Home General News ‘And all the while I kept praying for Alfred’

‘And all the while I kept praying for Alfred’

by ervte

“I grew up in a small country town in NSW called Adelong. My parents were from Lebanon, and my father owned the shop. I’ve always felt I had a calling to serve God, and when I was 16, I started teaching Sunday School. Later I met my husband Alfred, and we got married. He was from Lebanon and had a corner shop in Sydney…so I moved 300 miles, and we ran the shop there.

But it meant I couldn’t go to church. Alfred opened the shop every day of the week. I felt like I was disappointing God. Then the Billy Graham Crusade happened in 1959, and I watched the whole thing on the television in the store. I rededicated my life to Jesus, tears ran down my cheeks, and I understood forgiveness.'And all the while I kept praying for Alfred'

But Alfred still didn’t feel the need to go to church. In 1964 we went back to Lebanon. It meant I could go to Jerusalem! We drove to Damascus, Jordan, and everywhere! I could not believe my eyes. We were there over Easter, and it was so exciting! But Alfred didn’t know why I was so excited. Then we came back to Sydney and bought two more convenience stores. Alfred closed the shop on Sunday so I could go to church, but he still wouldn’t come.

All this time, we were desperate for children and couldn’t get pregnant. I remember having a dream one night in 1962. Someone in white said, “Your child will be born on July 1st.” I jumped in bed and said, “What year?”

The years passed, and nothing happened. In 1965 we started researching adoption, and we applied in February of that year, It usually takes many years for adoption. But in July 1965, the phone rang, and they said, “Your child has come.” His name was Michael, and he was born on July 2, just after midnight. He was the most beautiful boy, the greatest blessing to us. We loved him to death. And I kept praying for Alfred that he would believe in Jesus.

One day in the early 1970s, Alfred came to an outreach meeting. We were in the middle of a long line, and the building was full. When the call went to the altar, I nudged Alfred. I’d given him a nudge, on previous occasions, and he said it made him sit up harder. But that time, something happened to him. Something lifted him from that chair and led him past all those people. Alfred went forward, and he devoted himself to Jesus. He was 50 at the time. It’s never too late! From that day on, he was thirsty for Jesus. He wanted what I had.

It taught me that I had to be changed first. I thought I had everything done and that I was doing everything right. But one day (not long before the evangelistic meeting), I realized that I had to repent and ask God for forgiveness. I had to leave Alfred to God. And God worked in his life. That is now 50 years ago. But giving up our own will is very difficult. Trust me; it’s hard. We come out of the womb intentionally, and we remain so. We must let God transform us slowly.

Alfred has been gone for 13 years now. He became one of the best guardians our church has ever had. He knew the Bible backward. And I was able to teach the Scriptures for 43 years. I would never have had that ministry if Alfred had not come to the Lord. We also held a prayer service in our home for 30 years, and I visited three nursing homes each week. I have loved all I could do for the Lord!

My favorite verse is 1 Corinthians 10:13: “There has come to you no temptation except that which is common to humanity. And God is faithful.…” God will change us! He will continue to help us get through it. And God will bless us a hundredfold when we love him. That’s what happened to me. It’s so exciting!”

Yvonne’s story is part of Eternity’s Faith Stories series, curated by Naomi Reed. Click here for more faith stories.

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