Coming Home: Nathalie’s Story
Nathalie Challenger moved to North Carolina from the Dominican Republic. Her story, like many others, is about how she grew up in the church but drifted away as she began to reach adulthood.
“She said during this time of leaving the church and walking away from God,” says Jeff Crain, Pastor at the Raleigh Church, “she felt empty, hopeless, without purpose, without reason. And, like the prodigal son, she remembered how much better she had it when she was worshipping God and going to church.”
Looking to return to her Adventist roots, Nathalie and her family began looking for a church home. Crain and several others noticed Nathalie engaging with the church’s Facebook page. She liked posts, watched the live services, and then decided to visit the church. It wasn’t long before she sent an email to the church indicating she wanted to be re-baptized.
“So we met with her,” shares Crain. “She told us her story about how she was part of the church and how she walked away and how she wanted to come back home. And I told her ‘Nathalie, that’s the best decision you could ever make is to come back home.’”
Nathalie was re-baptized and is now an active member of the church.
Crain feels the church is in a season of reclaiming. “People are coming back home. People are realizing just what they had when they were at church. There are many stories out there like Nathalie’s.”
“Evangelism works,” he continued, “if you work it. We need to be there to help people and throw a party for them like the prodigal son’s father did.”
—by Rachel Beaver