My story begins with a visit to see my son, a career Navy man, stationed in New Jersey as a recruiter. When we arrived, he introduced us to his current girlfriend, whom he had been dating for about 6 months. They met at a favorite Thai restaurant in his neighborhood, where she was employed.
As I visited with Nookie, I learned that she grew up in Thailand. Her childhood education had been in Catholic Schools. Upon graduation from college, she came to America, for more education and to experience life in the United States. Eventually, she moved to New Jersey and became a valued employee at the restaurant. Although she had no intention of becoming involved with a sailor, my son won her over, and they became close friends. Jacque invited Nookie to attend worship services with him and occasionally she was able to join him. Mondays were her only day off.
As my husband and I returned home, we discussed how the two of them seemed to be right for each other. It was a good thing since less than a month later came the phone call announcing that there was to be a wedding in two days.
This is where I became very concerned. You see, Nookie was raised in Thailand as a Buddhist. I spoke of my concerns about being unequally yoked, that future children and their mom needed to know Christ as their Savior, and the common strains this could cause in a marriage.
I have served in my congregation for many years as a teacher of sixth-grade Catechism classes. Our pastor was recovering from major surgery, but I felt the need to have Nookie receive instruction and she agreed to consider Baptism. With our pastor's blessing, each week I guided my daughter-in-law through a couple of chapters of "Lutheranism 101” via computer messaging. Through daily Bible stories, devotions, and prayers continued worship time with my son and the in-depth study of the catechism, she grew in her understanding and faith which had begun in her elementary school years. During one of our discussions, Nookie said to me, "I know that Jesus died for every one of my sins, and that I can only serve ONE God. He has done this for me and promises to take me with Him to live in Heaven. He is my God."
One year after her marriage to my son, the Holy Spirit brought her to the baptismal font. Now Nookie truly is part of our family, the family of our Heavenly Father.
Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Mark:
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned (Mark 16:16).
And in the last chapter of Matthew it is written:
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
I am thankful that God used me to shine the light of Christ into Nookie’s life and am grateful that our pastor allowed me to share this message of certain hope with her. The Skype sessions also allowed us to get to know each other much better. I now have a second daughter, and another reason I nightly give God thanks.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for giving us opportunities to share the Gospel with others. Continue to place people in our paths so we can share the wonderful gift of salvation. Keep us in Your Word and send us Your Holy Spirit so that we can be bold to proclaim the Good News. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Carol A. Gale
North Wisconsin District
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Thanks from the Gospel Outreach Committee!