Monday, October 31, 2011

My Son, Chu En Part 1

By Mary Vee

Gladys Aylward's Journal

photo courtesy of
Two years before I helped one hundred children escape from enemy territory, Japanese soldiers killed a local Chinese pastor. That same day, his wife packed a few things and whisked her children away to save their lives. Along the way she died from sickness.

Villagers adopted four of the children. I adopted young Chu En. He played with the other children who also came to live with me in the inn. He loved to hear the Bible stories and songs. Like the other 99 children traveling with me, he hiked mountain paths with threadbare shoes and survived hunger to escape Japanese soldiers.  

When we arrived in Fu Feng, Chu En and my other adopted children stayed at the orphanage while I layed in a hospital bed, too sick to care for them.  He attended school and slept in a warm bed and had all he needed for months while I received therapy and medicines at a missionary's home. God took care of all the children for me.

Chu En taught new friends the Bible stories and songs he'd learned at the inn, did well in his school work, and helped where needed.

When I became healthy enough to walk, I returned to Fu Feng. The children hugged and begged me to stay. "Yes, children. I think I will stay this time. I would like to rest here at the orphanage and spend time with all of you."

At the end of the school year, Chu En and the other children asked, "Ai-weh-deh, could we live together as a family? We've lived in different homes for at least three years. Couldn't we be a family like we were at the inn?"

Before you think I'm crazy, I didn't adopt all 100 children, only 14 of them. The other children also found loving families to adopt them.

I liked the idea of living as one family, but found no available housing in Fu Feng. I travelled to Siam and found an abandoned warehouse with living quarters in the back. I found the owner close by. "Could I rent this space?" 

The man didn't even think before answering, "Sure!" He seemed to be happy to have our few coins for rent rather than nothing.

Chu En and the other children age twelve or older did what they could to help earn money. Their coins plus the money given to me as I preached in villages paid our rent and bought food.

One day Dr. Tsung came to Siam. He heard Chu En had done well in school. He visited with Chu En for the afternoon, asked many questions and chatted. Before Dr. Tsung left he asked if Chu En could train with him. He wanted to take Chu En to his home and teach him how to be a doctor.

What a great opportunity! Chu En hugged and thanked me, packed his belongings. His smile never left except when he said good bye. But then he looked at the doctor's medical bag and smiled again. "I can be a doctor, Mother!"

My son would be a doctor. I felt proud. "Yes, Chu En. You will be a wonderful doctor." 

He walked away with Dr. Tsung. Soon he will help the Chinese people with his medical skills.

But I didn't know God's bigger plan for Chu En. A Much bigger plan. 

Come back next week to read what God did for Chu En when he came back to visit me.

Gladys Aylward

picture courtesy of

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