Thursday, August 2, 2012

a little girl's calling

Let me tell you about my Great-Aunt Gladys.

While other children were playing ‘house’ or ‘truck driver’ or ‘teacher and school’ or ‘super-hero’, my Great-Aunt Gladys played ‘missionary’.  Yes, I said ‘missionary’.  Even as child, she knew that God was calling her to be a missionary.  To me, that’s incredibly awesome!

She attended Oxford College, The Medical College of Virginia, and Tulane University in preparation for becoming a medical missionary.  She became both a general medical doctor and a surgeon.

My Great-Aunt Gladys, MD, sailed for China in 1924.  She was prepared for language difficulties and oriental diseases.      

Such an example of the conditions the medical missionaries faced happened in 1935.  There was a deadly ‘scourge black fever’ that was killing thousands and wiping out whole villages in a coastal province in China.  The missionaries worked with limited resources and without enough facilities.

Her dedication to China ended after WW II when missionaries were forced to leave or become imprisoned.  The Communist Regime closed China to missionaries.  After serving about eleven years in the China mission, Aunt Gladys began her homeward journey.

She remained in the states for several years, studied a new language, and learned about diseases in the heart of Africa.  Aunt Gladys traveled to Africa in 1949 to continue her missionary career in the Kasai valley in the Congo.  She directed a women’s hospital, worked at other Congo missions, and served for many years at Bulape as well at other stations. She was among those evacuated during an Independence Revolution, but later she returned to the mission field. 

After many years of Christian service, Aunt Gladys had reached the retirement age.  Missionaries were given complete physicals when returning for furlough.  She had developed cancer and later died at Memorial Hospital in Charlotte, NC on December 28th 1964..
She dedicated her life as a medical missionary...
This is what God had planned for that little girl’s life...

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