“Mother of China’s Orphans” Ai Weide, Yangcheng and Liufu Inn: A story of twists and turns . . .

After a deliberate search for new information regarding Gladys Aylward, who was a close colleague of my great-grandparents, I decided to search ‘backwards’ through Google Translate. By using the Chinese name for the Inn of the Eight Happinesses I was excited to discover a new news article about Gladys Aylward! It was recently published in the Shanxi Evening News on the 26th of July, 2018.

I have attempted to translate this article, published into Chinese, through Google Translate. I do not own any of the information or photographs reproduced in this blog post. I hope you too will be as excited as I am to discover the surprising and sudden resurgence of interest in Shanxi purporting to the Small Woman of Edmonton . . .

The original webpage –  http://jc.sxgov.cn/content/2018-07/26/content_8882440.htm


British Ambassador visiting Liufu Inn or The Inn of the Eight Happinesses

On June 8th at the No. 25 Beichengyu, Dongguan Community, Yangcheng County, a tall member of the British Embassy in China stood in front of an old house that the locals used to call “No. 6 Lane”. Behind them sits a British woman wearing a cheongsam, watching them from a black and white photograph hanging on the wall of the courtyard.

“Her eyes are full of love.”

After listening carefully to the accompanying staff about the woman in the photograph, the British Ambassador’s heart was full of admiration.

The lady they spoke of was called Ai Weide: the Virtuous One,  an independent British missionary.

In 1930, this woman, who was only 4’9” tall and weighed only 40 kilograms, with very little money, a Bible and a train ticket, travelled all the way to China on her own. She settled in Yangcheng County, Taihang Mountain, where she opened an inn and adopted orphans. She saved refugees and did many good things.

Whilst she was there, in order to eliminate the shackles, the Yangcheng County Government of the Republic of China hired her to be a foot inspector, to stop foot binding in Shanxi. For this reason, she travelled to almost every village in Yangcheng. In the spring of 1940, in order to avoid the atrocities committed by the Japanese invaders, this small woman walked alone, leading more than 100 Chinese orphans over the mountains, for 27 days, to the Shaanxi Fufeng Orphanage.

Gladys before she came to China

Her legendary story was later written by the British journalist Alan Burgess as “The Small Woman” and was also adapted into a radio drama. In 1958, with the release of the Hollywood film “Liufu Inn” or “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”, Ai Weide’s story in Yangcheng, China, began to be known around the world.

Since 1991, many tourists from Europe and the United States have come to Yangcheng to find this “international legend” whose story has been circulating in Europe and America for half a century, to witness a picture of Ai Weide’s life in Yangcheng. A weather-beaten relic, Ai Weide’s story is very moving, and hers is a story about carrying out the humanitarian spirit in Yangcheng.


Ai Weide was born into an ordinary family in Edmonton, North London, and then moved to Cheddington Street, Enfield, London. Roque, the British Ambassador, who will return to the UK in August and September this year, said that he will strive for a friendly relationship between Enfield and Yangcheng in the UK.

Many foreign friends, domestic scholars, and reporters have visited Liufu Inn

The area starts from Binhe West Road in the east, Jiannan Bridge in the west, Nanhuan Street in the south, and Xintan Road in the north. The area of ​​about 94 hectares is the site of Yangcheng’s Ancient County. This blue-brick wall built in the Ming Dynasty is less than one mile from the north to the south, and the length of the east and west is only three miles.

Ancient city wall near Dongguan community in Yangcheng County

Outside the East Gate of the ancient county seat, there is an old house with the number 6 on the back lane. There is the word “Old Jesus Hall” on the wall.

Yang Quanwang, who lives in the alley, is more than 200 meters away from the “Old Jesus Hall”. “When I was a child, I often passed by and even ran into this yard, but I didn’t know the history related to the yard.” Yang Quanwang, 49, was the manager of Liufu Inn Tourism Company four years ago.

The small street where the old Jesus Church is located

Yang Quanwang can relate a list of foreign friends, domestic scholars and media reporters who have visited Liufu Inn from Yangcheng from 1991 to June 2018.

“Ai Weide’s legendary experiences, foreigners know that many Chinese people also know that Jincheng people, including Yangcheng, are very strange.” Yang Quanwang said: “In these years, I saw old foreigners going there. The old house is crowded and the neighbors are surprised.”

“You must pay attention to this place. In the West, some people don’t know China’s Zhengzhou and Taiyuan, but no one will not know China’s Yangcheng.”

In 2003, accompanied by a foreign counterpart, a professor at Zhengzhou Sias International University, left these sincere words.


Ai Weide’s old Jesus Hall in Yangcheng

The “Old Jesus Hall” is a typical southeastern style second floor courtyard house located in a narrow alley in the Dongguan community of Fengcheng Town, Yangcheng County. At the eastern gate there are three grades of bluestone steps. On the north wall of the door, there is the words “No. 6 of the Old Jesus Church Lane”. Crossing the high threshold, passing through the deep aisle, entering the doorway with the word “retreat” from the door to the right, the small second-floor courtyard has a view. The stairs and the second floor guardrail are all wooden.

No. 6 on the back lane

At that time, Mrs. Rosen (the wife of the British missionary Rosen) and Ai Weide ran through the narrow “back lane” every day between the Liufu Inn and the church.

(Ben’s note– Gladys ran the mission with Mrs. Jeannie Lawson, who worked alongside Mrs. Smith, the widow of the British missionary, Mr. Stanley P Smith. Mr and Mrs Smith ran the neighbouring mission at Tsehchow, Jincheng, whereas, I think the writer of this article means to say that Mrs. Jeannie Lawson worked alongside Gladys at Yangcheng.)

The North Building in the courtyard is the Church of Jesus used by Mrs. Rosen to teach, and Ai Weide lived in the northwest corner of the second floor of the North Building.

This is a cabin of only 10 square meters, and the floor is still paved with tiles in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. There are two wooden windows in the house. “The bed she sleeps is leaning against the window of the western wall, and the east corner is the dressing table.” Yang Quanwang said.


The photograph is of Ingrid Bergman who portrayed Gladys in the film “The Inn of the Sixth Happiness”

“In 1903, the Englishman Smith came to Yangcheng to preach and set up a church in the back lane of Dongguan City. After 1921, the three British people taught in turn. In 1938, the Japanese invaded Yangcheng.” This is a passage from the 1994 edition of “Yangcheng County”, in which the “Ai Shishi” is Ai Weide. According to research, Ai Weide left Yangcheng when she led more than 100 Chinese orphans to Shaanxi in the spring of 1940.

What did the British missionary come to Yangcheng? Most of the native Yangcheng people, including Yang Quanwang, know nothing about it.

“Little Women”, “Ai Weide’s Life”, “Liufu Inn”… From the scattered materials of books and videos related to Ai Weide left by foreigners who came to Yangfu to visit Liufu Inn, the image of Ai Weide was gradually completed in the minds of Yangcheng people.

A “little woman” who came to Yangcheng after a wave of twists and turns

According to the relevant existing data, you can clearly outline the experience of Ai Weide before China.

On February 24, 1902, Ai Weide was born to a postman father in Edmonton, North London. Because of her poor family, she has been a maid from a very young age. At the age of 27, Ai Weide wanted to preach in China, but she was not qualified.


In the 1930s, two missionaries from the United Kingdom came to Yangcheng County, and because of their advancing age, repeatedly asked the British to send people to take over. Yangcheng is a remote place, no one wants to come.

Ai Weide, who got the news, decided to go to China alone. Since the ticket to China was as high as £90, she had to travel to China on a cheap but difficult road: from London, across Eurasia via the Siberian Railway, and then to Japan and finally to Tianjin. Under the introduction of the Chinese Missionary Church in Tianjin, she came to Yangcheng and worked as an assistant to Mrs. Lawson at “Liufu Inn”.

Ai Weide arrived in Yangcheng in December 1930. Regarding this history, the book “Yangcheng Customs” published by Yangcheng County in 2011 has a written record: “The Qing dynasty twenty-nine years (1903) before and after the introduction of Christianity into Yangcheng, the history of the missionary of the Jincheng Church in England. Mide (Smith) sent Gianni Rosen (Jeannie Lawson) to Yangcheng to preach. In the meantime, he bought 33 house in the back lane of Dongguan Street in the county town and established a church (Jesus Hall). The first year of Qing Xuantong (1910) After Rosen (Lawson) died, for Gianni Rosen (Jeannie Lawson) was old, the English missionary Gratis Ai Weide (Gladys Aylward) came to Yangcheng to preach. When the soldiers were warring, they were moving all over the place. Ai Weide opened an orphanage in the back lane of the county gate and established a car-horse shop that used its income to preach and raise wounded soldiers, fund refugees, and adopt orphans.”

The courtyard bought by Mrs. Lawson, who arrived in Yangcheng earlier than Ai Weide, is said to be very cheap. The reason for the cheapness is that the nearby villagers have said that they are “noisy”.

A photograph of Gladys and Jeannie Lawson

Although the ancient Yangcheng County is not large, it is an important place for business travel, and it is also a resting place for travellers from the south to the north. Due to the limited geographical area of ​​Yangcheng County, the traffic congestion and the constant flow of merchants, many small inns have been extended to the hillside outside the city wall. Mrs. Lawson bought the courtyard of the “33 houses”, and let Ai Weide know of her idea of opening an Inn, the ​”Liufu Inn”.

Her thoughts coincided with Mrs. Lawson, and Liufu Inn soon opened. After all, the inn could attract merchants and bring in a certain amount of income. It was then used to spread the gospel and use the income to help the poor and orphans. It served many purposes.

In 1931, Mrs. Rosen accidentally fell to her death. Ai Weide became the new head of Liufu Inn.


She struggled to help the Chinese in the War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression

Yangcheng is a remote town located in the Taihang Mountains. When people saw the “foreign devil” standing at the entrance of the inn, they were frightened.

As she was the only woman in Yangcheng who had “a pair of big feet”, she was entrusted by the county magistrate the duty to be “supervising commissioner for the ban on foot-binding”. She helped the government with her persistent love and her firm belief. Whilst helping women to change their habits, she went to the prison alone to help the government calm a prisoners’ riot! Her good deeds gradually won the trust of the local people, the officials and the county magistrate. The “Liufu Inn” is famous for it.

Ai Weide is a very talented person. She could not only communicate with people in fluent Chinese, but even used Yangcheng dialect to chat with the people. Due to the complex terrain, Yangcheng’s dialect has different voices, and she learned five Yangcheng dialects.

(Another personal note: the boy in the centre of this photograph is my grandfather, Murray Davies, the son of missionaries, David and Jean Davies who worked alongside Gladys Aylward. David became Gladys’ Superintendent.)

Ai Weide is at the Lufu Inn with the rescue orphans

In 1938, the Japanese army occupied Yangcheng. Ai Weide, who had adopted more than 100 orphans, felt a huge threat. She decided to send the poor children to the orphanage in Xi’an to avoid the threat of war.

In the spring of 1940, she took more than 100 orphans to sleep and walk through the mountains. After 27 days, she climbed over the Zhongtiao Mountains, crossed the Yellow River, climbed the coal trains, and finally handed the orphans to the Fufeng County Orphanage founded by Song Meiling. A feat that is unimaginable for ordinary people.

After arriving at Fufeng, Ai Weide gathered the children to name them: more than 100 children, all of them! She suddenly passed out.

Zhang Shishan and Tan Yufang’s “Liufu Inn”

“My children? Where are my children? Japanese devils surround us, these beasts will kill us. I know they will kill us…” At the church hospital, doctors found a woman lying in bed, Ai Weide would wake up screaming. At first, the doctors only knew that a series of Chinese local dialects spat out of her mouth. Later, it was heard that this was a dialect from the mountains of northern China.

27 days of unspeakable trips, led to Ai Weide’s brain injury, her suffering from pneumonia and typhoid, a bullet in her shoulder, combined with malnutrition, caused high fever.

After a year of treatment in the hospital, Ai Weide, who had not recovered, learned from the doctor’s mouth: “The only hope for recovery is to return to the United Kingdom to recuperate.” However, the penniless Ai Weide wanted to return home to Yangcheng. .

Ai Weide, who was discharged from the hospital, went to Lanzhou and Chengdu to help the poor and leprosy patients there.

Ai Weide like (source network)

Once, Ai Weide accompanied the American missionaries to visit a refugee center. A woman who spoke English said hello to her. Ai Weide immediately recognized the woman in front of her, “I met in Yangcheng,” and then the two of them talked excitedly together in a Yangcheng dialect.

“Have you ever heard of a woman named Ai Weide?” The women were overheard by an accompanying American. After learning that Ai Weide had lived in Shanxi, he curiously asked her: “A few years ago, she had been in the mountains with the Japanese army. Would you know what happened to her? She must be a hero, otherwise there would not be so many stories circulating about her.”

“Yes, I know.” Ai Weide said: “That is me.”

Ai Weide’s calm words made the Americans in front of them surprised and speechless. That year, it was the 17th year of Ai Weide in China.

In the spring of 1949, the 47-year-old Ai Weide returned to the United Kingdom for 18 years.

Her deeds have shocked Europe and the United States.

After returning to the UK, Ai Weide wrote the autobiography “My Heart is in China.” After seeing the British writer Alan Burgess, he wrote the English-language biography novel “Small Woman” and his biography of Gladys was the best-selling book of the time.

In fact, Ai Weide’s deeds have long shocked Europe and the United States. During the war of resistance, Ai Weide, who witnessed the atrocities of the Japanese army, disregarded the church’s repeated demands for “neutrality” and slammed the Japanese indiscriminate killing of innocents.

The orphans who were rescued that year came to see Ai Weide with their children.

In the spring of 1938, the war quickly spread from the North China Plain to the remote mountainous city of Yangcheng. One afternoon, two Japanese planes bombed the county town and bombed 24 pieces. One of the bombs bombed the Lufu Inn outside the city. Ai Weide, who was praying for peace in her room, was crushed under the rubble. Fortunately, she was only slightly injured and others were safe. After the Japanese occupation of Yangcheng, Ai Weide moved with several of her adopted orphans. In a hole in the cave, she established a temporary “hospital” to continuously treat injured patients, both military and civilians.

In February 1939, the main force of the Japanese army temporarily withdrew from Jincheng. Ai Weide went to Jincheng to visit the co-workers of the mainland mission station. An emergency made her deepen her hatred of the Japanese.

One night, several drunken Japanese soldiers stayed behind and broke into the mission station, yelling and screaming for drunkenness. Ai Weide, who had been negotiating, was hit by a soldier with a butt.

During the temporary stay in Jincheng, a reporter of Time magazine of the United States came to interview Ai Weide. At that time, Ai Weide said in English that the mission group was neutral, but she hated the Japanese atrocities. In addition to publicly expressing her views, she also passed the secrets of the known Japanese intelligence to the Chinese army. She said that she is a Chinese. Although her nose is high, her heart is Chinese. She cannot ignore the Japanese atrocities.

Jincheng writer Lin Yun’s “Six Fu Inn in the World”

This is a rare plot in the local history of Yangcheng.

Soon, bad news came, and the Japanese troops who were carrying out the “sweeping” in the spring once again approached Jincheng. A notice was posted everywhere and shocked Ai Weide.

This notice was clearly written in both Chinese and English: “The reward for catching the ‘Little Lady Ai Weide’ is a bounty of 100 US dollars.” Because Ai Weide slammed the Japanese atrocities in Time magazine, she had become the target of Japanese arrest.

Ai Weide, who ridiculed herself that she was “not so valuable”, felt that she and the mission station were within the focus of the Japanese army. After weighing the pros and cons, there was a big shift that shocked future generations.

Crested mountains

About 480 kilometers from Yangcheng to Xi’an, almost all of them are mountain roads. Ai Weide led this special “force” of orphans and spent 27 days to reach Xi’an.

At that time, Ai Weide led the children to go out to the Taihang, climb over the Zhongtiao Mountain, and the difficult migration of the trekking was carried out in the film “Liufu Inn”, but the specific location and route of the year was unknown.

“This may be due to Ai Weide’s unfamiliarity with Yangcheng to the distorted location.” In 2012, Jincheng writer Lin Yun began to write the book “Six Fu Inn in the World”. “In the 27-day trip, the journey from Yangcheng to the Yellow River for 12 days was particularly striking.”

Lin Yun of Yangcheng is a “little woman” who is almost the same as Ai Weide.

In order to find the walking route of Ai Weide, Lin Yun repeatedly consulted the materials and visited the elderly informed people. With the companionship of friends, more than ten times she went from Yangcheng on foot, went deep into the distortion and Henan territory, and several times of research, finally was able to determine the route of Ai Weide’s previous journey: from Yangcheng, through Pingtou, Wuli, Fengtou, Liuzhuang, Jialing, Huoxiling, Jiechengshanjia Madi, Huanghe Town, Zhongsi Village, Ri Yao Village, Heiwei Mountain, Yunmengshan Management Station, Huashigou, Peak Village, Majiahe, Yuanqu Dongping Village, Wuliyin, Shangxia Shilipo, Tongshan Town, and ancient towns. After crossing the Yellow River in the original Dongtan Wharf, they arrived at Dianchi County, Henan Province.


“In March of 1940, only this route was within the jurisdiction of the Nanyang Communist Anti-Japanese government, which was relatively safe, flat and concealed.” Lin Yun said: “It can also be seen from the map that the shortest route in the ancient towns was almost straight. After that, Ai Weide and the children went through the “risk of the mountain” and when they were rejected by Xi’an, they finally settled in the Fufeng Orphanage. “At the time, Ai Weide led the children, the oldest being only fifteen or sixteen years old, and the youngest being only six years old.” Lin Yun spent two years writing this book.

Ai Weide’s deeds shocked Europe and the United States and inspired countless young Americans to come to China to participate in the War of Resistance Against Japan, including many of the Flying Tigers’ pilots. Some commentators believe that Ai Weide is one of the most important people who influenced the American people’s support for China’s war of resistance against Japan.

Hollywood’s eponymous film lets Liufu Inn go to the world

In 1936, Ai Weide, who lived in Yangcheng for 6 years, became a Chinese national. Since then, this short, brown-haired, deep-eyed, high-nosed European had become an authentic Chinese peasant woman.

In 1949, Ai Weide left China. Although she enjoyed warm family in the English country, her home was still the ancient country of the East. In 1957, Ai Weide went to Hong Kong to work at a charity. Later, due to the expiration of the visa period for residence in Hong Kong, it was difficult for foreign missionaries to enter mainland China. Ai Weide decided to go to Taiwan. When leaving by boat, Ai Weide looked at the mainland and couldn’t help but burst into tears.

North House is the Church of Jesus of Ai Weide

In Taiwan, Ai Weide established the “Aiweide Orphanage”. In 1959, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) television program reported her story again. The British Archbishop personally met her, and the Queen invited her to talk to Buckingham Palace. Ai Weide was busy still raising funds to help Taiwanese orphans.

On New Year’s Day in 1970, Ai Weide suffered from a cold and could not afford to go to the orphanage after attending a women’s prayer meeting. Diagnosed by a doctor: the flu turned into pneumonia. Two days later, the sad news came out: 68-year-old Ai Weide died.

Poster of “Liufu Inn” starring Ingrid Bergman

Ai Weide was buried in a campus in Danshui Town, Taipei County. According to the wishes of her life, Ai Weide, in the tomb, was brought to the mainland to express her deep attachment to the land she once lived in.

In 1970, when Hollywood star Ingrid Bergman went to Taiwan to visit Ai Weide, she was upset by the fact that Ai Weide had just passed away.

Ai Weide, who is only 1.5 meters tall and weighs only 40 kilograms, is obviously not the same height as Ingrid Bergman, who is 1.83 meters tall in the movie “Liufu Inn”.

Ai Weide’s Tomb (Source Network)

This film with a length of 158 minutes, although the image difference between the prototype and the actor is large, because of the great appeal of Ingrid Bergman, after the film was released, Ai Weide was made famous. “Liufu Inn is in Yangcheng, Shanxi”, and is also known by Europeans and Americans due to this film.

However, due to historical reasons, the legendary story of Liufu Inn is rarely known in China.

Yangcheng Dongguan City Street is faintly discernible in the movie “Liufu Inn”

Yang Quanwang’s Dongguan Community is located in Beichengyu, outside the east gate of Guyangcheng County. The Lufu Inn was located in Dongguan Street today, and still retains the streets and towns of Laoyangcheng County. It has become a must-see for tourists visiting Yangcheng City to explore the customs of Guyang City.

“If you filmed “Liufu Inn” in the same year, you can come to Dongguan.” Yang Chengwang, including Yang Quanwang, regret that “Liufu Inn” could not be filmed in China. However, as it was an American film staged in 1958, it was simply impossible to come to Yangcheng for filming on that ground.

Yang Quanwang often plays in the old Jesus Hall.

Originally, the scenes of Yangcheng Street and the “Liufu Inn” in the film were built according to the later descriptions and photos left by Ai Weide. Building in London, it is said that the film crew spent a lot of money to build this scene.

(Personal note – the rest of the the film set was constructed in Beddgelert in North Wales)

What is the “Liufu Inn”?

What is Liufu Inn? From the text in “Small Woman”, it seems we can see a rough outline: “Like most Chinese houses, this is a courtyard surrounded by high walls. After a wall with a screen in front, go through a small door. A large courtyard immediately caught the eye. The yard was surrounded by some two-story buildings, and the balcony on the second floor room could be seen in the courtyard. It can be seen that the courtyard has been abandoned for many years and the door latch has been All the corrosion, the rubble debris scattered in the yard, and even on the roof of the house due to years of disrepair, many small holes, and dust and cobwebs everywhere.”

Liufu Inn Restoration Rendering

At the beginning of March 2012, the Dongguan community invited some elderly people to sit and recall the original appearance of Liufu Inn.

“Liufu Inn is actually a car-horse (muleteers) shop.” An old man in Dongguan often went to the inn to play as a child. The most impressive thing was that the door of the house in the courtyard of the car-horse shop was glass. “It’s very rare to have glass on the window.”

Ai Weide founded Liufu Inn until it left Yangcheng, which has been 78 years since. The elderly who still have an impression of the inn, are few, and they cannot remember the details of the internal structure of the inn.

Ai Weide faces the photo of the Temple of Jesus on the back of the West Fence of Liufu Inn.

In the Old Jesus Hall, photos related to Ai Weide are displayed. “These photos have been collected in recent years.” Yang Quanwang pointed to a photo and said: “This is Ai Weide just arrived in Yangcheng.” Ai Weide in the photo is dressed in a white cheongsam, facing away.

Liufu Inn North Wall Ruins

“At the time, she was photographed towards the church of Jesus.” Yang Quanwang pointed to the upper right corner of the photo, and a blue-brick arched doorway was clearly visible. “This is the wall of Liufu Inn.” Standing in front of the old Jesus Church, looking in the direction of his fingers, on the west side of a pale yellow building, there is a gray height of about 3 meters and a length of about ten meters. The wall, an arched door hole, was also bricked. Connected to the west wall is a north wall with a length of more than 20 meters. Judging from the process of wall-to-wall jointing, the wall is indeed some age.

Judging from the two broken walls, the original Liufu Inn is facing south, which is roughly in line with the scale of “one house with 33 houses”. The scale of Liufu Inn was not small.

Liufu Inn West Wall Ruins

Regrettably, the site of Liufu Inn was completely gone except for two walls. In 2007, a residential building called “Mingyue Community” was built on the original site of Liufu Inn. The remaining water well of Liufu Inn was also filled.

The six-story residential building is where the Liufu Inn was located.

“As a unique cultural site in Yangcheng and a rare place in the country, it is also a revolutionary site and should be protected.” Yang Quanwang said that as early as 2012, Dongguan Community established Liufu Inn Tourism Company. In 2014, he took over as manager of the company.

In the old Jesus Hall, the reporter saw a restoration effect picture of “Liufu Inn”. Yang Quanwang said that this is based on the old people’s memories of Liufu Inn, and referenced some elements built in the film “Liufu Inn”, specifically designed to restore.

At present, the local restoration of Liufu Inn has formed a consensus in the Dongguan community, and people are eagerly looking forward to the restoration of Liufu Inn.

Yangcheng ancient county town Dongguan Street reconstruction effect map

The reporter learned that Dongguan Street is a commercial old street in Dongguan Village, with a total length of 1.5 kilometers. It is the only access to Guyangcheng County. Liufu Inn is located in the middle of the south exit of Dongguan Street.

Dongguan Street is the only existing ancient commercial street in Yangcheng. The ancient buildings in the Ming and Qing Dynasties can be seen everywhere. People who swim in this street seem to be able to imagine the bustling scenes of shops on both sides of the street. The existing Qing Dynasty famous minister Tian Congdian’s former residence, Guandi Temple, Qing Emperor Emperor’s sacred sacred dragon stone monument (Tian Congdian family tombstone), Jade Emperor Temple, Xingtailong Qianpu, Lao Chenbandian, Dongguan Customs House, White The Grand Courtyard, the Wang Family Courtyard, the Zhilan Room. The well-preserved ancient buildings of the Ming and Qing Dynasties complement the old Jesus Hall and the Lufu Inn.

Yangcheng County Ancient City Wall

At present, Yangcheng County has repaired the ancient county 相邻 adjacent to Liufu Inn. According to the unified planning of the relevant departments, when the Dongguan Street is to be rebuilt, some Ming and Qing buildings need to be repaired, and some modern buildings will also be demolished.

Yang Quanwang said that the future Dongguan Street will be a cultural, commercial and tourist destination that combines traditional ancient architectural styles and heavy historical culture, and promotes clean government education, combining modern and Ming and Qing cultures, including Liufu Inn.

An old temple that was once used as a school

Former site of the general

Former site of Jinshiyuan

“Zilan Room” Residence

At present, the restoration of the Qingshi strip for the development of the old street of Liufu Inn in the Ming and Qing Dynasties has begun. The demolition and resettlement work of the residents of Mingyue Community built on the site of Liufu Inn is also carried out simultaneously.

Restoring Liufu Inn, a world-class cultural symbol, is the common aspiration of cultural scholars inside and outside the province.

Liufu Inn plane location map

Liufu Inn Restoration Rendering

“Because it is conducive to Jincheng to the world, but also to the world to understand Jincheng, especially through it can also loudly declare to the world that the Chinese nation is a great nation, speaking of justice, feelings of love, never forgetting any one for us. Foreigners who have done good deeds will not forget Bethune and Ke Yuhua, and will not forget Ai Weide.” Jin Ji cultural scholar Xu Jiyong believes: “I believe that the reconstruction and development of Liufu Inn will definitely make Jincheng’s cultural construction and image publicity. A useful contribution.” (Li Jiyi)


(Also, a video interview of the Ambassador during his visit to Yangcheng can be seen here: http://www.sohu.com/a/235209883_166889)


3 thoughts on ““Mother of China’s Orphans” Ai Weide, Yangcheng and Liufu Inn: A story of twists and turns . . .

  1. Thank you for your hard work and determination to record the details of this remarkable women. Inspirational work in China and saviour of many children’s lives.


  2. With great delight I read the article and saw the photos. copied some photos to show to the young people along ith the quiz on Gladys Aylward. I think now no Inn of Eight happinesses as one modern six-storied residence has come up in that location. Hall of Jesus is a totally a new thing for me.

    J K Timothy, Nagpur


    1. Hey! I’m glad you enjoyed the article and seeing the photographs. I am sorry to hear that the Inn has gone – but glad to hear some news about it, so thank you for that! Best wishes, Ben


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