Gladys Aylward 4 

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One day a Mandarin came to see Gladys. He was a very important man in the Chinese government and he wanted her help to stop people from binding up the feet of baby girls.

This had been going on for hundreds of years. It was usually done by people who were well off. Tight bandages were wrapped around the little girls' feet to keep them small and dainty. The girls' feet could not grow properly and when the girls grew up they could not walk properly.China now had a new government. They knew that binding up girls' feet was wrong and they wanted to stop people from doing it.

The Mandarin wanted Gladys to take the job of foot inspector and Gladys said she would.

She was paid for her work and she needed the money to help run the inn. She spent a lot of time going around inspecting baby girls' feet and making sure that they had not been bound up.



                                                     Picture of Mandarin                                                                                               Gladys Aylward inspecting feet


                                        Picture of the Mandarin's palace. 

As she travelled she talked to the people she met and told them about Jesus and about God.

Some time later the Mandarin asked Gladys to come and see him in his palace.

She found that the Mandarin had a prison warden with him . The men in the prison had rioted. They fought with each other and some prisoners had been killed. Even the guards were frightened and they had no idea how to stop the riot.

 Now Gladys had said that if she trusted in Jesus he would protect her. The Mandarin thought that she would be safe if she went among the prisoners. She walked into the courtyard and shouted,"Quiet.!"


Now Gladys was a small woman and anyone might have thought that the prisoners would take no notice of her but when she asked for quiet the noise stopped and they listened to her. She asked them to find a few spokesmen to come and tell her what the prisoners thought was wrong and why there was a riot.



                                                                                        Picture of the prison. 


Gladys listened to what they had to say. She found that there were two things wrong. The prisoners did not have enough food and they had too little to do so they were very bored. Gladys told the warden that things would be better if the men could be given some work to do and be paid for it. Someone gave them some old looms so the prisoners could weave cloth for uniforms. They also got a grindstone so the men could grind grain. The prisoners could now earn enough money to pay for their food.

When people heard that Gladys had been so brave they came to like her very much. They knew that she was a holy person. The people had a new name for her after what she had doneCalling her "Ai-Weh-Deh," which means "the Virtuous One."

The Mandarin also liked her and she often visited him in his palace.


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