Led to the Truth
This testimony was originally published in the May 1991 edition of our magazine.
“America is a wonderful place,” it was said, “where roast pigeons fly through the air and dollar bills grow on trees.” Though we knew those claims were far-fetched, my father wanted to provide a good life for my mother and younger sister and me. So when I was very small, he said goodbye to us and left our town in Hungary, moving to Canada in 1926. He planned to make a lot of money in a short time, and then return and build a nice little home for our family.
However, before he could come back to us, the dark clouds of war loomed on the horizon. My father decided he should stay in Canada, so my sister and I spent our early years in my mother’s hometown. It was there that I had my first religious training. Each morning before school we went to a Catholic church where we stood for almost an hour on a cold concrete floor while the priest went through his ceremony.
Though I went to church and was taught to be good and respectful, I had no real understanding of the Bible.
Though I went to church and was taught to be good and respectful, I had no real understanding of the Bible. Every day as we walked to school, my sister and I passed a life-sized crucifix of Jesus, with blood flowing down from His hands and feet. We would look at it and wonder, because we didn’t understand what it symbolized. No one told us the true meaning of the love Christ had when He hung on the Cross for our sins.
When I was nine years old, our little family was able to join my father on a farm in Saskatchewan. We lived far away from any neighbors, and I didn’t see the inside of a church for about three years. Then the Depression came. We had to struggle through that time, like many others. Eventually Dad could not make it any longer, so we left the farm and moved to Alberta to try making a living there.
The little town we moved to had a church in it. By that time, I was fourteen years old and had a longing in my heart to know the Lord. I tried to be a Christian, but I didn’t know how. I went to confession regularly, and took my first communion. But somehow all my efforts didn’t satisfy my inner yearning.
At confession, the priest would go through the Ten Commandments to determine what sins I had committed. I didn’t even understand what some of them meant. One time I remember thinking, That priest will not believe me if I say I didn’t do any of those things; he will think I am a liar. God had helped me live a clean life because He saw I wanted to be good. But that day I told a lie and said I had done something wrong, even though I hadn’t. I was so ignorant!
When I was about twenty, I began attending a Mormon church. They had promised to make me the queen of the church I was attending. Like any young girl, I was elated. There was a lot of prestige and ceremony involved, and it was tremendously exciting. But when it came to the actual time, they told me I would have to be baptized into the Mormon Church and become a member first. Somehow, God in His love and mercy kept me from doing so. After I said no, I was so disappointed that I didn’t want to go to church anymore. I moved to Lethbridge, Alberta, and got a job in a hospital. But there was still something in my heart that wanted to be a good girl. I had no desire for the sinful things of the world.
The Lord was leading me to the truth. One of the girls who lived in the hospital dorm with me did not go to dances and parties like the other girls. She stayed behind and practiced hymns on her violin. One night we started talking about the Lord. She told me she was a Christian, that she had been born again.
As I listened, I remembered how the Mormon Church had ridiculed the idea of salvation that frees from sin. So I thought, Oh, these people believe that way. I didn’t think I wanted any part of it.
Not long after, I asked if I could go to church with her. She was glad to take me, and we went to the Christian Missionary Alliance Church. There I heard about forgiveness, and that the Blood of Jesus had power to forgive and cleanse from sin. But as I listened, I remembered how the Mormon Church had ridiculed the idea of salvation that frees from sin. So I thought, Oh, these people believe that way. I didn’t think I wanted any part of it.
My friend’s brother, Paul, walked us home from church. He had a little suitcase filled with literature from the Apostolic Faith Church. When he learned that I could read Hungarian, he opened his suitcase. From it he pulled out tracts and Apostolic Faith papers in both English and Hungarian, and gave them to me.
In the evenings that followed and during my afternoon breaks, I lay on my bed and read those papers and tracts. As I did, something stirred in my heart. I thought, Oh, it would be wonderful to have what these people have! My reading was mingled with prayer, and I longed for the Lord to help me.
I didn’t really know how to pray, but my heart went up to God in a hunger for righteousness. And God, in His love and mercy, answered my prayer.
I didn’t really know how to pray, but my heart went up to God in a hunger for righteousness. And God, in His love and mercy, answered my prayer and made such a change in my heart. It was wonderful! I hardly understood what had happened to me, but at last I had peace and happiness in my heart.
Before long, my parents noticed the difference in me. The Easter dance was coming up, and my mother always tried to get my sister and me new dresses so we could look our prettiest. But that year I told her I did not want to go, and she was worried. Whatever had happened to me? What would make me say no to things I had so looked forward to before?
Whenever any problem came up, I just felt that Jesus would take care of it. I would say, “Lord, You make it all right.” The faith He gave me and the peace I had in my heart was so new and wonderful. My sister saw what the Lord had done for me, and soon she also gave her life to Him.
After a time, I had to leave my work at the hospital and return to my parents’ home. Paul and his sister said they would come to visit my family, and they kept their word. Paul’s mother and dad came also and brought their Bibles, and we talked about the Lord and sang hymns. My dad and mother could not speak much English, but Paul’s family was Czechoslovakian and his dad was able to converse with my parents in Hungarian. So we had multi-lingual (Hungarian, Czech, and English) cottage meetings whenever they came.
When I got to know Paul, I realized there were still men in the world who were clean and good and kind. It was just a marvel to me.
I had given up the idea of getting married. The worldly men who had paid attention to me swore when they were upset. I knew they drank and did other things that were not right. But when I got to know Paul, I realized there were still men in the world who were clean and good and kind. It was just a marvel to me. Paul and I were married at the end of that year, and it remained a marvel to me all my married life.
God gave us a happy Christian home. We put God first in all our decisions and tried wholeheartedly to please Him. When we had children, we tried to pass this on to them. We had hard places to go through, as everyone does, but the Lord used them to purify and strengthen us.
During the early part of our married life we lived in Lethbridge. Paul had a good job, and we bought our first home. Everything was going well. Then someone came from the Apostolic Faith Church and said a church needed to be established in Vancouver, British Columbia. They asked if we would be interested in going there to help. Right away we put our home up for sale and moved to Vancouver. We did not furnish our new living room, but gave it over to be used for church services. For a year and a half, meetings were held there. The crowds were good, and God blessed.
When we were able to obtain a church building, Paul started visiting ships that came into the harbor in Vancouver. He invited the crewmen on board to church services and talked to them about the Lord. Often he brought them into our home for times of fellowship. Years later, the Lord gave us the opportunity to go to Korea, Japan, and the Philippines, where we visited the families of men that we had become acquainted with while their ships were in our port. What a privilege that was!
The time came when we were better off financially than we had ever been in our lives. Three of our four children lived near us, and I was enjoying being a grandmother. Then we heard from a group in New Brunswick. One of the families had received a wonderful healing after getting a Light of Hope paper, and they wanted an Apostolic Faith Church there. Paul felt the Lord wanted him to go and build that church. When the church was done, he felt we should move there and work for the Lord in that field. It was dreadfully hard for me to leave our family, but I said, “Lord, whatever You want me to do, I’ll do.”
So we went to New Brunswick, and we worked among those people for over three years. Paul put his whole heart and life into it, just as he did into everything else. And then one night the Lord suddenly called him Home. How I thank God for His comfort during that time! I was left alone, and yet not alone, for the Lord drew so close to me. He became so much more precious. I learned that if our trust is in God, when trials come, He is there to give us the grace and the strength that we need.
I am so thankful that God called me and helped me give my life to Him. Today my hope is bright, and my eyes are on the goal. I am looking for His coming. I know that He will take me the rest of the way, and I will live with Him throughout all eternity.