*This post was written while on assignment with World Next Door: a digital social justice travel magazine. Check out our website (www.worldnextdoor.org) for more information and download our most recent issue! All of the Nepal content can be found here.
When I asked how old she was, she answered 28. I looked at the translator and smiled, confused. This was the 101 year-old lady we’d seen dancing next to us at church. I knew for a fact she was not 28.
I’d mentioned to the pastor earlier in the week how surprised Jeff and I were to see an elderly woman dance and clap and sing to drums and an electric guitar for an hour-and-a-half with the entire congregation the previous Sunday.
“Yes!” the pastor had said, “She is 101. Her testimony is miraculous. Do you want to meet her? She lives at my house.”
So there we sat two weeks later with the pastor, our translator host dad, and our host mom doting over the woman everyone calls “Grandma” (who is clearly a tad bit older than 28).
“She is telling you when she was born in Christ,” the pastor explained, “She considers that to be her age. Twenty-eight years ago she accepted Christ when she was 72 years old. Today she is 101.”
We were sitting together in the room the pastor provides for Grandma. For the last two months she has been living there and praying for his congregation. This is what Grandma is known for. She prays day and night, waits for God to tell her where to go next, travels there, and sets up for weeks or months praying for the village, or the church, or anyone who comes to her for prayer, delivering whatever messages she hears from God.
“How does God speak to you?” I asked. Was it a vision? Scripture? Audible? Was it a feeling in her heart? I wondered how she knew for sure it was God, recalling spectacular dreams I’d had after bad Mexican food and anti-malarial medicine.
“Mostly I see the visions,” she answered. “Even yesterday I saw a vision while I was sleeping. I saw a glass shining so bright, like a star, and I could see a person raising his hand and blessing this land.”
She turned to the pastor. “As soon as possible I’d like to share this vision to the church,” she said, and he nodded.
This is her life’s work. For 28 years, she has gone into one district for about a month at a time—sometimes as many as 12 months—visiting different churches, wherever the Lord tells her to go, and prays for the people of the church. She declares things like, “God sent me to pray for the church and to pray for the people here. The Lord told me to go and tell the people of this church how much He loves them, how much He cares about the church and people of this nation.”
A modern day 101-year-old prophet, who considers herself to be 28. I’ll never meet a woman like this again, I thought.
“If the Lord said, tomorrow you go to that church or district and pray for the people there, I will immediately go.”
“But how are you sustained?” I asked.
The pastor was quick to answer, as his church is currently doing this, “Wherever she goes, God provides each and every need for her through the church. Whenever God speaks to her, she shares with the church and the church supports her. If she is already at one church and has a vision to go to another place, the church will send her.”
“Has she ever been scared or threatened?” Jeff asked.
“Never,” she answered, firmly.
“How did she come to know the Lord?” Jeff asked.
The Grandma smiled and her eyes sparkled. We watched about 10 minutes of animated facial expressions and gestures as the grandma rose to her knees speaking with excitement and conviction in Nepali. Then she was back down on the bed, her inflections matching her movements. We leaned in as she got very quiet and low, and then up on her knees again waving her hands in the air and saying, Hallelujah! before fluttering and circling like a bird.
We could not wait for the translation, and looked at the pastor like, Tell us! Tell us!
[Read the rest of this story here…]