Students’ parents turn to Jesus following years of prayer
On the Friday evening following her acceptance into Southwestern Seminary’s doctoral program, Sarah Moore* went to bed excited and grateful for the opportunity to further her studies, and it seemed as though nothing could exceed her present elation. But the following morning, she received news that greatly overshadowed the joy and excitement of any potential academic achievements. A friend visiting Moore’s parents in East Asia called her in order to share that after years of fervent prayers, her parents had given their lives to Christ.
In March 2013, Moore was saved after a life-long search for answers to her questions about life and death. Growing up in an atheistic culture, she had turned to multiple religions and studied philosophy to find the answers. But during her studies at a university in Oklahoma, she was introduced to Christianity and the Gospel for the first time.
From the moment of her salvation, Moore says she knew it was important to share her faith. She soon told her parents of her salvation and belief in God, inviting them to do the same. They were skeptical and unwavering in their unbelief, but they were willing to listen.
Moore says her parents’ personal and religious backgrounds proved to be the most significant obstacle to their receptiveness to the Gospel. “In their eyes, they still thought of me as a child and didn’t want to listen,” Moore says. “Because of their background of atheism, they needed to believe that God even existed before they could admit they were sinners in need of salvation through Jesus Christ.”
In the nearly four years since she first shared the Gospel with her parents, Moore has remained committed to daily prayer and has even asked friends, classmates, professors and fellow church members to do the same. She continued to share the Gospel with her parents and facilitate spiritual conversations when she could, but she was often discouraged by the lack of progress.
When she returned to East Asia to visit her parents in the summer of 2016, she was surprised to find a change in her parents’ attitudes. She says that during that prior year of constant prayer, God had softened the hearts of her parents. They were suddenly more receptive to the Gospel and had even begun reading the Bible.
Earlier this fall, Moore learned that a friend and Southwestern alumnus would be traveling to the city where her parents lived. Hopeful that a Gospel presentation from a new person might make a difference, Moore arranged for her friend and her parents to have dinner together, Nov. 12. During a lengthy dinner that evening, they discussed the Gospel and many of their questions and doubts, and Moore’s parents ultimately responded to the friend’s Gospel presentation through a prayer to profess faith in Jesus.
After receiving the news of her parents’ salvation the following morning, Moore called them to hear firsthand what had taken place. “They told me that they admitted they were sinners, they knew that sinners cannot have eternal life with the Lord, and they know that only Jesus can save them if they believe,” Moore says.
“This was the most exciting news I have ever received in my life,” Moore says. “It is way more exciting than when I learned I was accepted into Southwestern’s Ph.D. program!”
*Name changed for security purposes.