Light At Last by
Dr. Kirkpatrick, with the Baptist Mission in the Shan States of Burma,
tells in the Missionary Review of an aged woman whom he met on a tour in
a mountain district, where no missionary had ever before set foot:—
"This old woman listened attentively, and apparently believed. She had
never seen a white man, although, according to her birth certificate, she
was one hundred and twenty-three years old. As she sat huddled together by
the fire, she said: 'Teacher, is it true that the Lord can and will save
me, a woman? Do not deceive me; I am very old, and must soon fall into
hell, unless this new religion is true. I have made many offerings, and
made many long pilgrimages to the most sacred shrines, and still find no
relief from the burden of sin. Please teach me to pray to this Jesus that
"I explained the plan of salvation, and God's love for her, and taught her
a simple prayer of a few words. She seemed very grateful. As I was about to
leave her, she said:—
"'Teacher, you come from the great American country, do you not?'
"'Yes,' I answered.
"'Is your country greater than the Shan country?'
"I assured her that it was.
"'Are the people there all Christians?'
"I had to confess that they were not, but that there were many Christians.
"'Were your parents Christians?'
"'Yes, and my grandparents, and ancestors for several generations.'
"'My parents,' she said, 'died when I was young My brothers and sisters all
are dead. I have been married three times, and my husbands are all dead. I
had nine children, and they are all dead. I had many grandchildren, and
they are all dead except this one with whom I am living. I have seen three
generations fall into hell. Now I believe in Jesus, and hope to go to the
heavenly country when I die. If there are so many Christians in your
country, and you have known about this Lord that can save for so long, why
did you not come and tell us before, so that many of my people could have
been saved?' With the tears running down her cheeks, she said: 'I am so
glad to hear this good news before it it too late; but all of my loved ones
have fallen into hell. Why did you not come before?'
"That question still haunts me. I wish every Christian in America could
hear it as I did.
"A few weeks later I saw some of the men from this village, in the bazaar
at Namkhamm, and asked them about the 'old grandmother of the village.'
They told me that she died the day before, and that they had come to buy
things for the funeral. After much questioning, they said they were ashamed
to tell me that she was crazy. As she grew weaker, she told everybody that
she was going to die in a few days, and she was very happy about it. She
was going to the heavenly country, and other such foolish things. When she
was too weak to speak aloud, she kept whispering, 'Yasu hock sung; Yasu
hock sung' (Jesus loves me; Jesus loves me), with her last breath. The
first and only time this woman ever heard the gospel, she accepted it. It
is an exceptional case, but there are others like it."