Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime

Janet and Geoff Benge

Ages 8-12

When Gladys Aylward set out from England to be a missionary in China, no one expected her to succeed. Having failed Bible college, worked as a housemaid for her professional career, and with only a cardboard suitcase and a fur coat, the road ahead would prove to be the opposite of easy. But when war strikes and the children of Yangchen turn to her for help, Gladys will learn that God does not call the qualified but qualifies the called.

Question 1 - Mrs. Lawson, despite needing Gladys’s help to run the Inn of Eight Happinesses, is not always the easiest person to get along with. How should we deal with conflict between fellow Christians, according to the Bible?

Discussion Guide - Read Matthew 18:15-18 together. Discuss the process Jesus outlined for confrontation and reconciliation. Read Ephesians 4:17-32 together. Discuss what we must do to walk in unity and love with others.

Question 2 - Gladys is made a foot inspector by the Mandarin for seemingly unforeseeable reasons. How did God use this in her life for good?

Discussion Guide - Discuss how Gladys had the opportunity to save many girls physically by unbinding their feet. God also used Gladys’ position to provide many more opportunities to share the gospel with others.

Question 3 - When the children of Yangcheng are orphaned, Gladys willingly helps them and risks her life to bring them to safety. What does this reveal about Gladys’s worldview, what she believes is true about humans?

Discussion Guide - Discuss how Gladys’ actions reveal that she had a biblical understanding of humans, that we are all made in the image of God, and that God loves us and desires that we turn from our sin and be reconciled to Him.

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