little did she know that God was getting her ready for something else. In her autobiography she wrote: One night, for some reason I can never explain, I went to a religious meeting [a worship service]. There, for the first time, I realized that God had a claim on my life, and I accepted Jesus Christ as my Saviour [So she became a Christian]. I joined the Young Life Campaign, and in one of their magazines I read an article about China that made a terrific impression on me. To realize that millions of Chinese had never heard of Jesus Christ was to me a staggering thought, and I felt we ought to do something about it. Bear in mind that Gladys wasnt a nurse or a teacher, so she wasnt sure whether there was a place for her on the mission field. But she knew she could talk. Maybe God could use that. So she applied to the China Inland Mission. But you could say that the lady seemed to be the most unlikely person God could call into the ministry. In fact that was what most people said about her, and Gladys did not think that she was worthy or qualified to be serving as a missionary too! This is what Gladys said, \"I wasn\'t God\'s first choice for what I\'ve done for ChinaI don\'t know who it wasIt must have been a mana well-educated man. I don\'t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn\'t willingand God looked downand saw Gladys AylwardAnd God said - \"Well, she\'s willing.\" I wonder how many of us are willing to serve the LORD? What God is looking for is not talented people (that may be a plus) or brilliant people who know everything, but a willing heart! Are you willing to serve Christ? Her Preparation On December 12, 1929, the Candidates Committee of a missionary body took note of her conversion to Christianity and her manifest strength of character. Although there is no direct mention of her inadequate schooling and mediocre educational skills, those limitations are implied in the conditional recommendation of one terms testing at the Womens Training Home to see if she was able to settle down to regular study. The Womens Training Home was a training school for those the committee recommended for the mission board who might not be qualified as missionaries. At the Womens Training Home, the three-month term was filled with classroom work, Bible study, personal devotions, Sunday school teaching in rough neighbourhoods, and hearing reports about China and the difficulties of getting there and living there. Gladys did well in the practical, active settings, but she couldnt seem to understand and learn from the lectures and books. Her Determination At the end of the appointed time, the committee judged that she was not qualified and that her educational background was too limited. They were also concerned that the Chinese language would be too difficult for her, especially at her ageher late twenties. By the way, it was the mission board which deemed her to be unfit for the mission field based on her academic performance and educational background, not God. Nothing could stop Gladys from going to China because she had a heart for China. Eventually, she still went to China as a missionary without the support of a sending missionary body! Why? This is what Gladys said: If God has called you to China or any other place and you are sure in your own heart, let nothing deter you.Remember, it is God who has called you and it is the same as when He called Moses or Samuel. Gladys was not being proud and arrogant thinking that she was above the people, but her action was simply driven by her burden for the millions of lost souls in China. Do you have a burden for the lost or an area of ministry? You should if you are a child of God. And if you have the burden, your burden should be transformed into actions. Gladys decided to go on despite the fact that people said that she was not qualified for the job. Having worked as a parlour maid for two years, she was only able to save up enough money for a train ticket to China, and left on October 15, 1932 with one suitcase and 2 pounds, equivalent to about 4 US dollars. After a harrowing journey through snow, bitter cold, and gunfire from the Russo-Chinese war, she reached Tiensin. In China, she praised God for her different looks, because every person around her was also short and dark haired. It was definitely a scary experience for a young lady to be travelling from England to China through Siberia Russia for days in a strange land with strange people. Considering that she was only thirty year of age, she was very brave! To be continued...

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Announcements: *Kitchen Roster: Todays Team Leader: Dn Colin Gan. Next Lords Day: Bro Daniel Volvricht. *Helpers needed for the kitchen committee. If able to help please see Sis Xiao Hui Chye. *Hope Bookstore: Open today: 12:30 - 1:45 pm. *Deepest Sympathy to Sis Sharon Ying on the passing of her grandmother in Singapore. *Holy Baptism & Transfer of Membership to be held on 25 Nov. *Please note: Sunday School Christmas Party - please encourage your children to come. *All worshippers are encouraged to attend Prayer Meetings, Bible Study Classes & Groups, and Fellowship activities. Praise and thanksgiving: 1. Journey mercies: Ps David & Sis Susan Weng & family (Spore); Bros Raymond Ang (Adl/Pinnaroo) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sisters Molly Gan (Melb) & Sharon Ying (Spore); & others who have arrived safely. 2. Church Activities in past week. 3. Gods daily mercy, guidance & blessings. 4. Visitors & new worshippers. Prayer items: 1. Health & Gods healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (Spore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (Nursing Home); Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (Spore); Bros Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (Spore); Sisters Lynette Booth, Mabella Booth (Nursing Home), Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong, Myung Ki, Irena Kurek-Braden (NSW), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Lehia Paauwe (Per), Susan Varadi (Nursing Home); Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphaels father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ongs father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wongs father); Mrs Maggie DMello (Dn Edwins mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction. 2. Cambodia Missions - Rev Stephen Choi & Ministry (Phnom Penh). 3. Ministry in New Life BPC (London): Ps & Sis Ki. Special Prayer: UK Visa application & return of their passports. 4. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry. 5. Gods Comfort - Sis Sharon Ying. 6. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & Ordination - Pr HS Lim (Melbourne, Vic). 7. IBPFM (USA) - Rev Keith Coleman & Board members; missionaries in India & South America. 8. Ps & Sis Weng - Ministry in Hope BPC. Preaching at Grace B-P Church (Spore) today. 9. Journey mercies: Ps Okman & Sis Myung Ki (Adl); Bros Raymond Ang (Adl) & Raphael Ng (Goolwa/Adl); Sisters Margaret Hooper (Cruise - SEA), Peng Ha Yeo (Middle East) & Sharon Ying (Adl); & those who are travelling. 10. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin. 11. Full-time Job - Sisters Michelle Lee (Melb) & Corinne Teng; & others looking for stable jobs. 12. Unity in doctrine & fellowship of all B-P Churches 13. Final weeks of pregnancy: Sis Josephine Wong 14. Health in pregnancy - Sis Kerrie Lam 15. Year 12 students - Sisters Nicole Chia, Kimberley Gan & Rachel Ting. 16. University students - preparation of assignments, thesis & for end of the year exams - Please refer to exams time-table on literature table. 17. Believers under persecution in Islamic nations. 18. Superstorm Sandy in Eastern North America: for survivals & those who lost their loved ones.



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