Monday, November 28, 2011

Lamasery Part II

By Mary Vee

From Gladys Journal

photo courtesy of
If you missed last weeks part one explanation of how I managed to get myself inside a Lamasery, which is a type of Buddhist worship, you can click here

The young man who found us on the road and guided us to the temple grounds spoke with a kind voice. But a kind voice doesn't always mean the person is kind or he is taking us to a safe place. I felt very nervous about going inside the gate. 

He led Dr. Huang and me inside the grounds then signaled the gatekeeper to close the gate. I couldn't help but wonder if I would be a prisoner, trapped in this place far away from anything. No one would hear my cry for help. 

My heart raced with "what if this" and "what if that's"...until the young man stopped walking and turned to me. He said, "We have waited so very long--."

I didn't know what he meant. I bowed and waited for him to finish. He took a breath and  closed his eyes for a long moment. "I and all those in the Lamasery want to hear about the God who loves."

I didn't know what to say. These men devoted their lives to worship a god that was not real. They lived everyday with strict rules ordered by their religion. How did the men living behind these walls, far away from any village discover there is a real God who loves them?  I didn't know. But I sure wanted to find out the answer.

With his simple comment, all my pounding heart and shaky knees ran away. God showed me that I was to tell these men about Jesus!

A group of lamas (men who serve Buddah) met us at the door. They took me to my own room and offered to bring me much more than I ever needed or wanted. I had fresh water to wash myself, soft cushions to sit on, fancy dishes with the most delightful food; I felt like a princess. I ate my meal then laid down for a rest before any expected duties. 

Before my eyes closed, two young men knocked on my door and asked me to go with them to a meeting. I walked in the hall a little ways they found Dr. Huang. "Gladys, I'm glad I will be waling with you. Did you enjoy your meal? They certainly have treated us well, wouldn't you say?"

"Oh, yes. They have." We followed the men through several courts and halls, rooms and larger courts. We stopped at the largest court of all. Five hundred lama priests sat in a semi circle with their hands folded together.  I was surprised to see so many people.

The young men took us to the front of the group. Dr. Huang and I sat like the men before us and waited for instructions. I Ieaned over to Dr. Huang, "What are we suppose to do?"

He tipped his head and smiled. "A church service. First, you sing whatever you want."

I thought for a moment then sang a song. At the end, no one said or did anything. I looked at Dr. Huang and shrugged.

He waited another minute then looked back. "I guess its time to tell them about Jesus." He told then the story of Jesus' birth and then His death. When he finished, he looked at me again. "Sing another song."

I sang another song then told the men another Bible story. When I finished the story, I sang another song. 

Silence. No one moved.

Dr. Huang looked at me, shrugged and told another Bible story and I sang a song. I watched for anyone to say, "OK thanks for everything, now we can go." But no one moved. I smiled at Dr. Huang and told another Bible story. We had shared God's love more well over three hours.

No one moved or spoke. I couldn't understand. Were they sleeping? I leaned over to Dr. Huang. "I'm tired. I need to rest."

He nodded. "Then we will stop." We stood and walked out of the hall. No one said anything. No one stopped us. Had anyone listened to the stories?

Later I learned that the lamas had a rule. They must sit still and not speak until the speaker left the room first. Good that Dr. Huang said we should leave! We might have stayed in the great court all night!

Late that night, two men knocked on the door. Why would someone come to the door at a late hour? Did I do something wrong? Were they angry that a woman had come to the temple? Were they upset that we told them about Jesus? I didn't know if I should open the door or not.

Come back next week to find out why they came to my door.

Gladys Aylward

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