[Illustration: She had not talked long until nearly every child in the room was in tears.]
Several years ago, when residing at G -- -- , we became acquainted with Sister W -- -- who was especially fond of children. Her own were grown, and desiring to make a home for some homeless child, she went to the county farm, where there were several, in search of one. Among the children there she found a beautiful, little, bright-eyed girl, about nine years old, named Ida. Her heart went out to her at once and she expressed to the lady in charge her desire to take Ida, and her willingness to care for her as she would if she were her own child.
But the matron said |Oh, you have no idea what a terrible child she is! We can do nothing with her, she is stubborn and has an awful temper and it is impossible to control her. We are intending to send her to the Girl's Reform School.|
Sister W -- -- who was an earnest Christian, was surprised but not discouraged. She could not bear the thought of such a little child being sent to such a place and so she said to the matron: |Well, I'd like to take her with me and see if I cannot help her to be good.|
|Well,| said the matron, |you can try her if you want to, but you will be glad to bring her back again.|
Acting upon this permission, Sister W -- -- talked with Ida and easily gained her consent to go with her. Not many days had passed before she found that there was considerable reason for what the matron had said. Ida was hard to control and at times became terribly angry without cause; but Sister W -- -- prayed for her and dealt patiently and tenderly with her and told her how Jesus loved her, and would help her to be good if she would only give him her heart. Her prayers and loving labor were not in vain and it was not very long until little Ida was converted. The change was so great that all who were with her could plainly see that Jesus had indeed given her a new heart.
Soon after this we had charge of a children's meeting held in a mission hall in G -- -- . Among the children gathered there were many of the worst boys in town. Little Ida was present. We knew how much Jesus had done for her and felt led of the Spirit to ask her to lead the meeting. She looked up at us much surprised but her little heart was full of the love of God and she consented to do the best she could. Words cannot describe what followed. In tears, Ida told, in her own touching way, how Jesus had saved her -- just what a naughty girl she had been before she was converted but how Jesus had |taken the angry all away| and given her a new heart so that she loved everybody and loved to do what was right. Then she pled with them to give their hearts to God, and told them how Jesus died on the cross for them, and how He loved them and wanted to save them.
She had not talked long until nearly every child in the room was in tears, and how shall we describe that touching scene? We had an altar service. Ida knelt with those who were seeking and prayed for them and told them how to find Jesus; and right there many were converted and gave bright, clear testimonies that their sins were forgiven and Jesus had given them new hearts. Thus did God that day honor a little girl's testimony and exhortation and fulfill His own work, |A little child shall lead them.|
Very often do we call to mind that scene, and we find it one of the sweetest of the memories of years of evangelistic work.