Author: PHYLLIS THOMPSON
Publisher: 10 Publishing
‘Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them’ (Matthew 6:26 NIV).
Gladys Aylward, or Ai Weh Teh, meaning ‘virtuous one’, was an unlikely candidate to be a missionary in China. She had left school at the age of 14, never passed any exams, and had never travelled further from London than the Isle of Wight. After being turned down by the China Inland Mission, she still believed that it was God’s plan for her to go to China, so she started to save her money. This is an amazing story of how God provided for this ‘London sparrow’ throughout her life.
After being inspired by other books about her missionary life, I was intrigued to read this new and well-researched title. The author spoke with Miss Aylward’s relatives and friends and had also met her in person. A London Sparrow recounts not only her time in China, but also when she had to return to England and her final years in Taiwan. This little but determined lady revealed her trust in God as she escaped a war in China with about 100 children in tow, stopped a riot in a prison, and cared for lepers in Taiwan.
There are parts of Miss Aylward’s life that seem to be skipped over too quickly. The author also writes that Aylward ‘preached’ to many, particularly during her time in Taiwan, but doesn’t comment on the context and whether this was in accordance with Scripture.
Otherwise, it is a well-written and easy read that will appeal to older children and adults alike. I was left in awe as to how God often uses the weak to bring himself glory.