When my children were small, I opened a small English preschool for Czech families. My oldest was barely three and the baby was just 9 months old. Looking back at this time, I can see that I really pushed myself.
One of the families who came to our school had an exceptionally bright child who loved our little school. It was no wonder since the mom had her PhD. One day while the mom was waiting for her daughter in the hallway, Jimmie asked her how she was doing and she replied, not well.
Her mom was in the hospital and she’d been told that she’d probably never go home again. Jimmie offered to pray for her but she politely told him that she was not a believer. Even so, her eyes welled up with tears as he prayed for her.
As we got to know the family, we learned that Sara* had been renovating the first floor of their house so that her parents could move in after her mom’s release from the hospital. Her parents lived hundreds of miles away in Moravia but she had brought her mom to one of the best hospitals in a nearby city. Now, it was not to be. She had hoped that she could at least care for her mom in her last days.
Sara’s daughter and our oldest daughter were like two peas in a pod — both fiercely independent and outgoing. Shortly after the prayer in the hallway, Sara invited us for a Sunday afternoon tea in their garden.
As our conversation naturally led back to her mom, we learned she was still in the hospital and not much had changed. Jimmie asked if we could visit the mom in the hospital? They seemed a bit taken back but she said she would ask her but didn’t think it would work out.
My husband began sharing the Gospel with them in a way I thought — we’ll sure lose them as students. He offered to pray for Sara’s mom and this time it was the father who said they were not believers.
That did not stop Jimmie, who told them it was ok, he’d still like to pray for Sara’s mom. We called the kids and gathered in a circle holding hands and Jimmie prayed for the family and for healing for Sara’s mom.
As we drove away that afternoon, I was wondering if I’d ever see them again. I thought my husband had come on fairly strong in insisting in praying for them. They were after all atheists.
To my great relief, I received a text message from Sara the following day. She had gone to the hospital and told her mom of Jimmie’s request. Turns out her mom wanted to come and see us as soon as possible.
The hospital was releasing her to go home the following day!
Two days later, Sara and her mom, slowly made their way into our preschool and Jimmie had the great joy of sharing the Gospel with this dear lady, who had tears streaming down her face as she responded to the invitation to give her life to Jesus.
I wouldn’t have believed it — except that I saw it with my own eyes.
Sara’s mom recovered so much that she moved back to her home in Moravia with her husband. In the end, it was her husband who passed away first.
Our daughters are now in their teen years. We occasionally see the family in the city and when we do, I’m reminded to pray for them. Nothing is impossible with God.
*Names have been changed to protect individual privacy.