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Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  1,756 ratings  ·  77 reviews
Without formal education or a missionary organization to back her, a housemaid from England dared to answer God's call to China. What follows is an amazing adventure of faith and determination. Gladys Aylward (1902-1970) 'Ai-weh-deh' went on to become one of the greatest Christian missionaries in China and a revered figure risking her life to help orphans, prisoners and th ...more
Paperback, 205 pages
Published August 1st 1998 by YWAM Publishing,U.S. (first published 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,351)
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Tori
Jul 10, 2012 Tori rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Tori by: The local library
Gladys Aylward: The Adventure of a Lifetime is one of those rare books that renews your faith and is a grand adventure, as I believe most if not all in this series will be. As a young woman, Gladys became irrevocably convinced that God wanted her to serve as a missionary in China. Though it took her years to get there, she finally arrived in China, and started ministering to the people. Following her arrival (an adventure of its own), Gladys continued to serve God in so many incredible ways whil ...more
Amy
I read this book aloud to Aurora as part of our Sonlight curriculum this year. I don't think I, personally, would have chosen it as a read-aloud for 4th graders. The book is quite heavy. It's the true story of Gladys Aylward and her experiences as a missionary in China. It is set during the time of the second world war. Ms. Aylward's life was filled with stories of God's amazing provision but also a fair amount of blood, desperation, hunger, and death. Aurora did not like it. What stood out to h ...more
Clara Roberts
This was a very readable biography of a woman who in the 1930's felt the call of God to go to China as a missionary. She was a woman of limited means and education but she felt a strong call from God to go to China as a missionary. Despite obstacles that would cause most of us to give up she continued to be faithful to her call and God used her in a great way to bring many people to Christ. The movie the Inn of Sixth Happiness is loosely based on her life. The Inn of Sixth Happiness has a romant ...more
Roxanne Emerson benoit
Not as good as the first one that I read...but still amazing to think there are people who serve God in this way.
Ruth
Gladys Aylward may be my favorite and most beloved missionary hero of all time, which is why it saddens me that I haven't yet stumbled across a really well-written biography of her. This is my third or fourth attempt, but I still haven't found what I'm looking for. I always enjoy reading about her life, though, because each biographer highlights different aspects, so I'm always learning something new. (I read this one alongside my nephew, who's studying her for school, and it was fun to see him ...more
Joy
The dictionary defines adventure as "an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks." The life & work of missionary Gladys Aylward can be described as nothing less than an adventure. At the "old" age of 32, Gladys embarks on a journey to China, where she knows she is called to be a missionary. Filled mishaps & harrowing escapes, Gladys makes it to her destination, in the northern mountaintops of China. As sets about her work, sharing the Gospel with everyone she meets, her int ...more
Robin
This was a very inspiring book about a young woman, Gladys Aylward, and her devotion to God and the people of China. Gladys, a housmaid from England, felt called to serve the people of China. So without a formal education, an organization to support her, and with her own finanaces leaves behind all the comforts of life and begins a lifetime adventure. It was wonderful to read about all the amazing things God can accomplish with a willing servant. Her life was one of true devotion and love. Glady ...more
Jennifer
Wow, what an amazing story about Gladys Aylward, who has a heart for the lost souls in China ever since she was young!! God is truly the lover of her soul, cause she had a very satisfying life as a single woman with many adopted children. Even though she was poor and failed Bible school, she still found her way into rural China by saving money working as a housemaid. In order to get to Yangchen, she even rode a mule!!! She did whatever she could to spread the gospel by telling Bible stories as a ...more
Patricia
This is a terrific series...interesting, inspiring, and easy to read. We used these books as part of our homeschool curriculum when my kids were in middle school. Now that they are grown and done with school, I am doing a re-read of the series, just for myself. Truly, while they may be children's books, they are a wonderful, inspiring read for adults as well. There is no age limit for learning about great heroes of the Christian faith.
Linda B.D.
I watched the movie. It was fascinating. When the movie was produced, Gladys Aylward was upset that the movie portrayed her as being in love. she did meet & have a relationship with a special man. she denied any sexual relations with him until her death. Really, a great story. True story.
Rachel
Nov 12, 2010 Rachel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: My kids, any one who loves Christianity
An acquaintance of mine recently commented that great evils are perpetrated in the name of God. Another acquaintance countered that great good is, as well. This book contains the example of a woman who sincerely believed that God wanted her to be a missionary in China. She worked hard to get there, and worked hard while she was there. She seems to have truly obeyed Christ's teachings to care for the poor, the widow, the orphan, the sick, the prisoner, and to preach his word. Her example was touc ...more
Amy
Jun 18, 2014 Amy added it
Shelves: biography, kids
We enjoyed the book, she was one tough lady. The movie based on it called "the inn of the sixth happiness" is okay, but would have been so much better if they stuck with the book.
Darlene
I read this book aloud to my daughters. This is the second book that we have read in this series. Last year, we read George Müller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans.

Gladys is an inspiring woman. She felt called to go to China to spread the word of God, even though she had no formal education in ministry or the means to get there. Although she continually experienced road-blocks during her journey to China, and even once she arrived there, her determination never wavered and she persevered.

We re
...more
Rachel
I read this book to preview before reading it to my 7 yo son. Gladys Aylward had incredible passion and determination to do the work that God had placed in her heart - to love and serve the Chinese people in order to bring the Good News to them. I was encouraged in my faith as I read about the many times her life was placed in danger and yet God through His sovereignty guided her through these situations. Although this book is written for kids, I decided to wait and read this to my kids in a few ...more
Amber
Gladys Aylward is another important woman in history in my opinion. She served in rural areas of China protecting orphans and encouraging people that she met. The self-sacrifice and her constant love for the people she took care of is amazing. The journey she took with all her children is inspiring. Not a single child was left behind. Because this woman did so much I think students would enjoy hearing about how this woman single handedly provided and took care of these children who were orphaned ...more
Elizabeth Licitra
I thoroughly enjoy the YWAM series of books. I read them to my children. Gladys Aylward's life is one that seems almost too crazy to believe.
Shirley
Good book. Gladys was a remarkable person. I really enjoyed reading about her.
Rachel Heinrich
The best and most inspiring book I've read in a LONG time!!!!
Joy C.
a wonderful biography of a wonderful, godly woman! :D
Jill
I wasn't sure when we started this book what to expect, and I confess - I judged this book by it's cover. Literally. I assumed that it would be informative but painful to get through. Not at all. I did not know anything about Gladys Alyward prior to this (suffice it to say, this woman was AMAZING), but her story was spellbinding. My kids begged every night for "one more chapter." We plan on buying the rest of this series, and if this book is any indication, we have some unbelievable stories ahea ...more
Sue
Inspiring biography of Gladys Aylward, a young housemaid who felt called to missionary service in China. The film 'Inn of the Sixth Happiness' was based on her life, and I'd seen that but never read a more accurate account of how she got to China, and what she did.

Written for younger teenagers, this is a good book with an inspiring account of a very courageous and resourceful young woman. Little seemed to daunt her, yet she remained humble and always cared for individuals, particularly children.
...more
Larissa Langsather
Wow! This book tells an amazing story. My faith has been renewed. Aylward was a woman with great strength and was willing to go to unbelievable length to spread the gospel. I now feel puny. This woman traveled all over China, and made an incredible journey with 94 kids!!! when the Japanese were trying to take over. By the grace of God not a single one was seriously injured or killed. I really enjoyed this book. Very easy to read- highly recommend especially to teenagers who want to be inspired.
Emanuela
O carte frumoasa despre o viata extraordinara, traita in ascultare de Dumnezeu, Gladys Aylward a avut o credinta mare si Dumnezeu a fost cu ea... viata ei este un exemplu pentru noi, vedem cum credinta si supunerea fata de Dumnezeu ne poate schimba vietile noastre si a celor din jur. Ceea ce face aceasta carte buna este subiectul ei si viata acestei misionare, care este povestita. Totusi, din punct de vedere literar nu este scrisa extrem de bine, fiind mai mult o insiruire de fapte si intamplari ...more
Charity Cole
Loved this book for myself, but oh so glad I read the reviews on here and did not read it to my 6 and 7 year olds. It's a read in one day page turner.
Sherrill Hill
Loved this book!! I read it in less than 2 days. When I read about how the mandarin made her the "Honorable Foot Inspector" and elevated her position, I felt like I was reading about a modern-day Joseph. In spite of obstacles that would make most give up, she showed amazing courage, faith, and unwavering determination to follow God's call on her life. Her story puts our "problems" in perspective. Gladys was a completely sold-out lady for the Lord. A true Christian hero.
Jenny
This was such a great story. Gladys Aylward, a girl who didn't finish school, a house maid, felt called to the missions field in China. She couldn't make it through bible school, but that didn't stop her. With her own incredible discrimination, and God's provision, she finds herself in a small village in China. This woman was incredibly brave and the events in her life would make a great action movie. Her submission to God was a challenging testimony.
Tamara
Didn't find this easiest book to read. Struggling at times to read it but glad I did. A story of sheer gutsy determination. It is an inspiration for life and lifestyle.

It's great to read life stories of ordinary people distanced from now by time but be able to recognise in their situation the same ones in our own lives. Their ability to survve or overcome widen our own understanding, sometimes pointing the way to solutions for us today.

Erika
I read this aloud to my 2nd grader for school. What a story revealing God's amazing abilities. The way God worked in Gladys' life is the same way He can work in any of our lives, if we just ask Him and let Him. God didn't only show up in the Old Testament with Abraham and Moses.

This book has challenged me to seek God's help more, and watch for His miraculous hand.
Sarah
This book surprised me. I had never heard of this woman but her story was amazing and a true testament to the Lord who can use someone who is willing to be used by God but may not have amazing talents to recommend themselves. Great adventure. Both my husband and I enjoyed it and decided to read more in the series because this one was so great!
Homeschoolmama
Just started this series. Gladys Aylward was a woman from England who went to war torn China in the early 20th century as a missionary when she was only 20 years old. The book (and whole series I think) is geared for young teens but I enjoy books for any age, really. Chock full of adventures, inspiring feats and trials beyond my imagination.
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School Librarians...: Best Source Of Christian Biographies 1 12 Oct 01, 2014 11:40AM  
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  • Peter the Great
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  • In Search of the Source: A First Encounter with God's Word
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Janet and Geoff Benge are a husband and wife writing team with twenty years of writing experience. They are best known for the books in the two series Christian Heroes: Then & Now series and Heroes of History. Janet is a former elementary school teacher. Geoff holds a degree in history. Together they have a passion to make history come alive for a new generation. Originally from New Zealand, t ...more
More about Janet Benge...
George Muller: The Guardian of Bristol's Orphans (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems Eric Liddell: Something Greater Than Gold Mary Slessor: Forward into Calabar (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) David Livingstone: Africa's Trailblazer (Christian Heroes: Then & Now)

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