Won by the Love of a Neighbor
Growing up in a small city in Alabama, I had a mother who always attended church and who always took her children to church. My mother’s side of the family were church-going people. In fact, my grandfather was a pastor and bishop. So I loved church. After marrying and moving to the south side of town, my husband and I took our family to church as well.
God speaks to hearts, even to those who mistakenly think they are already in His will. One Sunday, after our morning worship service, there was a business meeting to talk about getting a new pastor for the congregation. As the church members talked back and forth, the Lord spoke this Scripture to me: “How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” (Romans 10:14-15). There in that church, conviction began to work on me. That Scripture would not leave my mind. I had never read it before, nor heard anyone preach from it or quote it. After my husband and I went home, we got the Bible and looked for the verse until we found it. Thank God for His faithfulness to me.
I kept attending that church because some of the people there were my friends, but I was never the same after that meeting. I know today it was conviction from God, and He kept dealing with me.
God allowed a family who attended the Apostolic Faith Church to move right next door in our housing complex. They were the most loving people I had ever met. The lady of the house worked outside of the home but when she came back in the afternoon, she would come to my house with her Bible, and help me understand how God wanted me to live. She began asking me to go to church with her, but I always told her I had to go to my own church. Still, she kept right on showing love to my family.
She told me, “You know, the people of God can pray for you and God can heal you.
That family moved to another part of town, and a while later I started having some health problems. I began going to three different doctors for relief, but they did not know what the problem was. My friend from the Apostolic Faith would still call and talk to me, and I told her about the affliction I was experiencing. She told me, “You know, the people of God can pray for you and God can heal you.” So I told her I would go to church with her.
I kept my promise and went to her church, but only because I wanted healing. My sincere belief was that my soul was already all right because I had done what I had been taught to do—join the church and become a member. I did not realize it, but I had no peace in my heart like I have now. Though I believed God could do anything, I did not know Him as my Savior.
I heard a Voice say to me, “Whether you live or die, you need Jesus.”
After that Thursday evening service in 1958, my friend invited me to the altar to pray. As the saints began to pray with me, I heard a Voice say to me, “Whether you live or die, you need Jesus.” The Lord was working on my heart, and I knew why He spoke those words. While I had that affliction on my body, when neighbors would see me and say, “Hi Helen. How are you doing?” I would reply, “All right if I don’t die.” The Lord let me know that night that I needed Him, live or die. I was not ready to die because I was without Jesus. Right then I said, “Yes, Lord, if You will save me I will live for You the rest of my life.” God saved me that evening, and on Friday He healed my body while I was in my home. I am still praising God for His mercy and goodness.
I was a young wife and mother in my twenties when God saved me, sanctified me, and baptized me with the Holy Ghost. Thank God that He not only saved me, but He also saved my husband and helped us to train our seven children in the way of the Lord. Today, many years later, I can still say the Gospel of Jesus Christ is real, real, real!