By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA – For 24 years, Lou Warshaw prayed her husband would accept Christ as his personal Lord and Savior.
After years of refusing to give up on the hope that one day her husband would become a Christian, God answered her prayers last month when 101-year-old George Warshaw made that decision and followed through with believer’s baptism.
“That was an experience I never dreamed I would have,” said Lou Warshaw. “I almost had given up. The devil kept telling me it wouldn’t happen but I kept believing God would let it happen. I think I’m still on cloud nine.”
His conversion story began on July 24, 1991, when Lou and George Warshaw became husband and wife.
The two were of different faiths; Lou a Christian and George a Jewish non-believer.
Even so, George attended Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria most Sundays with Lou, where she was a member. They sat in the same pew every Sunday for wor ship and then attended a Bible study class afterwards.
Throughout the years, Lou and other friends never pushed their faith on George, but rather showed him Christian love and prayed that he would come to know Christ.
Recently, George was unable to continue attending Calvary or even living at his residence with Lou. He was forced to move into the Veterans Affairs Nursing Home in Pineville, but still remained in constant contact with Calvary members and staff.
In late June, questions he asked about the Christian faith were more frequent and on July 10, George asked David Boothe, his long-time Sunday school teacher at Calvary to visit him.
“The conversation moved to that of denomination and she and I both explained to him that being a member of a denomination doesn’t mean anything as far as a relationship with God,” Boothe recalled. “We told him you have to get your relationship with God straightened out and the way you do that is trusting in God. We talked some more and he said he wanted to accept Christ.”
Three weeks later, Lou was there at the VA Nursing Home for another moment she never dreamed would happen.
Surrounded by friends and family who prayed and never gave up on the hope that he would one day accept Christ, George at 101 years of age was baptized on July 28.
Since he was too weak to undergo baptism by immersion, Boothe and Calvary Baptist Pastor David Brooks jointly baptized him. Brooks used water he collected from a past trip to the Jordan River.
Brooks said Lou is a perfect example of a Christ-like follower who obeys Christ’s commandments, even when the situation seems hopeless.
“She prayed for him for years and lived out an exceptional Chrisitan life in front of him,” Brooks said. “It is a great lesson to be persistent in praying for the salvation of anyone and witnessing to them. And never underestimate living a Christ-like life 24-7 in front of your family members. You never know the impact your life will have on them.”
Since his conversion and baptism, Lou and George are both now members of Calvary and read the Bible when they are together during her visits to the nursing home.
“He can’t see well anymore, so I read him the Bible for a long time when I’m at the nursing home with him,” Lou said. “I really didn’t know he would love to hear the Bible as much as he does. It’s like he has a hunger for it.”
The baptism portrays a lesson Lou feels Christians should learn who have witnessed to a non-believer for many years, one of persistence and never giving up.
“Keep praying and believe God will answer your prayers,” she said. “You’ve got to believe.”
“Just stay with it,” she continued. “God’s time is not our time. When the time is right, he will answer your prayer.”