The Inspiring Journey of Gladys Aylward

March is Women’s History Month. It’s a great time to learn about women who made their mark on History. Such is the story of Gladys Aylward, a British missionary whose remarkable journey is a great example of the power of determination, selflessness, and unwavering faith in God’s guidance.

Born in London in 1902, Gladys Aylward was born to help others. Her early life was marked by a longing to serve others and a deep sense of compassion for those in need. Despite lacking formal education and facing numerous obstacles along the way, Gladys was determined to fulfill her calling as a missionary.

In 1932, Gladys Aylward started her journey to China, a land known for its ancient traditions and marked by political unrest.

Despite the challenges that lay ahead, Gladys set out on a mission to bring the message of God’s love to the people of China.

But Gladys’s mission would soon take on a new urgency with the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937.

As the Japanese invasion swept across China, leaving devastation in its wake, Gladys Aylward found herself at the forefront of a humanitarian crisis.

With courage and compassion, Gladys Aylward threw herself into the task of rescuing orphaned and abandoned children, often risking her own life to bring them to safety.

Through sheer determination and unwavering faith in God’s provision, she saved hundreds of children from the horrors of war, providing them with shelter, food, and the love of a mother.

How Gladys Saved Children

Gladys Aylward travelled through war-torn regions, often going long distances on foot or by any means available.

She went into areas where others feared to go, motivated by her belief that every child deserved a chance at a better life.

Gladys demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness in her efforts to rescue children. She employed creative ways to prevent being found by enemy soldiers and travelled through difficult terrain.

In some instances, she disguised herself and the children she was rescuing to avoid detection and ensure their safety.

Once she had successfully rescued the children, Gladys worked to provide them with shelter, food, and care.

She transformed makeshift shelters into havens of refuge, where children could find solace and security amidst the chaos of war.

A picture of a couple walking in a field. Each of them is carrying a child on their back. Under the picture are the words, The inspiring Journey of Gladys Aylward.

Providing Hope and Stability

Despite limited resources, Gladys Aylward spared no effort in meeting the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of the children under her care.

Beyond meeting their immediate needs, Gladys became a surrogate mother to these children, offering them love, guidance, and support.

She provided a sense of stability and belonging in a time of uncertainty, nurturing their spirits and instilling in them a sense of hope for the future.

Gladys’s dedication to rescuing orphaned and abandoned children was fueled by her unwavering faith in God’s guidance and provision.

She drew strength from her belief that she was following God’s call to care for the “least of these,” and she entrusted each child to His loving care.

Through her selfless actions, Gladys not only saved the lives of hundreds of children but also restored their dignity and gave them a chance at a brighter future.

Standing Firm in her faith

Gladys’s journey was not without its trials. She faced countless obstacles, from navigating treacherous mountain passes to outwitting enemy soldiers. Yet, through it all, she remained firm in her knowledge that God was guiding her every step of the way.

Gladys’s incredible story of courage and selflessness captured the world’s attention, inspiring countless individuals to join her in the fight for justice and compassion.

Her legacy lives on today through the lives of the hundreds of children she saved and the countless lives she touched with her message of hope and love.

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Steps to be more like Gladys Aylward

1. Show Courage:

Like Gladys, we can face challenges with bravery and determination.

Instead of giving up when things get tough, we can summon our inner strength and tackle obstacles head-on, knowing that with courage, we can overcome any difficulty.

2. Practice Compassion:

Gladys had a big heart for those in need, especially orphaned and abandoned children. We can follow her example by showing kindness and empathy towards others, especially those who are suffering or disadvantaged.

Whether it’s lending a listening ear, offering a helping hand, or simply showing someone that they are cared for, acts of compassion can make a big difference in someone’s life.

3. Take Action:

Gladys didn’t just talk about helping others—she took action. We can follow her lead by actively seeking out opportunities to make a positive impact in our communities and beyond.

Whether it’s volunteering at a local shelter, participating in a charity event, or advocating for social justice causes, every action, no matter how small, can contribute to positive change.

4. Be Resourceful:

Gladys demonstrated remarkable resourcefulness in her efforts to rescue children, using creative tactics to overcome obstacles and navigate challenging situations.

We can cultivate our own resourcefulness by thinking outside the box, finding innovative solutions to problems, and making the most of the resources available to us.

5. Trust in God:

Throughout her life, Gladys relied on her faith in God’s guidance and provision. We can deepen our own faith by spending time in prayer, studying scripture, and seeking God’s direction in our lives.

Trusting in God’s plan for us can give us the confidence and strength we need to face whatever challenges come our way.

6. Show Perseverance:

Despite facing numerous challenges and setbacks, Gladys never gave up on her mission to help others.

We can cultivate our own perseverance by staying focused on our goals, maintaining a positive attitude, and persevering through adversity.

Remembering that every setback is an opportunity to learn and grow can help us stay motivated and resilient in the face of obstacles.


Gladys Aylward’s legacy of compassion and courage continues to inspire generations, serving as a powerful reminder of the difference that one person can make when they are willing to step out in faith and love.

As we reflect on the inspiring journey of Gladys Aylward, may we be reminded of the power of determination, selflessness, and unwavering faith to overcome even the greatest of challenges.

May her story inspire us to step out in faith, trusting in God’s guidance as we seek to make a difference in the world around us.

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