Belinda and her mother, Teresa, baptized by Eau Claire Spanish Church pastor, Roberto Gonzalez, during the Hispanic Women's Ministry Conference at Andrews University
LAKE UNION--Two years ago, Teresa Morales was searching for someone to take care of her children and ended up knocking on the door of Eau Claire (Michigan) Spanish Church member, María Dillion.
“I need someone to watch over my three children from Monday to Saturday. Can you do it?” she asked.
Maria replied, “I can, except on Saturday”
“Why not on Saturday?”
“That’s the day I go to church but . . .”
Then, an idea surfaced in María’s mind. “If you allow me to take the children to church with me, I’ll be able to watch them for you on that day.”
That Sabbath, the children arrived at María’s house all dressed up and together they made their way to church. They loved the stories, the songs and their Sabbath school teachers. Over the next several months, as the children went to church and the parents went to work on a nearby farm, a remarkable change began to occur.
Belinda, Alondra and Uriel, now ages 10, 7 and 5, soon learned about the Sabbath and its sacredness. However, on Sabbaths when Teresa did not have to go to work, the children were not sent to María. Their downcast demeanor was a cause for concern.
“Why are you all so sad?” Teresa asked her children.
“We want to go to María’s and go to her church,” Belinda, the oldest, said.
Teresa’s interest was piqued as she had never seen her children so deeply interested in religious affairs.
Then, one Sabbath in 2017, Teresa was given the afternoon off from work, so she drove to the church to pick up her children. At the church, she was pleasantly surprised. “Many people knew me by name,” she recalled. “Later, I found out that they had been praying for my husband and me. My children had requested that the members pray.”
On the way home, Teresa asked her children, “Do you really like church that much?” The chorus of answers was, “Yes!” Belinda went on to explain, “I learned that Jesus died for us because Adam and Eve sinned. We needed someone to die for us, and He made that decision. I really liked that!”
Teresa would see her children praying and hear how much they prayed for their parents. “Here were my children, setting an example when, in reality, it should be us, the parents, setting the example for our children,” Teresa said with a twinkle in her eye, as she related the story seated on her porch.
A few months ago, Teresa became pregnant (she’s due in August) and her manager allowed her to have Sabbaths off. Intrigued by her children’s fervent prayers and remembering the warm embraces she received at the church, she began regularly attending the church with her children, who were overjoyed. “Soon, I was offered Bible studies,” Teresa said. “As a matter of fact, my husband joined me for the studies.”
After the Bible studies were over, Teresa and Belinda were ready for baptism, although Silvestre is wrestling with how to provide for the family without working Sabbaths. However, Teresa soon began harboring doubts. Was she making the right decision? All the “what ifs” started creeping into her mind. She looked to her daughter who was firm in her faith. Teresa shared her doubts with Roberto González, senior pastor of the Eau Claire Spanish Church. “That’s fine,” he said. “Every decision is personal between the individual and God.”
The pastor then told mother and daughter about an upcoming event, the Lake Union Hispanic Women’s Ministry Convention, and added that a baptism was scheduled for June 2. “Would you like to get baptized on that day?” he asked.
“Yes!” replied Belinda, with all the confidence her 10-year-old self could muster. Taken aback by her daughter’s exuberance, Teresa decided right then and there that she, too, would join her daughter in baptism.
On Sunday, at the Andrews University pool, mother and daughter together gave their lives to Christ. “I feel good,” said Teresa, a few days later in her home, overlooking the farm on which her family works. “I know I made the right decision. It’s important to get baptized to have a sense of belonging.” Belinda nodded in agreement, saying, “I feel happy and good!”