Good Sketches


Structures of the penis. The outer foreskin layer is a continuation of the skin of the shaft of the penis.; The inner foreskin layer is not just 'skin,' but mucocutaneous tissue of a unique type found nowhere else on the body. Sketchpad: Free online drawing application for all ages. Create digital artwork to share online and export to popular image formats JPEG, PNG, SVG, and PDF.

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Gladys Aylward was born in London in 1904 (or a few years earlier). Sheworked for several years as a parlormaid, and then attended a revivalmeeting at which the preacher spoke of dedicating one's life to theservice of God. Gladys responded to the message, and soon after becameconvinced that she was called to preach the Gospel in China. At the ageof 26, she became a probationer at the China Inland Mission Center inLondon, but was failed to pass the examinations. She worked at other jobsand saved her money. Then she heard of a 73-year-old missionary, Mrs.Jeannie Lawson, who was looking for a younger woman to carry on her work.Gladys wrote to Mrs. Lawson and was accepted if she could get to China.She did not have enough money for the ship fare, but did have enough forthe train fare, and so in October of 1930 she set out from London withher passport, her Bible, her tickets, and two pounds ninepence, to travelto China by the Trans-Siberian Railway, despite the fact that China andthe Soviet Union were engaged in an undeclared war. She arrived inVladivostok and sailed from there to Japan and from Japan to Tientsin,and thence by train, then bus, then mule, to the inland city of Yangchen,in the mountainous province of Shansi, a little south of Peking(Beijing). Most of the residents had seen no Europeans other than Mrs.Lawson and now Miss Aylward. They distrusted them as foreigners, and werenot disposed to listen to them.

Yangchen was an overnight stop for mule caravans that carried coal, rawcotton, pots, and iron goods on six-week or three-month journeys. Itoccurred to the two women that their most effective way of preachingwould be to set up an inn. The building in which they lived had once beenan inn, and with a bit of repair work could be used as one again. Theylaid in a supply of food for mules and men, and when next a caravan camepast, Gladys dashed out, grabbed the rein of the lead mule, and turned itinto their courtyard. It went willingly, knowing by experience thatturning into a courtyard meant food and water and rest for the night. Theother mules followed, and the muleteers had no choice. They were givengood food and warm beds at the standard price, and their mules were wellcared for, and there was free entertainment in the evening--the inkeeperstold stories about a man named Jesus. After the first few weeks, Gladysdid not need to kidnap customers -- they turned in at the inn bypreference. Some became Christians, and many of them (both Christians andnon-Christians) remembered the stories, and retold them more or lessaccurately to other muleteers at other stops along the caravan trails.Gladys practiced her Chinese for hours each day, and was becoming fluentand comfortable with it. Then Mrs. Lawson suffered a severe fall, anddied a few days later. Gladys Aylward was left to run the mission alone,with the aid of one Chinese Christian, Yang, the cook.

Good Sketches Supreme

Good sketches supreme

A few weeks after the death of Mrs. Lawson, Miss Aylward met the Mandarinof Yangchen. He arrived in a sedan chair, with an impressive escort, andtold her that the government had decreed an end to the practice offootbinding. (Note: Among the upper and middle classes, it had forcenturies been the custom that a woman's foot should be wrapped tightlyin bandages from infancy, to prevent it from growing. Thus grown womenhad extremely tiny feet, on which they could walk only with slow,tottering steps, which were thought to be extremely graceful.) Thegovernment needed a foot-inspector, a woman (so that she could invade thewomen's quarters without scandal), with her own feet unbound (so that shecould travel), who would patrol the district enforcing the decree. It wassoon clear to them both that Gladys was the only possible candidate forthe job, and she accepted, realizing that it would give her undreamed-ofopportunities to spread the Gospel.

During her second year in Yangchen, Gladys was summoned by the Mandarin.A riot had broken out in the men's prison. She arrived and found that theconvicts were rampaging in the prison courtyard, and several of them hadbeen killed. The soldiers were afraid to intervene. The warden of theprison said to Gladys, 'Go into the yard and stop the rioting.' She said,'How can I do that?' The warden said, 'You have been preaching that thosewho trust in Christ have nothing to fear.' She walked into the courtyardand shouted: 'Quiet! I cannot hear when everyone is shouting at once.Choose one or two spokesmen, and let me talk with them.' The men quieteddown and chose a spokesman. Gladys talked with him, and then came out andtold the warden: 'You have these men cooped up in crowded conditions withabsolutely nothing to do. No wonder they are so edgy that a small disputesets off a riot. You must give them work. Also, I am told that you do notsupply food for them, so that they have only what their relatives sendthem. No wonder they fight over food. We will set up looms so that theycan weave cloth and earn enough money to buy their own food.' This wasdone. There was no money for sweeping reforms, but a few friends of thewarden donated old looms, and a grindstone so that the men could workgrinding grain. The people began to call Gladys Aylward 'Ai-weh-deh,'which means 'Virtuous One.' It was her name from then on.

Soon after, she saw a woman begging by the road, accompanied by a childcovered with sores and obviously suffering severe malnutrition. Shesatisfied herself that the woman was not the child's mother, but hadkidnapped the child and was using it as an aid to her begging. She boughtthe child for ninepence--a girl about five years old. A year later,'Ninepence' came in with an abandoned boy in tow, saying, 'I will eatless, so that he can have something.' Thus Ai-weh-deh acquired a secondorphan, 'Less.' And so her family began to grow.... She was a regular andwelcome visitor at the palace of the Mandarin, who found her religionridiculous, but her conversation stimulating. In 1936, she officiallybecame a Chinese citizen. She lived frugally and dressed like the peoplearound her (as did the missionaries who arrived a few years after in inthe neighboring town of Tsechow, David and Jean Davis and their young sonMurray, of Wales), and this was a major factor in making her preachingeffective.

Then the war came. In the spring of 1938, Japanese planes bombed the cityof Yangcheng, killing many and causing the survivors to flee into themountains. Five days later, the Japanese Army occupied Yangcheng, thenleft, then came again, then left. The Mandarin gathered the survivors andtold them to retreat into the mountains for the duration. He alsoannounced that he was impressed by the life of Ai-weh-deh and wished tomake her faith his own. There remained the question of the convicts atthe jail. The traditional policy favored beheading them all lest theyescape. The Mandarin asked Ai-weh-deh for advice, and a plan was made forrelatives and friends of the convicts to post a bond guaranteeing theirgood behavior. Every man was eventually released on bond. As the warcontinued Gladys often found herself behind Japanese lines, and oftenpassed on information, when she had it, to the armies of China, heradopted country. She met and became friends with 'General Ley,' a RomanCatholic priest from Europe who had teken up arms when the Japaneseinvaded, and now headed a guerilla force. Finally he sent her a message.The Japanese are coming in full force. We are retreating. Come with us.'Angry, she scrawled a Chinese note, Chi Tao Tu Pu Twai,'Christians never retreat!' He sent back a copy of a Japanese handbilloffering $100 each for the capture, dead or alive, of (1) the Mandarin,(2) a prominent merchant, and (3) Ai-weh-deh. She determined to flee tothe government orphanage at Sian, bringing with her the children she hadaccumulated, about 100 in number. (An additional 100 had gone aheadearlier with a colleague.) With the children in tow, she walked fortwelve days. Some nights they found shelter with friendly hosts. Somenights they spent unprotected on the mountainsides. On the twelfth day,they arrived at the Yellow River, with no way to cross it. All boattraffic had stopped, and all civilian boats had been seized to keep themout of the hands of the Japanese. The children wanted to know, 'Why don'twe cross?' She said, 'There are no boats.' They said, 'God can doanything. Ask Him to get us across.' They all knelt and prayed. Then theysang. A Chinese officer with a patrol heard the singing and rode up. Heheard their story and said, 'I think I can get you a boat.' They crossed,and after a few more difficulties Ai-weh-deh delivered her charges intocompetent hands at Sian, and then promptly collapsed with typhus feverand sank into delirium for several days.

As her health gradually improved, she started a Christian church in Sian,and worked elsewhere, including a settlement for lepers in Szechuan, nearthe borders of Tibet. Her health was permanently impaired by injuriesreceived during the war, and in 1947 she returned to England for a badlyneeded operation. She remained in England, preaching there.

In 1957, Alan Burgess wrote a book about her, The Small Woman. Itwas condensed in The Reader's Digest, and made into a movie calledTheInn of the Sixth Happiness, starring Ingrid Bergman. WhenNewsweek magazine reviewed the movie, and summarized the plot, a reader,supposing the story to be fiction, wrote in to say, 'In order for a movieto be good, the story should be believable!' Miss Gladys Aylward, theSmall Woman, Ai-weh-deh, died 3 January 1970.

PRAYER (traditional language):

Good Sketches Of Nature

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank thee for thy servantGladys Aylward, whom thou didst call to preach the Gospel tothe people of China. Raise up, we beseech thee, in this andevery land heralds and evangelists of thy kingdom, that thyChurch may make proclaim the unsearchable riches of our SaviorJesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the HolySpirit, one God, now and for ever.

PRAYER (contemporary language):

Good sketches of people
Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servantGladys Aylward, whom you called to preach the Gospel to thepeople of China. Raise up in this and every land heralds andevangelists of your kingdom, that your Church may make proclaimthe unsearchable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who livesand reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

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Good Sketches

Unless otherwise indicated, this biographical sketch was written by James E.Kiefer and any comments about its content should be directed to him.The Biographical Sketches home pagehas more information.