|photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com|
The children huddled close together to keep warm.
Only the loving hands of our Lord could have kept them warm enough to sleep so soundly.
The next morning all one hundred children woke refreshed, ready to climb another mountain. By mid morning they whined about the walk again. I couldn't blame them. Their shoes had worn through, their clothes had rips, and they all needed a bath not to mention full stomachs.
When we stopped at the last village, my two oldest boys, Teh and Liang, found a can of white paint. Their eyebrows wiggled up and down and they had a boyish giggle about them all morning. I didn't want to ask what they'd planned to do with the paint. I'd only hoped it would end up for the good.
At our noon break, Teh and Liang came to me giggling and snickering. Each time they opened their mouth to ask their question, one would look at the other which of course caused them both to burst into laughter again. I sat on the ground and shook my head. "What mischief do you to have in mind?"
"Ah-weh-deh. We'd like to run ahead of the group."
My eyes popped wide. "Ummm--that may not be the best idea. What if the younger children ran after you? They'd get lost--"
Teh and Liang eyes grew wide and shook their heads. "Oh, no. Ah-weh-deh. We do not wish to cause trouble. We want to play a game with the younger children." Teh held up the paint can. "We'll paint short messages, you know, like 'Walk in the way' or Follow me.' The little ones can search for the clues."
A huge smiled flashed across their faces and their happy brown eyes begged for a yes answer. I held my arms out to both of them. "Of course you can." They gave me a quick hug then marched ahead like scouts leading an army.
I called the other children together. "Time to go. I have a song. Who will sing with me?" We sang a few of the Bible songs I taught them and then they stopped. The little ones swarmed to one particular tree. The older ones ran to join them. "Look! Teh and Liang left a message: 'Follow me.'"
The little ones sprang to life. They giggled and pressed their little fingers in the damp paint on the tree. One shouted, "Let's find another." They flittered from tree to tree hunting for more messages, laughing and dancing. The little ones didn't want to be carried. They wanted to run to find the next Bible message.
The and Liang's plan worked. The children bounced from one marked tree to another and didn't want to stop for meals, or rest.
This game lasted the remaining days of our journey. After twelve days, we climbed the last step to a mountain peak overlooking the Yellow River. We were exhausted. The children and I sat on the mountain edge and watched the river drifting by and sang all our happy songs. Tomorrow morning we'll climb down to the river.
God used Teh and Liang to lead the way and to help tickle the little ones into finishing our journey. I just love to see God solve problems.
Come read about our journey across the river next time.
Gladys Aylward's adventures will end in a few months.
I want to start researching the life of the next missionary.
Who would you pick?
You can vote by writing your choice in the comment section.
Here are some choices:
George Whitfield - colonial United States