The elderly woman listened attentively in Sabbath School in a southeast Asian country.
Her Sabbath School lesson book was filled in. She looked up every verse in her Bible. Many verses were underlined in the Bible. She placed money in the Sabbath School mission offering.
The woman, known to church members as “Grandmother,” looked like a model Seventh-day Adventist.
Visiting U.S. church leader Amy Whitsett met with Grandmother after church to ask why she had left her non-Christian world religion to become an Adventist.
Grandmother related a tragic story about losing her parents in a motorcycle accident at the age of 5 and suffering years of harassment by evil spirits. She sought help from doctors and spiritual mediums, but the medicine offered only temporary relief.
One day, an Adventist pastor moved next door, and Grandmother curiously watched people gather at his home every Friday evening. She stood at his gate to find out what was happening and heard music. Peace filled her as she listened to the music week after week. The pastor couldn’t convince her to come into the house, but he learned about her spirit problems and offered to pray. Grandmother agreed, and the evil spirits left permanently. Filled with gratitude, she accepted Jesus and joined the Adventist Church.
Whitsett, associate director of Center for East Asian Religions, part of the Adventist world church’s Global Mission program, asked Grandmother in the interview to explain what Jesus meant to her.
“Jesus means everything to me,” the old woman said, speaking through a missionary interpreter. “He healed me and has given me peace. I cannot help but speak about Jesus to everyone whom I meet. I am an old woman, and I don’t have much longer to live. I love Jesus so much that I have decided to be Adventist in my next life, too.”