Spotlight on History: Gladys Aylward

The year was 1930 when a young Christian woman decided to brave it all and follow the Lord’s calling on her life. She didn’t have much, and to many, there certainly wasn’t anything too special about her. She was but an unmarried woman with no prospects who worked as a humble maid in London

Yet God had seen her, and years back she had felt the the calling to serve as a missionary to China. But the missionary agency she applied to didn’t see it that way and rejected her application, citing her age and low intellectual capacity. They then kindly recommended she stay in England and find another way to serve God. 

Undeterred and confident in her calling, she began to save every pence she could, finally scrounging up enough to buy a train ticket. When she boarded a train which would take her to the exact other side of the world, across Europe, Russia, and into China, she was embarking with blind faith, as she didn’t even have enough money on her to buy food during her journey. 

Through a series of unexpected blessings, she not only survived, but was able to make the journey all the way to the Russia-China border.

Suddenly, the train was abruptly halted by armed soldiers, and everyone on board was ordered turn back, since war had just broken out between the two countries.
Despite not knowing the language or much money, she made arrangements to be secretly smuggled onto a ship headed to Japan. From there she eventually found her way to China, finally arriving at her destination in October of 1930, even as winter soon approached. 

This was but the beginning of an incredible story of faith and courage that would change China and modern missions forever

“I wasn’t God’s first choice for what I’ve done in China…I don’t know who it was…it must have been a man…a well-educated man. I don’t know what happened. Perhaps he died. Perhaps he wasn’t willing…and God looked down…and saw Gladys Aylward…and God said, ‘Well, she’s willing.'”

Gladys Aylward

Bringing stories like these to life is what #UnbreakableChurch is all about! Help us make the dream a reality. #SoliDeoGloria