Monday, December 19, 2011

Opening the Prison Doors

By Mary Vee

From Gladys Aylward's Journal

The good doctor needed to return to his wife and family after our Lamasery visit. He promised to only be gone five days. We left seventeen days ago.

I wanted to go back to the college students to report how God answered their prayers. Their prayers for the lonely villages in the mountains led me to go and tell the people about Jesus.. After hearing their prayers I visited every village on their list and shared the news of God's love. Many villagers trusted Jesus as their Savior.

After my report, God led me to a new city with many people and buildings to do His work. A doctor and his wife allowed me to stay at their home. During my stay I walked through the streets and found many churches and organizations teaching the Gospel. I didn't understand why God sent me to that city when He had set up a good ministry already.

One morning at the doctor's home, a visitor spoke with the doctor about a place in the city where people had not heard about Jesus and His love. Of course I thought the man was crazy. "I beg your pardon. There is no place in this city that does not have opportunity to hear about Christ." I mentioned the churches and organizations.

He shook his head. "You're new in town, right?"

"Well, yes," I said. "I have only been here three days."

He said, "I spoke of our prison, not any free part of the city. We have the second largest prison in China. No one is willing to go in the prison to tell the men about Jesus."

Aha. I understood. 

But, I also knew God asked me to tell people in the villages about Jesus, not the prisoners. There must be someone else called to go to that prison. 

I waited in the city for a couple of days, walking around the streets and resting at the doctor's house. God would show me what He wanted me to do. After the days passed God spoke to my heart. "Go to the prisons, Gladys. I died for them too."

I rolled my eyes and sigh. "Very well, God." After all this time serving God in China, one would think He couldn't surprise me anymore.  Hah!

Because of the Chinese customs I needed special permission to enter the prison. I asked to meet with the governor. He allowed me to speak with him the same day. Once in his office I bowed. "Governor, may I go to the prisoners and tell them about Jesus?"

He shook his head. "Absolutely, not. The men are murderers and thieves. I have tried for five years to change those prisoners into good citizens and have failed. You would too. The answer is no."

I decided not to tell him about the prison riot God helped me stop many years ago.He might have thought I wanted to be better than him. I bowed. "Governor, if you let me go into the prison and speak with the men, the prisoners will change."

He raised his eyebrows and shook his head. The look said, she is crazy and maybe needs a chance to see for herself how those prisoners will not change. He sighed and gave me permission.

The next morning I went to the prison with my pass from the governor. 

The visit didn't go quite as I planned. Come back next week to ready what happened.

Gladys Aylward

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