as a chamber maid until she had enough funds to pay for a single ticket on the trans-Siberian train to China.
Gladys’ journey was halted in Moscow and in spite of her protests and evidence of a ticket to China, she was told that she would not be allowed to go any further. She was ushered off the train and pushed in to a tiny, icy-cold hotel room which had no light. She had no idea where she was and no way of communicating with anyone. She sat on the bed, too cold to sleep and very hungry. Gladys prayed. Later, in the middle of the dark night, she heard a very feint knock on the door. She opened the door and a lady’s voice beckoned her in English to go with her immediately to catch the next boat to Japan or she would never get out of there. The stranger led Gladys to the docks and to a boat where the captain admitted her solely on the strength of her British passport. Via a mission station in Japan Gladys then arrived in China.
Gladys never knew how the little lady knew that she was bound for China, or even how she knew where to find her in the dark hotel, but she did learn the power of prayer! Acts 5:19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth…
Gladys settled in the Shansi province where she lived an upright and righteous life but experienced much opposition and danger. Her goal was to teach and lead the people unto Christ; not to be loved by the people as much as that the people would love God. The spirit of the age in which we live prefers to make Christian leaders admired like hero’s, but Scripture says: 1Jn 3:13 Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.
Gladys was hated because the Gospel message she brought, brought an end to Chinese customs such as men having the right to beat their wives and bind their daughters’ feet.
She lived in peril but knew God’s peace. She took great risks but saw God’s great reward. She saw the miraculous not fathomed by lost man.
Gladys’ most famous feat was marching 100 Chinese children over the high, rocky mountains and over the Yellow river to safety. Gladys was very ill by the time they got to the Yellow river and the news that Chinese boat crossings had been banned nearly destroyed her.
She barely coped as the little ones bombarded her with questions as to how and when they were going to be able to cross the river.
Gladys prayed weakly but a few days passed without a sign of help. Then one of the older children came to Gladys and asked her why God would not part the Yellow River as He had the Red Sea for the Israelites. Gladys asked the girl herself to pray and no sooner had she finished praying than a Chinese officer came over to inspect the group. Totally uncharacteristically, he went against his orders and got his men to bring a few boats out to transport the group across the water, in spite of great danger as the Japanese were less than a day’s march away.
God used the delay in His answer to grow faith in the heart of that young girl and the children. God turned the heart of this officer to favour is children: Ezra 6:22 …for the LORD had made them joyful, and turned the heart of the king of Assyria unto them, to strengthen their hands in the work of the house of God, the God of Israel. The spirit of this age would have us devise whatever self-help schemes we can dream up, but the Spirit of God would have us wait for the perfect plan of God.