Monday, April 25, 2011

Even Missionaries Get Concerned or Scared

By Mary Vee

Gladys' Thoughts

photo courtesy of
I enjoyed being a foot inspector for the Mandarin--most of the time. I freed little girls from foot binding, and told villagers about Jesus. Sometimes I had to go to villages known for terrible crimes. I was thankful to have soldiers guard me for those visits.

When doing missionary work I could chose safe places to visit. But as a foot inspector, I had to go to every village, even scary ones.  The Mandarin told me to go to Yuan Tsun one day. Most people stayed away from there . 

My two body guards walked close to me as we entered the village gate. An innkeeper ran out to greet us, I think he wanted us to stay in his inn.  The soldiers bowed. One pointed to me and said, "Sir, Ai-weh-deh has come to inspect the little girl's feet."

The innkeeper shook his head. "It's late. Come, spend the night in my inn. You can inspect feet in the morning."

I had inspected feet in many villages before and learned never to wait. Most likely the innkeeper wanted to warn women to hide the girls. I bowed then raised my eyes to him. "No. I will inspect the girl's feet tonight. Tell the villagers I am coming to their homes at once."

My soldiers and I gave the innkeeper a head start then walked to the first home. The soldiers knocked. No one answered. I turned to the soldiers. "Tell the woman, if she doesn't open the door, I'll climb through the window."

The door opened a moment later. I walked into her dark home. Dust and dirt covered everything. "Let me see the girls." She bowed then left the room. She brought back a skinny little girl who looked like she hadn't eaten in days. Tears covered her sweet little face.

I reached out my arms. "Come here, child." I removed her bindings, washed her feet, cuddled and sang to her. The little girl giggled and wiped away her tears then she asked me to help the other girls in the home. I should have known this woman would hide more children. I set the little girl down and turned to the woman. "Bring the other girls to me, at once."

The woman put an evil smile on her face. "There are no more girls. She's not telling the truth."

Ah, huh. She thinks she can fool me.  I walked to the door and called the soldiers. "This woman is hiding girls."

The soldiers stepped inside. "We'll search at once, Ai-weh-deh."

The woman's eyes went wide. She ran into a back room and brought out three girls. "Here!"

Once their bindings had been removed and their feet washed, all four girls danced around the room. They repeated songs I sang to them and laughed. 

The woman bowed. She looked toward the door then back at the girls. "My name is Mrs. Ching. I hid the girls because I'm afraid. My master will beat me when he comes back home and sees the girls without their feet bound. He bought me as a slave. He bought these girls, also. He plans to sell them for a great price. You must help me. I'm scared. Please help me."

I didn't want to bind the girl's feet, and hurt them again. I also didn't want Mrs. Ching to be hurt by her master. I said a quick prayer. Then, God, in His great love for these girls and this woman, gave me an idea.

Come back next week to see how God's great idea.

Gladys Aylward


  1. Incredible and truly heartbreaking story!

  2. Thank you, Diane.
    So nice to have you stop by today for Gladys' story.


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