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Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman Paperback – June 1, 1970

4.8 out of 5 stars 217 customer reviews

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About the Author

GLADYS AYLWARD (1902-1970) is known as ¿The Little Woman¿ or ¿Virtuous One¿ who was a missionary to China for many years. At the beginning of her tenure, Gladys joined a seasoned missionary widow to run an inn where, in the evening, they would entertain their guests with stories from the Bible. Gladys also began taking children into her home, and soon she had an orphanage with about 100 children. She is author her autobiography entitled Gladys Aylward: The Little Woman. The 1958 film Inn of the Sixth Happiness, is loosely based on events from her life. Gladys died in Taiwan at age 67 of pneumonia.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Moody Publishers; New Edition edition (June 1, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802429866
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802429865
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.4 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (217 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #85,870 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Clare Chu on August 9, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is in my opinion the best one of the biographies of Gladys Aylward. I've read the others, but they were seen through another author and seemed more like adventure stories. This autobiography, however, puts you in Gladys' shoes so you can see and feel her prayerful reliance on God. You'll see God work through this humble parlourmaid, calling her to China and her obedience through the most harrowing circumstances. Gladys did what God told her to do and trusted in God to provide the means, even when it did not seem obvious and the hardships were many.
Every time Gladys got into a dangerous predicament, God would move His Hand and send deliverance, a woman speaking English in Siberia, a Japanese sea captain taking her prisoner, or a Nationalist patrol boat that just happened upon a prayer meeting held at the banks of the Hwang Ho where 100 children asked God to part the river for them to cross.
God worked through Gladys to change the lives of slaves, murderers, children, Mandarin officials, bandit generals, lepers, students and many many ordinary villagers, throughout the remote mountainous area Gladys was called to. And He furnished the way, whether it was as a foot-inspector, or in a prison riot, or while warplanes droned overhead in caves and tents, even to a Tibetan Lamaist monastery and finally to an Irish asylum. Everywhere God called Gladys, He used her to touch and transform thousands of ordinary lives. Gladys arrived in China penniless, and she left China almost 20 years later penniless. Every step of the way she trusted God for His provision and His leading. This is truly a story that will inspire you and teach you what great things God can do through a humble person who trusts and obeys Him.
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By A Customer on October 17, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is about true Christianity. If you are tired of hearing about doctrine and interpretation, if you are weary of discussions about social issues that divide and polarize people, if you are suspicious of the Christianity you see around you, if you find religion reprehensible, read this book. You will see a picture of true Christianity.
This is a story that is not so much about Gladys Aylward as it is about God working through a willing and humble servant. This book is not about a great woman; this book is about a small, powerless and vulnerable human who was strengthened and loved by a great God. As she could not keep God's love, mercy, power and grace all to herself, she proceeded to share it with everyone and anyone around her, whatever the cost.
Repeatedly she risked her life to share God's love with those around her. The story is remarkable and miraculous because Gladys Aylward was so willing to get out of the way and let God work through her. She submitted her life, body and soul completely to her maker and let Him use her in any way he needed. This is a beautiful picture of servitude and an inspiration to those of us who try to live as Christians today in an opulent, spoiled and dark society. We cannot help but be humbled by this beautiful servant of God who repeatedly came near death in order to share the good news of Jesus Christ with those around her.
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Format: Paperback
Gladys Aylward was a housemaid in England when she felt God calling her to China. The mission she applied to turned her down because of lack of education, fearing that she'd never be able to learn the language. The belief in her call, however, caused her to persevere, raise the money, and head out to China by train by herself, with only a letter of recommendation to an elderly missionary in a secluded station in north China.
Not only did she learn the language, but she became the local foot-inspecter, preventing parents from binding the feet of their daughters, and used the opportunity to share the gospel in many of the surrounding villages.
She also began taking care of orphans and children that had been sold. During WW2, she led a hundred children on a few days march to the safety of another city. This episode was the highlight of the movie made about her, "Inn of the Sixth Happiness" (which is pretty much the fictitious telling of her amazing life).
The book doesn't go into any detail of her life after she left mainland China and began work in Taiwan and Hong Kong among the refugees and orphans, but it's an exciting, quick-moving story, that one could easily read in a day or two.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The movie made from this woman's life, The Inn of the 5th Happiness, was great. This book is even better. There are more miracles told of, and of course it is free of any Hollywood add-ons. This is the story of a parlor maid who feels a call, of all things, to go to China. She meets only discouragement and is told by a local missionary board that she is not qualified. But Gladys audibly hears from YHWH that she is to go. She saves her pennies and takes a train, alone, from England to China!

On the trip Gladys just barely escapes being abducted by greedy and lascivious (to put it mildly) Communists who think she could be useful as they think a missionary is a machinist. When she gets to China - where she speaks not one word of the language - all she has to greet her is a 73 year old missionary living in virtual poverty who had prayed for a young woman to come and replace her. Good thing. The elderly lady died in about a year. Gladys became an inn keeper for mulemen, and a government foot inspector (the Chinese law was saying women could no longer bind their feet.)

Wherever she went she preached the Gospel fearlessly and won many converts, including the local Mandarin who became a great friend of hers. Along the way she gave up her dream of one day marrying and having her own children. But she had plenty of children - I think about 20 officially, some abandoned, orphaned, or bought from those who were going to sell them for evil purposes. She also managed to get 100 children - 3 to 16 years old - over "impassable" mountains, mostly alone and mostly with only the meager food they could beg in their war ravaged area. They needed to reach a Christian missionary orphanage and did so - though at the cost of Glady's health in many ways.
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