The Inn of Sixth (actually "Eighth") Happiness, Gladys Aylward, 1930s-40s
In spite of Hollywood being Hollywood... and inventing images that are plastered throughout the world, every once in a while they mess up and produce a movie worth watching - though in their attempts to improve reality, they truly muck up the storyline. From the movie you will not learn that the real name of the Inn was... "The Inn of the Eighth Happiness" - in Mandarin, the number 8 is a revered number which speaks of the ultimate blessing and happiness. August 8 is an important day in the Chinese year. Lesson over.
Among my earliest memories was this movie I recalled from back in kindergarten (1958), "The Inn of Sixth Happiness". Until this past year, I hadn't even remembered its name, but the strangest thing happened. Having dinner with some senior friends in June 2010, I briefly mentioned the movie and asked if either person knew about a lady who was somehow connected to orphans in China that might have been depicted in a movie in the 1950s. Without hestitation, one said, "Yes, that's Gladys Aylward." And the other (whom I've known more than 35 years) mentioned her father helped Glady Aylward obtain a visa during the War.
Needless to say, when I got home I checked out the internet to see what I additional
information I might find about Gladys Aylward. And here are a few links that you might find interesting:
Glady Aylward, Missionary to China
Glady Aylward, Wikipedia
Glady Aylward, Silhouette of Determination
Glady Aylward, Marching Orders
By the way, the lady whom I've known these 35 years... back then, I remember her ask the question when many critics said, "Women are to keep silence in the church"... (not realizing that just a verse before, using the same language says, "men keep silence in the church"). that is the same lady who added, "What are women to do... if men won't go tell the Good News?" And tell me, isn't it a fact that the Good News of Jesus' Resurrection was first reported by faithful women? who had stood at the Cross just days earlier, when all the men had fled.
It is also this same lady who first introduced me to Dr. Robert Bowman founder of Far East
Broadcast Company where we spent hours of time opening up their (then) new offices in La Mirada, California,
and working on choral music used in their international broadcasts. In recent years, one of my
colleagues in public education who originally from the Philippines told me, when she was living
there, that's the very same time as a young person she started listening to FEBC and came to know Christ.
Far East Broadcast Company
Beginning in the 1970s, I not only met wonderful people who've been friends in the Lord all these years,
but also had the privilege to visit several countries. One of my fondest memories was to attend the
great All Souls - Langham Place the congregation in London
where Dr. John Stott was rector. At that service I first hear the
grand hymn "Tell Out, My Soul" by Timothy Dudley-Smith, who was the Archdeacon of Norwich at that time.
The congregation sang his hymn with such passion and joy, that I determined to return to California with it. Since then, I'm aware that
"Tell Out, My Soul" is sung throughout the church world. The following YouTubes hint of the Prom Praise music outreach to their country
and the world, that originates from All Souls - London.
When most congregations across America have given up on outreach to the world for Christ Jesus,
replacing missions with things like 'mommy and me' lunches, weekend coffee clubs for the children,
carinvals and the more traditional Easter eggs hunts, you will see from the following (I'm sure boring
stuff to some) is just a hint of what keeps me busy in my spare time as I deal with
congregations in the church (and underground church) in Armenian, the Republic of Georgia,
Romania, India, Western China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Tanzania, Nigeria, Eritrea,
Ethiopia, Mexico, Central American and Argentina. Oh yeah, and with inner-city congregations
here in L.A., too... who in their broken bilingual ability haven't heard a fraction of
the Good News most congregations have heard and forgotten.
Voices of Martyrs
Check out Project Gutenberg with many old books on-line at: Foxe's Book of Martyrs and don't forget to read about John Fetty whom I referenced on the index page of my website.
Dwight L. Moody - a man of faith who served his generation well and changed the world