Gladys Aylward's Thoughts
|photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com|
There have been times though, when God let me struggle through difficult times. I didn't know which would happen on this day. But I knew God loved us.
The children had grown tired of their games along the shore of the Yellow River. The older boys said they couldn't find any more food in the nearby abandoned houses.
After Sualan, one of the older boys, and I prayed for a miracle we waited for God to answer. He had such faith.
Sualan gathered the children together in a circle. We sang songs and told stories to make them laugh. In the middle of a song, one of the children pointed behind me, "A soldier!"
I whipped my head around and sighed when I saw his Chinese uniform. Thank you Lord.
The young soldier didn't walk far before the little ones sprang toward him. They tugged on his uniform and laughed. "Ai-weh-dah! A soldier. Come."
The officer walked close to our camp. He stared at my face then frowned. "You're a foreigner."
"Yes, I am."
"What are you doing here with all these children?"
"I'm taking them to Siam where they'll be safe."
"This river is closed, you can't be here."
"I think I realize that, officer. If I had a way to cross the river, I wouldn't be here."
He huffed. "The Japanese are near. Don't you understand the war will soon be here? Who's in charge of these children?"
"I am, Officer. We're trying to escape the war by crossing the river."
He stared at me for a few minutes. Maybe he thought I was a spy! I chose to stand still and keep silent, as an officer would expect a woman in China to do. He looked at the children. They giggled and played. They didn't act like children who HAD to stay with me, like prisoners. Rather their happy faces showed they belonged to me. He must have decided I told the truth. "All right. I will help you."
He whistled a high pitched signal. Someone from across the river whistled back. The officer folded his arms and turned to me. "Crossing the river is dangerous. If Japanese planes attack, I can't stop them. But once you get across, you will find a village where people can give you food."
I glanced at Sualan. He smiled and nodded back. "See, Ai-weh-deh? God answered!"
"Yes, He sure did."
One boat made three trips to take all of us across the river. The officer called his soldiers to help load the last group of children into the boat, but he stayed by me. Maybe he was surprised a foreigner would help one hundred children flee a battlefield. He held my arm to steady me as I climbed into the boat. "You look ill. You should see the doctor in the village."
I bowed. "Thank you. But I must first get the children to Siam, then I will visit a doctor."
We watched the skies. No Japanese airplanes had buzzed over the river the whole time it took for the three boat trips. The soldiers in the boat seemed surprised.
One looked at the sky, "Planes have flown over this part of the river nearly every hour. I wonder why none came while we took the children across."
Well, I knew why. God had answered our prayer. God also showed Sualan He would answer his prayers.
Come back again next week.