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.