(The Helene Peets Story)

By: Helene Peets

Before being saved, I often thought about where I would go when I died? I assumed that I would go to Heaven? Sometimes I believed that I would go to Hell? Sometimes, I didn't care either way! But then I learned that Christ came so that all could saved! "All " I thought, even me??? No, not after all the things that I had done wrong. I had broken ten out of the Ten Commandments before I was 18. If God were to have added ten more Commandments, I probably would have found that I had broken them also. How could this be? Who was this Jesus?? And how come He thought that I was so special?

It all started like this...

My husband met this man at work named Bert. He was the person who introduced me to Jesus and my life has never been the same since. Bert was a Preacher at a Pentecostal Church about five minutes away from our house. "Pentecostal...Pentecostal... aren't they those fanatics that you see on 20/20. They drink poison and handle live Pythons," I laughingly said to my husband.

Mitch said, "Not this guy...he's different!!! He's got God."

"How exactly does one 'have' God?" I asked.

Well, Mitch convinced me to invite him to our house. At first I was apprehensive and very defensive when we began talking about the Bible and this "guy" Jesus (I was raised to me He was an unheard of subject at my house). Bert told me that Jesus died so that all people could be saved. He said that Jesus was the ultimate sacrificial Lamb. I began to search my mind for the things that I had learned in my 4 years in Hebrew School. I told him that Jesus was never mentioned and that surely Mrs. Millman (my orthodox teacher) would not have left Him out if He were so great. She said that we were still waiting for our Messiah!!! 

Well, by the time Bert had finished his "ministering" I realized that I had been waiting for nothing. Those four years in Hebrew School had really been a waste of money for my parents. The Messiah had been here about two thousand years ago and He would be coming back for His people again...soon. Bert told me that if I confessed all my sins, honestly from my heart, turned away from sin (smoking cigarettes, cursing like a drunken sailor, gossiping... etc, etc.) and accepted Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior that I too could go with Jesus when He returns.

"Go, go where??", I asked.

Bert opened his Bible and began to read...the parable of the Wedding Banquet... (Matthew 22:2-14, NIV):

"The kingdom of heaven is like a king who prepared a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his servants to those who had been invited to the banquet to tell them to come, but they refused to come."

Then he sent some more servants and said, "Tell those who have been invited that I have prepared my dinner: My oxen and fattened cattle have been butchered, and everything is ready. Come to the wedding banquet." 

But they paid no attention and went off - one to his field, another to his business. The rest seized his servants, mistreated them and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his army and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

Then he said to his servants, "The wedding banquet is ready, but those I invited did not deserve to come. Go to the street corners and invite to the banquet anyone you find." So the servants went out into the streets and gathered all the people they could find, both good and bad, and the wedding hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing wedding clothes. "Friend" he asked, "how did you get in here without wedding clothes?" The man was speechless. Then the king told the attendants,

"Tie him hand and foot, and throw him outside into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are invited, but few are chosen." 

He then said, "Helene do you want to be among the chosen?" He then said, "Your people were chosen from the time of Abraham. But when they rejected Jesus and incited the people of Jerusalem and the Roman officials to crucify Jesus, they were cut off only to be restored at a later date". Bert continued, "You are still invited; all of God's people are invited. All you have to do is want to go to the "party" bad enough!!!".

Well, that was it... I became enraged. Who did this "man" think he was telling me that if I didn't change my ways I was going to go to hell. I would be part of those people that were outside the Gate. I wanted to lift him up by the back of his shirt collar and throw him out my door. I didn't, I just got up in a huff and left the room. I refused to come out until after he left. (I have since learned that this was the devil, or demon, in me causing me to react against the Word of God and the man of God that had been placed in my path.)

That night, before I went to bed, I had done something that I hadn't done in years... I spoke to God. I asked Him if what Bert had said was true... really true. Or, was this just some "holy-roller" trying to get another jewel in his crown. I needed to hear from God. God did not answer me right away. 

His answer came two weeks later when my youngest son, Steven, was four years old. Steven had somehow gotten out of the house and he was nowhere to be found. We woke up at about 6:00 AM. and Mitch realized that our front door was open just a crack. He went outside and saw Steven's little beach chair turned over, and his bottle of "bubbles" spilled on the ground. Mitch began to panic. He came in shouting that Steven was gone. I rushed to Steven's bedroom only to find his bed empty. I raced to the phone, while Mitch ran out to the pool. My heart sank as I dialed 911. Steven's whole little life flashed before my eyes. I took the phone to the door, as I watched Mitch apprehensively peer into the pool. He turned and I searched for a reaction on his face. There were no screams, no tears, no anything. I kept yelling is he there, is he there??? "No," was Mitch's reply, "I am going to go look for him with the car."

Suddenly, the voice on the other end of the phone said "Ma'am, ma'am, can I help you"? I began to spew out all the details that I could think of, like you see them do on the TV. I was talking so fast because I figured that it would get the police here quicker. The woman on the phone asked me to repeat several details and I was beginning to get annoyed with her. My legs were feeling like jelly and my stomach was beginning to turn. I was going to faint. No, the voice in my head screamed... not now... tell the lady the information again. I managed to compose myself long enough to repeat the missed details. Miraculously, Mitch pulled up in front of the house with Steven (still in his p.j.'s) nestled in the front seat. I told the woman that my husband had found him and that it would not be necessary for the police to come over. 

Mitch had found Steven 3 blocks away at the "Church of God" just sitting on the front lawn. Steven said that he was going to our local Wal-Mart to go buy a new bottle of "bubbles" because he had spilled his. I asked him why he didn't keep going? Steven said this "Man" told him not to go away from here. He said that his dad would be here for him soon. I asked Mitch if he had seen anyone there with Steven. He hadn't. Steven said that this "Man" was dressed funny and that He had long hair and a beard. He said that "He" had touched him softly on his face. I felt a chill run up my spine. My answer had come. There was no way that this "Man" could not have been Jesus. The direction that Steven took to the store that day was on a main roadway. There are a lot of wooded areas... anyone could have taken my baby and done anything with him. God had protected him. He had seen Jesus! Steven then said "Mommy, that sure is pretty church. Maybe we could go there sometime?" 

Well needless to say, The Church of God has been our home church for awhile now. We have all given our lives to Christ... because He gave His life for us. 

Your Sister in Christ... Helene

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