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A down-to-earth London girl, without many prospects, commits to Christ as an eighteen year old and the Lord uses her beyond what anyone could have imagined. Gladys Aylward, a little but determined woman, became a mighty gospel force amongst her beloved Chinese people as she forsook everything, even her own safety, for the sake of their physical and eternal wellbeing.
Her Christ-led adventure takes her on a perilous solitary journey from London to China, and sees her escorting hundreds of children through a war zone - even stopping a riot in a Chinese prison! Throughout it all, she would rather die with ‘her people’ than desert them. Her gospel living challenges us today, as she demonstrates a simple, transparent and challenging faith in the God whom she whole-heartedly trusted.
The quality and look of the book itself is brilliant. The cover has been well designed and thought through, impressing me when it arrived in the post. Never judge a book by its cover – however this book is the exception. Phyllis Thompson, who met Gladys Aylward on a few occasions, has carried out a lot of research in writing this biography. She draws from personal meetings and letters, speaking with those who knew her at different stages in life and even obtaining access to Gladys’ Chinese bible. Through travelling to Taiwan and Honk Kong and obtaining tapes from the US Navy of her talks, the author brings it all together in this book. The book provides a good walk though her life, from humble beginnings to her very last breath. Zooming in at times to highlight her highs and lows, providing gripping moments. The author also introduces the reader to who Gladys was as a person, her character, upbringing and the way she lived her life of faith. This really helps in getting to know who the real Gladys was and also doesn’t just highlight the positive characteristics. However it’s in these shortfalls of Gladys that we see God working and the author was right to include them. They not only add to the story of her life but make it even more inspiring, giving hope to those who may think they couldn’t be used by God to achieve great things for His kingdom. This book is a textbook example of God using the unexpected, those that even missionary societies reject, and using them in such a profound way. Gladys was faithful and obedient to God and this book shows what God can do when we have faith and obey. The author has done a tremendous job in both research and writing and this really shines in the quality of the book as an engaging read. Personally I was encouraged and challenged through reading the book. Encouraged by her faithfulness to obey without question no matter how difficult, and challenged to do likewise in my own life.
Though there were many stumbling blocks in the way, God sent Gladys to China and used her in amazing ways to save lives. This book reminds us that when things seem out of control, ‘God is still God!’
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