Patience and Prayer: Elizabeth’s Story
It is often said that the hardest place to do evangelism is in your own backyard. It can be difficult when loved ones reject the Lord when we want so badly for them to know the peace and happiness that comes from loving Him.
Such was the case for Israel Mora, pastor of the Kernersville, NC, Adventist church. His mother-in-law, Elizabeth, was born and raised an Adventist, but strayed away as she reached adulthood.
“At the age of 18 when she had my wife, Evie, she really lived a prodigal life,” says Mora. “And for more than 30 years, Elizabeth was not interested in God, interested in religion, or interested in her Adventist faith.”
But Elizabeth had people who loved her—like her mother, Gucci, and her daughter, Evie—praying for her to return to the faith. Sadly, several years ago, Gucci passed away. Elizabeth’s family hoped this would soften her heart and she’d come back to God, but it did not. Nothing changed...until the COVID pandemic.
“We believe that God used this very unfortunate moment in our world,” says Mora. Elizabeth started thinking about the time in which she was living. The Holy Spirit was working in Elizabeth’s life, and her family felt impressed to pray all the more earnestly for a heart conversion. “As the dandelion shoot announces the coming of spring, a little shoot started to show in the life of Elizabeth,” Mora shared.
In the spring of 2020, Elizabeth called from her home in south Florida to ask Evie, “Honey, where do I return my tithe?” A few months later, Evie asked her mother on a Sabbath morning if she was going to work as usual, to which Elizabeth responded, “No, I’ve decided to no longer work on the Sabbath.” She shared with Evie that something was happening in her life. Even though she didn’t understand what it was, she felt something stirring in her heart.
“When my wife told me about this, she teared up, saying that our prayers were being answered. Elizabeth was making changes in her life that she had not previously made.”
A few weeks later, Elizabeth declared that she loved the Lord and knew the Lord loved her, and she wanted to be baptized. But the churches were still closed. So Evie told her mother to come to Kernersville to be baptized there. In July of 2020. Elizabeth gave her life fully to Christ in the waters of baptism.
“Elizabeth’s mother did not live to see this transformation,” said Mora. “Gucci prayed and prayed and always believed that her daughter would come back. Like the prodigal story, the father waited for the son and one day the son came back, but not in the life of Gucci. So I believe that on resurrection morning, there will be a lot of surprises. One of those surprises
will be Gucci seeing her daughter resurrected with her because her daughter decided to come back.”
—by Rachel Beaver