Femmy Togas is president of the Shepherdess Chapter in Manado City, Indonesia.

An interesting and touching story happened in Paal Dua SDA Church during a public evangelistic meeting conducted by the Shepherdess Chapter of Manado City and the Shepherdess Chapter of the East Indonesia Union Conference on March 18-26, 1998. The speakers consisted of Shepherdesses under the leadership of Betty Pungus, Shepherdess Coordinator of North Minahasa Conference and Jeane Sakul, Shepherdess Coordinator of the East Indonesia Union Conference.

By the grace of the Lord, at the end of those meetings many souls surrendered themselves during the altar call to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour and to be baptized. Among them was Mrs. K, Sehang. She is the mother-in-law of Pastor Willy Togas the Paal Dua SDA church pastor. The altar call was so thrilling, beginning with the tears of the speaker herself but ending with heavenly joy because an old lady made a decision for baptism.

Her right decision was made, when I, Femmy Togas, her daughter, who happened to be the speaker that night, had spoken with the voice of the Lord in Hebrews 4:7, "Today, when you hear My voice do not harden your heart." The voice of the Lord had long been ignored. Ever since I accepted the Adventist message 25 years ago, my mother and father and all relatives rejected me. I faced the great challenge, persecution, and mob.

One unforgettable experience happened when I was 14 years old at the second year junior high school. When I was baptized, my mother expelled me from home and did not acknowledge me as her daughter anymore. My parents commanded me to leave the house and did not allow me to bring any clothes. They didn't care about my school fees. Furthermore, they would seek for the pastor who baptized me and planned to beat him.

But the Lord has so many ways of protecting His children, Their plan was not realized. Eventually, they tried another way. They prevented me from attending the church service on Sabbath by asking the school principal to not allow me to go to church_ What did I do? While I was prohibited to attend the church service and was forced to attend school classes, every Sabbath morning I left the house wearing school uniform but without their knowing I had prepared my church dress. At 9:00 a.m. I changed my school uniform for my church dress and went to church. After the church service I changed clothes again and put on my school uniform and went home. Every Monday morning I got punished by standing in front of the flag pole for not attending classes on Sabbath. This happened for quite some time. But finally when my mother and father saw the changes in my spiritual life and they knew that I was very earnest and true in my beliefs to the Lord, they did not bother me anymore. One thing which made them understand was my prayer life. Every time they passed my room they saw me kneeling down in prayer which I had never done before. According to my mother's testimony, she was thrilled when she found me praying asking for God's blessings to be poured out to my parents.

Finally, my parents decided to just let me attend the church every Sabbath morning. In fact, they sought for the SDA denomination headquarters to get information regarding the SDA Church boarding school. Then I was sent to our academy at To mpas o 11, Kawangko an. Graduated from that academy, I pursued my studies at Mt. Klabat College, There I met my finance, who was a ministerial student. Then I married, Pastor Willy Togas, who is presently a church pastor at Paal Dua Church.

Evidently, it was an uneasy spiritual life experience since I became a pastor's wife. I struggled about my parents because our desire was to win my parents that we may all be together in heaven when Christ comes. And now our dreams have come true. After exactly 25 years, April 4, 1998, my mother was baptized at the mass baptism. What a wonderful victory has happened considering that my parents used to be the Protestant Church Pioneer in Tahuna, Sangihe Talaud Islands. They were very active in their church activities. They were also the pioneers in constructing the biggest Protestant Church building and the founder of the Christian School in my village. They perceived being unable to accept God's call.

But the Lord has many ways to call His people. The awaiting moment came when my parents were sickly and they needed medical treatment. This made them decide to come to Manado and live with us. This was a precious opportunity for me and my husband to evangelize them. We always invited them to join our family altar, morning and evening worship, opening Sabbath and sun-down worship. They prayed with us. After all, we invited them to attend church service with us. They became attracted to the church program on Sabbath. At that time there was a guest speaker coming from the United States. They were impressed by the sermon.

This situation was supported by the public evangelistic meeting by the Shepherdess at Paal Dua Church. There they learned much about the truth. It was continued with the public evangelistic meeting conducted by Dr. and Mrs. Alex Rantung whom every night before giving the Bible lecture they presented the Family Life Evangelism lectures which touched my parent's hearts and attracted the people coming to the meeting every evening.

However, in the meantime, it's only my mother who responded to the altar call. My father has not decided to be baptized yet. He said that it is not easy to leave his own belief. He was formerly a Tax Head Master of Sangihe Talaud Islands, although he is now retired but he is still an honorable man in the community and a conservative Pioneer of Christianity and has merit in the Protestant Church. He needs further Bible study. Our desire is that hopefully God will prolong his life so that he may accept the truth before the closing of time. It is also our desire that we can worship together on Sabbath in this earth as well as in heaven.

Editors note: Fumy Togas and her mother rejoiced when God answered their prayers for her father to join them as a part of the Seventh-day Adventist church. In the Spring of 1999 Fernmy's father was baptized during the Shepherdess reaping meeting. Praise the Lord!