From an early age Mildred wanted to be a missionary in India. However in 1902 she went to China . Eva French was already there, she had joined the China Inland Mission before the Boxer rising of 1900 in which many Christians were killed. Her sister, Francesca joined them later on.
The three women worked in China for nearly twenty years, setting up schools and a rehabilitation centre for opium abusers. But they began to feel the need to take the Gospel to new areas where the missionaries had not been to.
In 1923 the three women went to Kanchow, travelling on the Silk Road and evangelizing as they went. There they trained Christians and travelled throughout the region holding tent meetings. But they knew that their destination would be the Gobi desert, a most inhospitable place with few inhabitants who were scattered throughout the area.
In 1926 they returned to England and their story caught the public imagination. Less than two years later they returned to the Gobi desert and stayed until they were forced to leave in 1936 during a time of political uprising. They had survived in a hostile environment and successfully proclaimed the Gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the region.
The three women returned to England after 36 years in China and worked for the British and Foreign Bible society for the rest of their lives.