Lou Warshaw prayed for 24 years that her husband George would accept Christ as his Lord and Savior.
After years of refusing to give up on the hope that he would become a Christian, God answered her prayers when, at the age of 101, George made that decision and followed through with believer’s baptism.
“The devil kept telling me it wouldn’t happen,” Lou said, admitting to times when her faith was tested. “But I kept believing God would let it happen. I think I’m still on cloud nine.”
George’s conversion story began on July 24, 1991, when he and Lou became husband and wife. The two were of different faiths; George was a Jewish non-believer; Lou was a Christian.
Even so, George attended Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria, La., most Sundays with Lou, where she was a member. They sat in the same pew every Sunday for worship and then attended a Bible study class.
Lou and other friends never pushed their faith on George through the years but showed him Christian love and prayed he would come to know Christ.
Photo courtesy of Calvary Baptist Church
David Boothe, left, and David Brooks jointly baptized George Warshaw, who accepted Christ after his wife, Lou, and others prayed for him and showed Christian love for 24 years. Boothe is the teacher of his Bible study group at Calvary Baptist Church in Alexandria, La., and Brooks is his pastor.
In recent months, George had become unable to continue attending Calvary or even living at his residence with Lou, so he went into the Veterans Affairs (VA) Nursing Home in nearby 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 longtime Sunday School teacher, to visit him.
Boothe said the conversation “moved to that of denomination and [Lou] and I both explained to him that being a member of a denomination doesn’t mean anything as far as a relationship with God.”
“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 at the VA Nursing Home for a moment flowing from her intercession for George. Surrounded by friends and family who had prayed and never given up hope that he would accept Christ, George was baptized.
Since he was too weak to undergo baptism by immersion, Boothe and Calvary pastor David Brooks jointly baptized George using water from the Jordan River that Brooks had collected during a trip to the Holy Land.
Brooks described 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 Christian 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 read the Bible when they are together during her visits at 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.”
George’s baptism portrays a lesson Lou for Christians who have witnessed to a non-believer for many years: “Keep praying and believe God will answer your prayers.”
“Just stay with it,” she said. “God’s time is not our time. When the time is right, He will answer your prayer.”
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Brian Blackwell is a staff writer for the Baptist Message at baptistmessage.com, newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.)