"Will you take one of these parcels and pray that you will be guided to give the clothes to those most in need?"
So, with one of the unopened bundles sent from Christians in England, the merchant set off for Macao, China. Immediately upon arriving there, he went out to buy some food. Coming down the street he met a man who looked ill and starved, yet carried himself proudly in spite of the fact that all he wore on his emaciated body were a sleeveless waistcoat and a pair of ladies' panties!
The merchant stared, then gasped. This man had once been one of China's most prominent men.
"Sir, would you come and eat with me?" inquired the merchant.
"Thank you, I accept," was the dignified reply.
Together they went to a small eating house and the merchant ordered a simple meal.
"I recognized you as you came down the street," the merchant remarked as the meal progressed. "Is there anything I can do to help you?"
"I believe you are a Christian. Will you pray with me?"
The merchant bowed his head, and very simply the nobleman said, "O Lord, thank You for answering the first two parts of my prayer. You have brought me to safety; You have given me something to eat. Now please answer the third part and give me something to wear so that I can get employment and so keep my self-respect."
"I believe God has answered that prayer already," the merchant said eagerly. "Come home with me now."
Together they opened the bundle which had been sent, with loving prayers, from London and there, right on top, lay something which had very seldom come into our hands - a man's complete suit! Rarely was there ever an entire matching suit!
Weeks later those who had sent the bundle of clothes from London, received a letter from Macao, China, bearing the signature of a man who had been one of China's wealthiest and most influential men before the Communists came into power and robbed him of home, money and family.
In that letter were many grateful thanks for the clothes he had received, and through which he had been able to gain employment. Now he was hoping to save a little money so he could help his wife and family to escape and join him once more.
He told how he, a prominent Buddhist, had been stripped of all he possessed, then thrown into prison. But it was there he had come to know Jesus Christ as his Saviour and Lord.
He had lost all in this world, but he had peace and joy in his heart because he was a Christian, and nothing the enemy could do would take that from him.
~excerpt from GLADYS AYLWARD with Christine Hunter