A Story of Thanksgiving: Part 3

By Camille Kerr

Writing Specialist on the Woodbridge, Virginia Stake Public Affairs Council for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

View More: http://takeheartphoto.pass.us/oryangfamilyfall2015Three years after his baptism, still growing in the gospel and busy serving in the church David took a station wagon full of young men to a basketball game and stopped at a gas station after the game. The boys bought candy and soda and David said, “There behind the counter I saw this beautiful lady just doing her thing and something just struck me. I think the first time I saw her I knew. I personally knew. The first time I saw her I thought this is a special person that is going to mean something important to me. I wanted to find out more about her.”

At the counter the conversation went something like this. David asked,“Where are you from?” She said “Africa.” “Where in Africa?” “East Africa” “Where in East Africa?” “Uganda.” “Where in Uganda?” “Teso” And then David greeted her in her dialect and gave her his phone number. Christine said, “So I looked at him and I said, ‘Whatever.’ He said he was from there too, but I didn’t believe him.”

After about a year of visits to the gas station, Christine slowly began to believe him and they struck up a friendship. Then they began meeting every so often at a restaurant for dinner. During the week David’s mother would often take Christine to Relief Society at the church. Christine had no idea what Relief Society was, or what church she was visiting and she didn’t know that David was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In August of 1992 missionaries knocked on her door. At the time Christine had been visiting a lot of different churches and was open for hearing religious messages, so she let them in and listened. After about a year of meeting with the missionaries, she decided to get baptized. She said, “I didn’t tell anybody about my baptism. It was mine, personal. I didn’t tell my uncle who lived in Alabama, I didn’t tell my workmates. I didn’t tell anybody. I wasn’t sure about this faith. Everything felt good, but it was so strange, an out of the box kind of faith. I’d never heard anything like it in my life. So I wasn’t really telling people for one because I didn’t know how they would receive it. And for another reason I didn’t want to write up on the wall that I’d done this and then fall back to my old ways.”

Christine received quite a surprise when she showed up for her baptism. She said, “I wasn’t pleased with (the missionaries) that they had invited all these people. Guess who I find in the chapel? David.”

A baptism, an engagement, a wedding and ten years later David admitted his part in it all. He said “Either I marry her before she was a member and I didn’t want that because I didn’t want all these clashes. So I put my faith in the Lord and I said, ‘Look, I think I’m interested in her but I’m going to put my faith in the Lord that he will provide a way for her to be baptized and if so then I will get serious and let her know what my intent is. Until then I cannot let her know what my intent is.’ And so it enabled me to be strong and firm because it became a matter of trying my faith in the Lord and being patient. And it’s amazing; the miracle happened. She accepted to be baptized, on her own. I did send the missionaries. That I admit to. And that’s the one thing. She has to be exposed to the gospel. So I called up the missionaries and just told them, ‘Don’t ever tell her that I’m the one that sent you, because if she knows she probably won’t accept.’”

Christine smiles when she says, “So that’s how I became a member. It all had everything to do with him, but I didn’t know, which was very wonderful. That was beautiful, because if I had known he had anything to do with it, I’m not one who wants to follow.”

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