Bible and missionary stories in family friendly language

By Mary Vee

Joshua 10



Joshua signed a peace agreement with the strangers in ragged clothes and moldy bread.

He didn’t think to ask God if he should make a treaty because the men showed him they came from far away. 

Soon after the treaty had been signed, Joshua led the Israelites to their next battle.  The strangers traveled with them for three days. Outside the city of Gibeon, Joshua ordered preparation for battle. That night, a messenger knocked on his tent. “My, lord, I bring information.”

Joshua waved the man inside. “Yes?”

“My lord, the visitors traveling with us, whom you signed a peace agreement, have been heard speaking secrets to each other. We have discovered the men are Gibeonites.”

Joshua leaped to his feet. “Gibeonites! Are you sure?”

“My lord, the tribal leader who sent this message could not contain his anger.”

Joshua touched the hilt of his sword. “If I hadn’t promised peace, I’d run them through this very instant.”  He balled his fist.  “Call the elders and then call a meeting of our people.”

The elders crowded into Joshua’s tent moments later. He stood before them. “I’ve received distressing word. The visitors to whom we granted peace, are, in fact, Gibeonites.”

The men sat in silence a long time, then one shook his head. “We must honor our peace agreement since we promised before the Lord. If we don’t, punishment will come to us.”

Joshua huffed. “I wish I didn’t have to say this, but you’re right. We better tell the people.” He and the elders went to the meeting place.

He raised his hands to silence the crowd. One elder stepped close to him and faced the people. “We have learned, the visitors who said they came from a far country a few days ago are, in truth, from Gibeon.” He pointed to the city they planned to attack. 

The people screamed and raised their fists. “They lied? We’ll get them back for deceiving us. Let’s attack the city and leave nothing!”

Joshua shook his head and raised his hands again. “Listen, my brothers. We’re all angry at the Gibeonites for what they’ve done. But a promise has been made. If we break the peace treaty, the Lord’s punishment will come on us instead.”

One elder nodded. “We must let them live. We’ll make them our slaves to do woodcutting and carry water for all our people.”

Joshua called to a guard. “Bring the Gibeonites to me.”  

Guards pushed the five me forward and forced them to their knees. Joshua paced in front of the men. “Why did you lie, saying you came from a far country when in truth you lived near us? Because you lied, all your people will be cursed. No Gibeonite will be spared from serving us. You will become our woodcutters and carry water for all Israel.”

The visitors bowed their heads low.”My lord, we heard of your God’s power and His plan to give Israel all this land. We feared your God and His servants, the Israelites. Do what seems right to us.”

Joshua chose to honored the treaty and the Gibeonites willingly became slaves for the Israelites.


1. Have you ever kept a promise, even when you didn’t want to?  Maybe you felt like you shouldn’t. The Bible tells us to be careful what we promise.

2.Do you think Joshua was careful when he promised a treaty to the Gibeonites? click here to read what Joshua did.

3. When Joshua realized he made a bad choice by giving a treaty, what did he do? 

4. What do you think Joshua learned from the Gibeonites?

5. What did you learn from this story? 

Prisoner in My Inn

By Mary Vee

Today’s missionary story takes place in China and tells what Gladys Aylward might have thought the day she was taken prisoner in her own inn.  Since a picture of her inn was not available, I thought you’d like to see something from China.

Gladys Aylward’s Thoughts

I remembered seeing a stranger standing near the gate listening to the Bible story I told to a group of  lost Chinese women. He didn’t stay long. I hoped he heard what I said. Maybe he did. I didn’t know.

After the last of the Chinese women left. I cleaned the court area then went to the kitchen to make tea for Lu and me. As the water boiled, Lu ran into the kitchen. “Someone to see you.”

I sighed. “Not now, I’m pouring tea.” 

Two soldiers barged into the kitchen and spoke softly to him. Lu turned to me and frowned. “They say I must go with them.”

Just like that. My helper had been taken by soldiers and I had to care for the wounded myself. I finished pouring my tea then carried it out to the table. To my surprise, two soldiers stood there staring at me. I asked, “Do you want tea?”

The soldiers didn’t answer. They stepped aside to let another man into the room. From his uniform, I guessed he was a general.

The general yelled. “You’re under arrest.”

I sipped my tea then put my cup down. “For what?”

He squinted and folded his arms together. “For keeping secret information from the government. Who told you information about me? Tell me and I will let you go free.”

“No one. All I know is you’re a general. Anyone can see from your uniform. Other than that I know nothing about you.”

His face turned red. “I shall ask you again. Who told you secrets about me?”

I rubbed my forehead and thought for a moment. I had no idea what he meant. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what information you want.”

He shook his fist at me and threw his hat on the ground. “Then you will remain a prisoner until you tell me the truth.”

That night my stomach grumbled. I searched the kitchen but found no food. I went to a soldier. “Excuse me, can I send for food?”

One of the soldiers asked the general. He stormed into the inn and glared. “No! You will remain a prisoner until you tell me what I want to know.” Then he left.

For three days I tried to answer his question, but failed. He wouldn’t let me have food, and I clearly didn’t have the answer he wanted.  After the third day I think he grew tired of waiting.  He stomped into the inn with a red face and screamed, “Who told you I was a sinner? Answer me now!”

Oh! He must have been the person standing by the gate when I told the Bible story to the Chinese women. I finally understood what he meant. I picked up my Bible and showed him Roman 3: 23  For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. “You see, General, all of us have sinned. Even I have sinned.”

I turned to Romans 6:23a The payment for sin is death. “Because of sin we must all die.”  He watched me turn to Romans 6:23b but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. “God doesn’t want us to die. He has given you and me a gift. Look here–“. I turned to Romans 5:8 But God presented His love to us in this way: while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us.”  

The general looked at the pages of my Bible then at me. “What do I need to do?” 

I turned to Romans 10:9 If you say you believe with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  

The General shook his head. “No God would want to save me.”

I answered his questions one by one for an hour. At long last he bowed to his knees and asked Jesus into his heart.

Would you like to hear more? Come back next Monday.

Gladys Aylward

This blog is devoted to presenting Bible and missionary stories to kids of all ages in easy to understand, family-friendly language.

On Mondays, missionary stories will whisk you off to an adventure in another land into the life of  a missionary.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, step into a the lives of those who are recorded in the Bible.

Your adventure starts Monday, May 22, 2011.

If you have questions, email me at


See you Monday!

Mary Vee