Being a radio-television technician in the 1970’s and 80’s and an antenna installer for small villages in the province of Québec, Canada, there was never a lack of work for my father. On occasion, he would also travel Highway 20 from Montmagny to Québec City to purchase materials.
On one such trip, he picked up a hitch-hiking couple who, by way of thanking him, gave him a Bible and a New Testament. My father brought the books home and told us the story, adding that he had been most impressed with how the young man, regardless of his youth, had spoken with such conviction when he spoke of the things pertaining to God and eternity.
My father had always been curious about life after death and had yet to find satisfactory answers to his many questions. Now this young man had crossed his path with wonderful assurance concerning eternity. This meeting had impressed my father, but it still remained a meeting among many others.
Around the same time, my brother and his friend had started toying with occultism and were becoming very interested in things pertaining to spiritualism. They lived in Montmagny and often came to visit my parents in St-Fabien-de-Panet, a village situated about 45 minutes away.
One day, my brother noticed, with great surprise and curiosity, the Bible in the library of our living room. “Who does this Bible belong to?” he asked, and my father proceeded to tell him the story. He asked for permission to take it with him, wanting to read it.
In the days that followed, he and his friend began diligently reading the Scriptures, starting in the book of Romans. As their interest in the Bible grew, their interest in spiritualism dwindled. They became excited and zealous about the Bible, constantly speaking of it to everyone who crossed their paths.
Answers in the Word
My cousin, who attended school in Montmagny, told my brother about a student at his school who walked around with his Bible all the time. We invited the student to our house and spent the evening discussing things of the Bible with him. When his father came to pick him up at the end of the evening, we invited him in as well and my brother proceeded to ask him more questions. Both the student and his father were Christians, having put their trust in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I imagine they must’ve been ecstatic to have this opportunity.
My brother was quite impressed with how the father would flip through his Bible and read him a verse that answered his question. That night was a turning point for my brother and his friend and, a few days later, they came under conviction of their sin and repented, accepting Jesus Christ by faith. From this moment on, they took to the streets of St-Fabien every weekend in an effort to spread the gospel.
My parents were troubled by the idea that a person could be saved by faith alone. They had 12 children of their own as well as two children that had belonged to a sister who had died during childbirth. My mother was certain that these good works would be weighed in the balance. However, a month later, a verse crossed her spirit as she lie in bed one morning; “I am the way, the truth and the light. No man comes to the Father except by Me.”
Suddenly, it all made sense to her. She rushed to the kitchen to share this revelation with my father, firmly stating that she would not be going back to church. My father was deeply upset by this news, but could see that his wife was very serious about this.
It was another two weeks before my father finally seized the truth, having come to the understanding that after death, a person either went to heaven or hell. My brother had read to him from the Scriptures that a person’s eternal destiny had nothing to do with good works, and access to heaven was only available through Jesus Christ.
Out of darkness into light
He decided to go and question the priest about this. He told him what he had learned from the Bible, and asked him what then was the use of masses for the dead? “It’s to support the clergy,” responded the priest. This shocking response only intensified my father’s conviction that the Word of God was the truth, and the whole religious system in which he had grown up no longer made any sense.
Between the years 1975-77, my entire family responded to the message of salvation. We were subsequently baptised, and also began witnessing to those around us.
My parents have always been hospitable and it was very common for our home to be filled with people, whatever the occasion. Some weekends, we easily had 30-40 people in the house; these were weekends rich in Christian fellowship and never did we lack anything when entertaining these Christians. God always provided for our needs.
For some, it was in this humble country home where they resolved to walk with, and serve, the One who had saved them. My parents joined the local assembly in Montmagny and began regularly attending on Sundays as well as Wednesdays for prayer meetings, even though it was a 45-minute commute.
A few months later, my brother received an offer to work on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River, and was praying that God would make His will known in this regard. His reading led him to Acts 26:17-18 and Paul’s commissioning, being sent, “…to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.”
Knowing people in that area who were interested in hearing the Good News, and being unemployed at the time, the decision became clear. In an act of obedience, he moved to Baie-Comeau and accepted the job. A few weeks later, his friend, who still lived in Montmagny, also found himself in Baie-Comeau for a job in sales. The two were reunited once again, with a burning desire in their hearts to spread the gospel and to establish a church.
They settled into an apartment with a third roommate, who eventually became a Christian (and later, my husband). In the weeks that followed, a small church was started in the apartment and the first Lord’s Supper took place with five believers gathered in the living room. Thanks in part to contacts made through Christians from Sept-Îles, our little group of believers grew to the point where it was necessary to find a building that could accommodate classrooms for Sunday school.
As we grew older, many of us married and had children. By the grace of God, a good number of them also accepted the sacrifice Jesus had made for them.
Let me explain the reason for telling this story, which covers a period of roughly 37 years. First of all we wish we could thank this brother (whoever he is and wherever he might be) who gave my father a copy of the Word of God. This man is not aware of how many hundreds of new believers were added to the fellowship of Christ’s church, thanks to his faithfulness. May the Lord lead him to learn what great things have come to pass, and may this encourage him and the woman who accompanied him.
Secondly, I write to help Christians realize that the Word of God will never return to Him void “but it shall accomplish what He pleases, and it shall prosper in the thing for which He sent it” (Isa 55:11). Let us not be afraid to open our mouths to share the Word with others.
Finally, I write to thank the One who, in His infinite grace, has allowed all these things to come to pass—our Lord Jesus Christ, our beloved Savior and Master.