Until three years ago, Des Allemands native Edna Matherne, 85, was content living a simple yet full life as a devoted wife of 69 years to her husband Victor Matherne.
She never left St. Charles Parish except to evacuate for Katrina to Lafayette and to Hattiesburg one Sunday.
Through the years, she became a mother of four, grandmother of 15 and great grandmother of nine with another on the way shortly.
In the process, Matherne became a devout Christian and attended Assembly of God church in Des Allemands.
She was happy and content with her life just the way it was until she says God called her on a mission that has been both a burden and a blessing.
It happened one morning, three years ago, when Matherne was saying her prayers in bed before getting up.
She saw a vision.
“It was Jesus at the foot of my bed,” said Matherne in no uncertain terms. “He was all draped in white. I couldn’t see his face, just the white robe, but I knew he was looking at me. I was so glad but all I could do was say ‘Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!’”
After the vision, the 82-year-old at the time ran into the kitchen to tell her husband.
“He’s 92 poor darlin’,” she said. “He said ‘In your dreams.’ And I said, ‘but it’s morning and I wasn’t sleeping – I was saying my prayers!’
“From then on it looks like God has put a burden on me and told me to witness through Jesus to win souls for his kingdom.”
Since that time, Matherne says she receives words of prayer from Jesus. Although her health is failing (she has heart and upper respiratory problems), her mission until God takes her home is to touch lost souls through these prayers. She has been placing these prayers every week in the St. Charles Herald-Guide’s Classified section in hopes that people will read them.
“It’s a burden to know that I want to do more for God but I can’t,” Matherne said. “I used to go visit the sick and pray for them but God understands.”
People have told Matherne that they look forward to reading her prayers, and she says some even clip them out and give them to friends.
“Every night I ask Jesus to give me the words if he wants me to write them down,” she said. “God has been so good to me and so near to me. If I can win but one soul it will be worth my time, my money and my prayers.”