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Gladys Aylward Review by Charlotte Gochnauer

Featuring Carol Purves
Vision Video
PO Box 540
Worcester, PA 19490

Gladys Aylward was a small lady who was led by a big God. All alone, she traveled to China to help missionary Jeannie Lawson in a small village. Together they opened an inn where they provided food shelter for muleteers passing through the mountains. They also shared the Gospel with all that visited them, including the government officials. After Jeannie passed away, Gladys began to take in unwanted children and started an orphanage for her young charges. Japanese soldiers were advancing through China, so she fled with the children into the mountains. With over 100 children, across mountains and rivers, on foot and by train, she led them to safety. With Gladys ailing and seemingly near death, the group finally arrived at a refugee village that had room to take them in. Gladys returned to England to recover and then traveled through that country, telling everyone about God's work in China. She then went to Taiwan, where she began another orphanage. She raised many children there until her death in 1970.

This DVD is a wonderful documentary of Gladys's life. The story is told by Carol Purves, who wrote Chinese Whispers: The Gladys Aylward Story. It is accompanied by photos, illustrations, and Gladys's recorded voice as she shares how the Lord worked in her life. It is 62 minutes in length with optional subtitles. The story was very detailed and accurate and even had a few humorous anecdotes that demonstrate how the Lord can work in ways that we don't expect. Throughout the story, Gladys reminds her audience of the same words that she would tell herself: to not ask anyone to do something that you yourself wouldn't do. These words are inspiring and very powerful to hear, especially for our children.

I would recommend this DVD for homeschoolers of all ages, but especially for those ages 8 and older. It is in a documentary style, but it holds the audience captive with its exciting story. My children had a hard time understanding Gladys's voice at times, so the subtitles proved to be a great help. This DVD would be very useful as a complement to your study of great missionaries or as a supplement to your history curriculum.

Product review by Charlotte Gochnauer, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, April 2009