By Leah Bridges Taylor
This is Ruth, She has forever changed me.
I was sitting outside, during a break in a conference in Nepal, and I saw a women coming down the steps. She was a woman I had seen in photographs many times. I had heard her story through writings of my friend on his former journey here. Her faith inspired me, I had to meet her. Part of the reason I so desperately wanted to come to Nepal was just to meet this woman named, Ruth. A woman resembling the photographs appeared on the hilltop and began walking down the steps. Was this Ruth? I thought so, but I did not want to get overly excited. Seth happened to look up too and said, “Is that Ruth?” I said, “I don’t know.” She passed right by us. I thought she might notice two oddly misplaced white people, but I learned later that her eyesight is very poor. About the time she passed, Chuck came out of the church and pointed excitedly saying, “Hey, that’s Ruth!”
Shakti, our pastor and host, pulled up a few chairs and I sat down beside the women I had read about so many times. Across the world from one another we now sat now face to face. Shakti introduced us and this is what I learned...
Ruth walked 5 HOURS to see me that day. Shakti told her I wanted to meet her. So she came. She came because I asked. This revelation would leave me so choked with tears that I was barely able to form sentences.
Ruth was the first Christian ever in the area of Charikot. For 22 years she had been sick. When she accepted Christ she was healed. Ruth is illiterate and cannot read or write but she has shared the gospel and the story of what Jesus has done for her ever since that day she was healed. Many have come to know the LORD through her testimony.
When Ruth first began to follow Jesus, she also began to pray and ask God for 12 churches in this area of unbelief. She prayed and shared Jesus with people. She was severely persecuted for her faith and she was stoned, had a gun shoved in her face for being a Christian, but she never stopped sharing what a relationship with Jesus had done for her life.
Now at 86-87 years of age (age is not kept up with in Nepal), Ruth witnessed the start of the 12th church she had been praying for these many many years. Did this mean Ruth was now done with her calling? No, she told me that now she praying and asking God for what is next.
When I spoke with Ruth she expressed that her journey may be coming to an end. She doesn’t see well and she getting older but she says, “I’m still sharing the gospel.”
After Ruth finished her story she communicated to me as Shakti translated,
“I came to meet you and now, I will go.”
I had the chance to tell Ruth that I’ve shared her story with a lot of women in America. I expressed to her that she was encouraging people all around the world. She lifted her hand in the air and simply said “Praise God.”
Then as quickly as she appeared, Ruth picked up her things and began her five hour journey home. Simply because I wanted to meet her, she came. She walked five hours to talk to me about Jesus. I am forever blessed.