‘Granny Brand’ (1)
Evelyn Brand felt called by God to go to India. For a single woman in 1909, a calling like that required a truck-load of faith. She married a young man named Jesse and together they began a ministry to the people in rural India, bringing education and medical supplies and building roads to reduce the isolation of the poor.
For seven years they went without making a single convert to Christianity. But then a priest in a local tribal region developed a fever and grew deathly ill. No one else would go near him, but Evelyn and Jesse nursed him as he was dying. He said, ‘This God, Jesus, must be the true God because only Jesse and Evelyn will care for me in my dying.’
The priest gave his children to them to care for after he died—and that became a spiritual turning point in that part of the world. People began to examine the life and teachings of Jesus, and in increasing numbers began to follow Him. Evelyn and Jesse had thirteen years of productive service, then Jesse died.
By this time, Evelyn was fifty years old, and everyone expected her to return to her home in England. But she wouldn’t do it. She was known and loved for miles around as ‘Granny Brand’, and she stayed another twenty years under the mission board she had served so faithfully.
Her son, Paul, came over to see her when she was seventy years old, and this is what he said about his mom: ‘This is how to grow old. Allow everything else to fall away, until those around you see only love’ (1 Corinthians 13:1-2). Won’t that be a beautiful thing.
‘…Do it with all your might…’ Ecclesiastes 9:10 NIV