Monday, October 10, 2011

Home-At Last!

By Mary Vee

From Ninepence's Journal

I have watched my mother care for many orphaned children--Chinese children. I was the first orphaned child she adopted. She has taught me the meaning of true sacrifice and love.

You may know her as Gladys Aylward, but I call her Ai-weh-deh.

She wanted to write today's story about our reaching our new home, but she fell ill; I fear for her life. She always gave the food first to the young children, then to us older ones. She only ate the grains left in the bottom of the pot.

Liang and I went to one of the Buddist priests and begged for medicine for her. He took some herbs, cooked them then let them cool before giving it to us. The medicine made Ai-weh-deh sleepy.

We guided the children off the train and led them in the crocodile way that Ai-weh-deh taught them. Mother didn't seem to focus on her steps; she struggled to find the words she wanted to say.  

We asked Jesus to touch her body and heal it from whatever troubled her. Oh how I prayed.

When we reached the city gate of Fufeng, villagers gathered around us and cheered. They showed us our new home and school, filled our bowls with food, gave us new shoes and clothes, and helped us bathe. We felt like princes and princesses. I've never seen mother so happy! 

At last we were home.

Some of the ladies of the village asked Ai-weh-deh how she felt, even these stranger saw she was sick. They offered mother a bed and asked her to stay awhile at the orphanage to help care for us. Ai-weh-deh shook her head. "I have too much work to do. I must go and preach to other villagers."

She called us to come to her. All one hundrend children circled the woman who had kept us alive,
given us her food,
held little ones even when her arms ached,
hugged us when we cried,
comforted us when we were sad,
told us stories when we were bored,
sang songs to keep us moving on the journey
and loved us as if we truly were her own children.

She said, "Children, you are home. In this place which God has prepared, you will have plenty to eat, go to school, make friends, and grow up to be healthy men and women who love God.  My work is finished here."

One of the young children blinked her eyes and pouted. "But where will you go?"

Ai-weh-deh laughed, reached down to hug the little girl and pointed to the land far away. "I will go to new villages and tell them about Jesus." Then she kissed the little girl.

"Come, children. Say the Lord is my Shepherd with me."

Tears dripped down our faces as we honored our mother with her request. Ai-weh-deh hugged each child and called them by the special name she gave--and then she left.

Dear Jesus, Please heal our mother. Please take care of her as she goes to new villages. 
Thank you for her love for us and for You.

Ai-weh-deh's story isn't over! Come back and read what God did for her.

With the greatest of respect for my mother,


Photo of a Chinese young woman used with permission from Bible visual images.

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