Jennifer, from Round Rock Texas – “Though Esther and her husband had visited our church plant once soon after our start, she started coming regularly about a year later after she experienced a family tragedy and called my husband for support. She is a quiet lady but became a faithful attender. In December, I approached Esther with the possibility of working through the Exchange Bible study. She was immediately very positive about the study, expressed that she had some questions she would like answered and seemed very grateful that I would spend my time working through the study with her.
In January, Esther and I began meeting weekly to work through the 4-week study. Each week she told me that although she believed the gospel, she found it difficult to know for sure she was saved. She had grown up with a religious background and had been taught from a young age that one can only hope for salvation. She believed all the Bible verses in the study, and it was so good for her to see and learn more about the foundation of our faith. When we came to the final lesson, I was praying that the two types of belief and the two-chair illustration would hit home. I had asked my husband to be on “stand by” in case I felt it would help to draw him into our study. Upon completion of the fourth lesson, Esther was still struggling with eternal security vs. what she had always been taught. My husband joined our study and was able to reiterate some of the points from the lesson. In the end, when Jeremy re-told the story of the man in the boat about to pass the point of no return before Niagara Falls, understanding seemed to finally come to Esther as she realized that she needed to “stop rowing” or relying on her own works in order to “grab the rope” of new life in Christ. My husband also told the story from the New Testament about the man who told Jesus, “Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief.” Esther was finally ready to “stop rowing” and prayed a simple prayer telling God she believed Jesus died and rose again for her sins and to help her unbelief. We are planning to start discipleship, and she has already expressed interest in beginning to serve in the church. Now we are praying for the salvation of her husband, her son and her daughter-in-law.
It took a year and tragedy to bring Esther to the point of salvation. What a reminder! Never give up on people.