The Latymer School History Magazine - page 22

18
THE VIRTUOUS SERVANT OF
CHINA: GLADYS AYLWARD
By Ellena Dracou- Year 10
Aylward with her orphans
Gladys Aylward- determined,
inspirational but yet her story
is still imminent and
unfamiliar.
Set the task of finding
someone who ‘shaped
history’, I decided to focus on
someone who isn’t as
notable as the likes of Martin
Luther King or Mahatma
Gandhi. Whilst conducting
my research I came across
Gladys Aylward - some might
recognise the surname. After
a brief review of her life, it
struck me as odd how I had
never heard of her, or her
story before. Despite this,
her connections to
Edmonton and a nearby
secondary school left me
eager to explore Ms. Aylward
and the mystery of her life.
Born as Gladys May Aylward
in Edmonton, London, she
spent the early years of her
life working as a housemaid
and reconciling with God.
Her regular attendance of
Young Life services, a group
of leaders whose aim is to
build relationships with
younger children, birthed a
persistent desire to travel to
China herself – at that time, a
distant and secretive, yet
inviting, far-away land. At 28,
her application to the CIM
(China Inland Mission) was
rejected on the basis of her
being ‘too old to learn such a
complicated language’.
Despite her dreams being
crushed, her determination
was such that, in 1932, she
spent her life savings on a
one-way ticket to Yangcheng,
China, carrying merely two
suitcases and wearing a
bright orange jacket. The
precarious trip took her
across Siberia, where she
was forced to leave the train
as it was required by Russian
troops and was therefore
forced to walk to her desired
1...,12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21 23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32,...48
Powered by FlippingBook