Today I began to watch a movie I've liked for many years. It is called The Inn of the Sixth Happiness. The actress, Ingrid Bergman, plays the English missionary for China, Gladys Aylward. She did a good job. According to what I've read over the years, portions of the movie are truthful. Portions are fictional. I have read stories of this missionary a number of times since I've been a missionary-oriented person for many years. The movie was made in 1958.
One of the responses I had a few years ago was that Gladys was in the Taiwan area after the communists took over China and many people had to go to a safe place. She continued teaching. She died there January 3, 1970, just a few weeks shy of 68. I was told by someone that when Ingrid went to Taiwan to meet her, and discovered that Gladys had died, that she knelt by Glady's bed and prayed I hope Ingrid's heart was nearer and nearer to the Lord.
As I said, I had read about her in missionary books several times over the years. She was one of my missionary heroes. Hope to meet her in heaven!
Another amazing thing is the reason I had this hit my heart today and felt the Lord wanted me to share it with others, In March, 2009, the Lord laid it on me to drive out to San Diego to attend the Joel Rosenberg conference. On my way west, after spending a couple nights on the road
areas, I was heading for a blessing. One of our friends who is involved in drawing Hollywood to Christianity in many ways, did a gift for me. Shun Lee found a room for me at a Pasadena Christian college. I'd be there an extra day, and then getting to his work place right near the Hollywood Blvd.
It felt nice as I was walking into the dorm, Must have been a bit of a break time, because I didn't see very many people. When I walked down the stairs of the dorm, and turned to the entry lane area, there was a
picture on the wall of my favorite missionary, Gladys Aylward. I was absolutely amazed that God had put me in that place where my heart could be filled with rejoicing.
While watching the movie, knowing what is truthful and what is fictional, I'm absolutely living in her heart. If it didn't come through properly in the movie, I knew that much of her heart was planted to reach out to people, pouring the seed of God, the love of God. Many came to the Lord through her and through many others who poured their missionary hearts. I've read SO much about the Chinese missionaries connected to J. Hudson Taylor, my forever truthful hero.
Just now, on the movie, watching the Japanese planes dropping bombs in her town, being forced to leave soon with many, MANY children... at least 100 ... and walking many, many miles over mountains to a town that wanted them -- and that's truthful The end response of her AIN'T true. Not romance... they processed that on movies then, on movies now. According to reality, she collapsed for quite some time when reaching the safety town with the kids. NOT running back to that portion of China to be with her movie-fiance.
I know this has nothing to do with Christmas... in terms of the time-zone... but it does have much to do with Christmas, because dozens, hundreds, thousands came to the Lord in China, because of Jesus' birth.
[Oh, and BTW, the Lord truly did lay this on me today. I had thought of sharing this for quite a long time and didn't. But it hit me this morning. Not just because of the movie I was watching, but because of the joyous gift God had given me... about 3 months after Christmas, '08 ... while "seeing" her.]