From Gladys Aylward's Journal
If you miss part one of this story, click here . If you missed part two click here .
|photo courtesy of visualbiblealive.com|
I didn't want to offend or break any rules. "Are you allowed to come in the room?" They nodded and I invited them to sit at the table.
All night long I answered their questions about the God who Loves. I told them Bible stories, and answered their questions. When they left other lamas came to my door wanting to know more about Jesus. They reminded me of a child who had been starved. I answered their questions about why Jesus died for our sins and why God truly loves them.
The next morning Dr. Huang told me many lamas also came to his room to ask questions about God's love and why God sent His son to die on the cross for their sins. How could we leave the next day? We chose to stay at the temple for one week to answer their questions and help these men understand God's love for them. I can hardly express how happy their questions made me feel. They truly wanted to know more about God.
The last night of our visit, the head lama summoned me to visit him. He didn't invite Dr. Huang. I was worried I wouldn't be able to understand him. There are so many Chinese dialects. As I entered the room he greeted me in a way I could understand. This would make the conversation much easier.
We talked a long time about China and the people. During the whole conversation, though, I couldn't help but wonder why he allowed me to enter the Lamasery. Women were strickly forbidden to enter. I bowed respectfully bowed and asked him.
He took a sip of his tea and sat back in his chair. "Well, it's a long story."
I smiled. "A long story I would love to hear."
"Very well," he said. "We grow licorice on the mountainsides then sell them in the villages below. One year several lamas took the licorice to the village to sell and met a man in the town square. He gave papers and shouted to anyone who passed by, "Free--Salvation for all! If you believe you will have salvation and live forever."
"The lamas took the paper and read these words--." He walked to a piece of paper stuck to the wall. It had yellowed and turned raggedy. The paper had one Bible verse: For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
He walked back to his seat then continued the story. "The man invited all the passerbys to a meeting to learn more about the God who loves and a free gift to live forever. The lamas knew they had duties at the Lamasery and wouldn't be able to stay for the meeting. They brought the paper back to me."
"We had never known of a God who loves us. I placed the paper in a place for all the lamas to read. Everyone stopped by and read the paper again and again. We wanted to know more, but didn't know how.
"For five years lamas returned to the village in search of someone who could tell us more about the God who loves but found no one. Then one day, the first two young lamas who brought this paper to me requested a meeting. 'We ask to go on a quest to find someone who can tell us more about the God who loves. We must find the answers to our questions.'"
Come back next week to read about the quest.