Monday, January 10, 2011

Wild Train Trip to China-Gladys Aylward

By Mary Vee

 Gladys Aylward's thoughts...

Last week I wrote to you about wanting to be a missionary in China.  Actually, it seemed no one else thought I should go. In my heart, I knew God wanted me to tell people in China the Gospel.

Think about a time you wanted to go somewhere so badly you couldn't think of anything else but being at that place. When the time came to leave, you hurried to the cab or carriage and held your breath, waiting for it to leave.  Oh, yes, that was how I felt, too.

Let me take you to that day:

photo courtesy of hurley_gurlie
I boarded a train in Liverpool, England with a crowd of passengers and left instructions with my family and friends to not bring me back home, no matter what news they received about my trip to China. God would take care of me.

My ticket paid for a bench seat in a crowded train car.  I didn't mind.  Ever since the speaker told me about Jesus that night at church I wanted to share His love with others.  I may have sat up straight on the train seat like a good English woman, but my insides danced like wild butterflies.

The conductor shouted, "All aboard," seconds before the train chugged forward. I looked out the window and waved goodbye to England.

photo courtesy great
Look at the black line on the map. My train ride started on the left side and would take me through Europe, across Russia, and into China. My trip would last 20 days.

By the start of the second day, my neck muscles complained about sitting  up all night;  I couldn't afford the ticket for a sleeping compartment. 

We had stopped several times to add passengers and drop off others.  By this time I had traveled through Germany.

photo courtesy of
Most of the people on the train planned to travel to Moscow. Only a few could speak English. One person told me the conductor would not allow me to travel all the way to China due to the fighting.  "You wouldn't want to travel through a war zone, now, would you, Dear?"

I tried to explain my desire to be a missionary in China.  She laughed. "Well, then, you should have boarded a ship.  If I were you, I'd return to England at once."

photo courtesy
The train thumped through part of Russia. There was a stop where the last of the people left the train.  I knew we hadn't arrived near China so I stayed in my seat.  The conductor walked through the train car, checking each seat.  Maybe he wanted to collect lost items.  As he walked close to my seat he stopped then yelled in Russian.  I had no idea what he said.  

His face turned red with anger. He waved his arms toward the door.  When he saw I wouldn't move, he reached for my luggage.  I shook my head and said no. I showed him my ticket. Before he could say another word a large group of Russian soldiers boarded the train.  They pushed the conductor aside and filled the seats.
photo courtesy of morgue
He continued shouting and waving his arms at me. Soon the train moved forward.  I didn't know what he said, but I had no plans to leave the train.  We traveled about thirty miles to the next station.  When the train stopped, the conductor returned to my seat.  He grabbed my luggage and my arm and forced me to leave the train!

There I stood at an empty train station, in the cold, with no food, map, or any idea what to do next.  I couldn't speak Russian.  What could I do?

I'll tell you more next week.



MaDonna Maurer said...

Enjoyed this week's continued story. Love that you left us hanging...can't wait for next week! ;)

Mary Vee said...

Thanks for stopping by MaDonna.

Gladys led an exciting life! I love doing the research:)

Jim Hamlett said...

What a great story, Mary. Lives like those of Gladys Aylward inspire us to be strong in our faith and trust of the Lord--and to never give up.

Mary Vee said...

Thank you, Jim.

There are many from the past who can inspire us as you said. Reading their stories gives me the courage to face problems and to trust in God as they did. Hopefully these stories will help others readers as well.

Thanks for stopping by today:)

Teolocura! said...

Thanks for the map!
Really aprecied it