The book of Acts records the gospel spreading through the known world at that time. On occasion, it also captures the gospel impacting entire families. In chapter 16, the Philippian jailer and “ all his household were baptized.” In chapter 18, the synagogue leader “and his entire household believed in the Lord.” There is something special and inspiring when family members believe and are baptized.
In the South Pacific Region, one particular story is following this pattern.
Walker and Lara Tabua are part of the Brisbane Christian Church in Australia. The journey to convert their family started after their baptism in 1999. They prayed and made attempts to study the Bible with family members; however, the timing wasn’t right. Eventually, God opened their hearts to the gospel.
In 2016, their family was saddened by the news that Walker’s father had contracted cancer. In June 2017, the family was devastated by his death. However, in 2018, God stirred the hearts of his family. Walker remembers, “We all grieved, but no one more than my mother who had just lost her life partner, her husband of 48 years. After months of challenge and battle, mum started coming to church again, and in January 2018 began the long journey of studying the Bible with a few of the sisters, one from the same area in Papua New Guinea where she was born. They connected, to say the least.”
In addition, the passing of his father sparked a spiritual journey for other family members. Walter’s sister, Desiree, has six kids. At the beginning of 2018, three of the six began studying the Bible.
In April, Tyrone was the first to make Jesus Lord. One week later, Tyrone’s sister Laelah was baptized. And the following week, their sister was also baptized. Three of Walker’s nephews were baptized in the first half of 2018!
The year ended with the moving baptism of his mother Margaret on November 11. As Walker recalls, “Her struggle has been real, yet through it all, she prayed and we prayed that God would open her eyes to his word. God’s timing is not always what we hope for but is always perfect!!! To God be the glory.”
And God continues to move. At the moment, two more of his nephews and his sister Desiree are studying the Bible. It’s a modern-day illustration of entire households believing. Their story is an inspiration for us all to stay prayerful and faithful for our families as the gospel spreads throughout the world today.