Friday, February 19, 2016

How Ingrid Bergman found Christ

Gladys Aylward was a housemaid in London. For years she had dreamt of being a missionary in China. When the China Inland Mission turned her down, she decided to go alone.

She saved for months for the fare, then travelled overland - the cheapest way to go - carrying a suitcase of baked beans, hard-boiled eggs and cream crackers to feed her on the journey.

In China, she learned to speak fluent Chinese and had some amazing adventures, not least when she led more than 100 orphan children through Japanese-occupied territory to freedom.

It was decided to make a film of her life called The Inn of the Sixth Happiness; Ingrid Bergman was chosen to play "the small woman" (Gladys Aylward was just 4ft 10in tall). Gladys was critical, having heard that Bergman had had children out of wedlock with film director Roberto Rossellini.

Bergman was so moved by the story of Gladys Aylward that she felt she must meet her. She travelled to Taiwan, where Gladys was living. Unfortunately, by the time she arrived, Gladys had died.

Kathleen Langton-Smith, who had gone out to Taiwan to help Gladys, showed her the room where Gladys had lived and the bed in which she had slept. Bergman was so overcome she fell to her knees in tears. Kathleen used the occasion to lead her to Christ.

You can read more details of the story here.

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