Gladys Aylward saw herself as a simple woman who just did that God called her to do. Yet, her life was so remarkable that both a book (The Small Woman) and a movie (The Inn of Sixth Happiness) were produced about the great things God accomplished through her.
A British citizen, Aylward left her home in 1920 and sailed for China. There she bought orphans who were being systematically discarded, children who had been displaced by the political upheavals of the time and left to starve or wander on their own until placed in government warehouses. Gladys gave these children a home.
When Japanese invaded China, she was forced to flee the mainland with 100 children. She ended up on the island of Formosa with the children. There she continued to devote her life to raising children who knew no other mother.
Gladys explained her amazing work for God like this: “I did not choose this. I was led into it by God. I am not really more interested in children than I am in other people, but God through His Holy Spirit gave me to understand that this is what He wanted me to do, so I did.”
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. ~ John 14:12