I have always been enthusiastic about sharing my faith and telling the experience of my conversion. Although I was born into a Christian family, I did not choose to accept the Lord as my personal Savior and Friend until I was 14 years of age. I vividly remember hearing the voice of Jesus as if He were next to me saying, "I gave my life for you so that you may be free from sin and have access to eternal life."
Having read Matthew's account of the children sitting on Jesus' lap while He blessed them, I imagined myself sitting on His lap while He spoke to me of His love, His compassion, and His desire for me to give Him my heart.
My parents were fervent in their religion, and they wanted my three brothers, my two sisters and me to follow in their footsteps. They worked hard to raise us children to be good Christians and good citizens. Yet my heart was troubled. As I began to study the Bible more intensely, I discovered God's promises and found that my life was moving in a different direction than that which my parents had intended.
One evening, while lying in bed reflecting on God's love and His plans for me, I had a dream which forever changed my life. In that dream, I saw myself crossing a large river, leaving the world behind. On the other side of the river I could see the outline of a beautiful city, comparable to the one described in Revelation 21:11, seemed as though swam all night, but with the help of heavenly angels, not only I but also members of my family and many other people were led toward the shore of that bright and inviting city.
A few weeks later, my older sister and I sealed our commitment with God through baptism in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. In our opinion, it was the only church whose beliefs completely followed the Bible teachings, As a newly baptized adolescent, I was eager to share my faith not only with my friends, but even more with other family members. My sister and encouraged our brothers to attend church services with us. We were saddened, however, when our father forbade us to talk at home about our new-found faith. To him, an educated architect, Seventh day Adventists were a small group of fanatics among whom he would not want his children to he found.
My sister and I often sneaked out of our home to attend church services, and we quietly shared our faith with our brothers and sisters. One by one, they were also baptized. When our father discovered what had happened, he announced that no one in his home should ever step into a Seventh-day Adventist Church again. Little did he know what God's plans were, That same year, our mother joined the church. For some time, our father had been treating us badly, but now he decided that he no longer wanted to be a part of our family. So he left home. This was one of the most difficult times of our lives. Physically we struggled to get by on Mother's dressmaking income. Emotionally 1 wrestled with the knowledge that we had lost our father because of our faith. I prayed constantly for direction, and I asked the Lord to change our father's heart. The church joined our family in prayer, and they provided the support we needed during those difficult months.
Our heavenly Father did answer our prayers. Although Daddy still did not embrace our faith, he did return home. He became more tolerant of our beliefs, and even sat through some of our worship moments. God's promises continued to provide direction to our lives.
As we children reached adulthood, we became more involved in our church and we dedicated our lives to sharing God's love with others, My two sisters and I married young men whose lives were also dedicated to spreading God's message of love. These three Seventh-day Adventist pastors have collectively given 50 years of service to the ministry, preaching throughout the West Indies and the United States and leading thousands to 'Christ. Today, more than 200 of our family members are in the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Six of our children and six other family members have become pastors, and many others have become church workers.
Even with all of this, one of our most joyful moments occurred when my husband had the privilege of baptizing my father, who had at last chosen to follow the Lord a few years before his death at the age of 87. Praise be to God!
The outlines of that beautiful distant city I saw in my dream long ago seem ever more visible as I feel the soon coming of our Lord and Savior. As I wait with eager anticipation for His return in glory, I remain constantly mindful of His mercies and His love. It is thus with intense joy that I exclaim as did the Psalmist, "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever: with my mouth will I make known thy faithfulness to all generations" (Psalm 89:1).