Not many persons who have been through challenging ordeals still find the strength to lead others to Christ. However, Laura Foster, a member of the Seventh-day-Adventist Church, Junction, St. Elizabeth, has found great joy in leading not one, but two members of her family to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The former bar owner, now widow, made the difficult decision to shut down the operations of her bar, which for many years served as her primary source income. She made the decision after being convicted by the Holy Spirit during a tent campaign hosted in the Lititz area approximately thirteen years ago.
“I used to do business in Morning Side,” she said “but there was a lady who used to encourage me to come to church. She would come for me and take me to church very Sabbath. So, I would close my bar and go to church. When I came home from church however, I would re-open the bar” she stated with a chuckle.
Little did Foster know that during her constant visits to church, seeds were being sown by the Holy Spirit. She continued attending church until she made an overseas trip to visit her family in England.“When I came back to Jamaica,” she said “I came back with intentions to re-open the bar, but I couldn’t. I finally decided to follow Jesus all the way. So I officially closed down the bar.”
During this period God provided for her financial needs by allowing her family the ability to assist her. No sooner had she returned from England, she met and fell in love with her husband, Jack Foster, a union that lasted fourteen years and was ended by the passing of Jack earlier May of this year. Laura’s husband however, did not accept the Seventh-day message at the time she did, however they lived, laughed, loved and enjoyed life together. Little did she know that their moments of laughter would soon make way to her husband’s drastic health challenges and overall complete deterioration.
Approximately five years ago, Laura’s Grandfather, Rynel Williamson (who was 95 years old at the time) came to live with the Laura and her husband in Ballards Valley, St. Elizabeth. Williamson who moved from May Pen, testifies that during the last five years, his Granddaughter took him to church every week, thus solidifying his decision to become a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. And so, at the age of 97, he re-committed his life to Christ through baptism.
Laura continued to encourage her husband to surrender his life to the Lord. Her efforts did not go in vain. Her husband became severely ill, but to her joy, approximately one month and five days before he died, he surrendered his life to the Lord. So, with and aged grandfather and a sick husband, Laura expressed that this was one of the most difficult ordeals that she has had to deal with to date.
“It’s not easy dealing with the loss of my husband,” she said. “When I go into the closet, his shoes are still there, his clothes are there… I eat his favourite foods knowing that he can’t eat them anymore. It is really tough” she expressed.
Yet, throughout her experiences, her faith remains anchored and resolute in the Lord. For those who may be struggling with the loss of a loved one, Foster leaves these words as encouragement, “Just pray and ask God to give you strength” she said. “Keep the faith and hold on to Jesus. Talk to the Lord, just give him all your problems.”
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Foster’s example points us to the strength that Christ affords especially when seeking to cope with the tumultuous challenges that life sometimes unexpectedly brings our way.