Author(s): Linda and Robert Banks
This compelling collection tells five stories of young Australian women who served in times of armed conflict in early twentieth-century China. These courageous missionaries lived in the midst of pre-Boxer uprisings, the Republican revolution, clashes between regional warlords, Japanese occupation during World War II, and civil war between Nationalists and Communists. Suffering deprivation and hardship with the Chinese people, they were shot at and bombed, endured capture and imprisonment, and risked their lives to save others. Some were even killed. Working in villages, hospitals, schools, universities, orphanages, and refugee centers, these women helped shape the emergence of modern China. In partnership with local people they helped raise the status of women and develop educational, medical, and welfare institutions that exist to this day. Based on thorough first-hand research, visits to various sites in China, and including a number of historic photos, this book is written for anyone interested in the lives of people who made a difference to the world around them.
“These are inspiring testimonies of resilient Christian Australian women whose faith gave them victories in the midst of adversities. With these five stories, Linda Banks has painted vivid scenes that allow the reader to empathize with the situation. Through the Valley of the Shadow helps us understand the realities of China of the late 1800s and into the 1900s. Basically Banks is ‘singing’ for the unsung women heroes of the missionary movement. Masterful story-telling!”�—Teresa Chai, Asia Pacific Theological Seminary, Baguio, Philippines
�“The stories of these Australian women missionaries are not exceptional, but outstanding when put into the historical context of war-torn China. They brought the Christian gospel to the Chinese people by offering their lives and suffering with them, bringing healing and hope of the love of Christ to them, a really perfect way to demonstrate the love of God to the Chinese people.”�—Peter Tze Ming Ng, Shanghai University, China
Linda Banks has worked as a teacher, university chaplain, and pastor and presently concentrates on writing. Robert Banks has taught theology and history at universities and seminaries in various countries, and written several award-winning books. Their deep interest in China and its people has resulted in a number of visits over the years. They are members of the Yale–Edinburgh Group on World Christianity and History of Mission. Together they have written two earlier books on Australian women missionaries in China, View from the Faraway Pagoda (2013), and They Shall See His Face (2018).