After three months of study in the missionary society college, young Gladys Aylward, a poor London parlormaid, was told that she was too deficient in education to become a missionary; she’d never be able to learn Chinese, the committee couldn’t accept her. But Gladys was sure God wanted her in China. Unable to find support, she worked as a housemaid and saved enough money for a one-way ticket to Tientsin. She left Liverpool on Oct. 15, 1932 with an old suitcase full of food and clothes; she had about 2 £. Before she reached China, she had to leave the train and trudge through the snow, in bitter cold, among gunfire from the Russo-Chinese War. When Gladys Aylward died in 1970, at 68, she had had a very successful ministry among the Chinese of Yancheng, and had converted, among others, a local Mandarin. She had led 100 children to safety through the mountains during the Japanese invasion and had established an orphanage. She spoke, read, and wrote Chinese fluently.

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