Monday, May 16, 2011

Prisoner

By Mary Vee


photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com
My home, my mission, the Inn of the Eighth Happiness had been damaged by Japanese bombs. I saw no way to repair the building to use it as an inn again, or a place to live.


Yet God never allowed a problem to come into my life without a solution. A kind family in the village allowed me to sleep on a floor in their home, this was my first blessing after the bombs.


Since the court area of the Inn was a wide open space, nearby Japanese and Chinese armies brought their wounded to rest and hopefully be cared for by some loving soul.  I couldn't run the inn, but I could help the wounded. 


A few men helped me put pieces of the kitchen back together, enough to set up buckets of water to clean wounds and a fire to make tea and rice. I tore towels and any cloth I could find for bandages. 


My village, Yang Cheng became the front line battlefield. 


One day Japanese soldiers came. I ran with other villagers to the caves and hid there. Days later, when the vilage looked safe, we went back home and found many things stolen by soldiers. 


Then Chinese soldiers came, pushing the Japanese soldiers away from our village. I ran with other villagers to the caves again and hid from the battle.  When the soldiers left, we went back home and found more things stolen, this time by Chinese soldiers.


Our crops had been destroyed, food from our kitchens and storehouses had been stolen.  I'd never been so hungry in my life. 


Thankfully, God gave me the idea to send most of my children to Christian homes in other villages where they would be safe. Also, God gave me Lu Cheng, an evangelist, who helped care for the wounded and told Bible stories. Before the war started he helped with church services and told Bible stories when I left to do foot inspecting.


One day a large group of Chinese women came into the court and sat on the ground to rest. Their eyes drooped with sadness and they were dirty. They didn't know where to go or who to trust. "We want our homes and peace." Something they couldn't have. My heart wept for them.


I ran inside the inn and grabbed a Bible picture. The women needed to know about the One who could bring them peace.  The women raised their tired eyes to look at the picture.


"My friends. We've all done bad things in our lives. I want to tell you about the great God in Heaven who loves you and wants to give you peace.  He sent His Son, Jesus to die on the cross to take the punishment for sins. If you will believe that Jesus is God's Son and that He died for your sins, you can find peace.  This may not be a peace here on earth. Soldiers may kill our bodies, but the loving God who made you, will give you peace in heaven."


One by one the women left after the story, ready to see what was left of their homes.


They may not have had food for their stomach that day, but God gave them food for their hearts.


Come back next week to read about the stranger who stood by the gate to hear the story.


Gladys Aylward

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