Prayer conference brings unexpected salvation at FBC Rowlett

FBC Rowlett prayer conference

ROWLETT—With a Great Commission focus, First Baptist Church Rowlett’s “Let Us Pray” Sunday church service and evening prayer conference Oct. 18 signaled the church’s desire to ask God to “do amazing things” within the heart and life of the congregation and community, Pastor Cole Hedgecock said.

God did.

After hearing Gordon Fort, International Mission Board executive vice president, preach on the importance of prayer and having a relationship with the heavenly Father through Christ, Hannah, a Chinese migrant recently relocated to Rowlett, responded.

Hannah and her friend Amy, also from China, had been attending FBC Rowlett services and an adult Sunday school class for a few weeks, where they met church member Maria Covolan. The women exchanged phone numbers and Covolan texted Hannah about church events, including the Bible conference. Amy and Hannah came, and after Fort asked the congregation to pray, Covolan approached Hannah.

“Do you want to pray?” Covolan asked.

“I don’t know what prayer is,” Hannah replied.

Covolan explained that prayer is “talking to God.”

“I don’t know God,” Hannah said. So Covolan continued.

“I started explaining to her about salvation, Jesus and God,” Covolan said, asking Hannah if she understood and if she wanted to receive Jesus as her Savior. Hannah said yes, so Covolan led her in a prayer for salvation.

“We prayed and finished by asking Jesus to come into her heart and save her,” Covolan said.

“That’s it?” Hannah asked, surprised, after praying. “I want to know more.”

By this time, the pastor’s wife, Christy, had noticed what was happening and approached the women. She motioned for her husband to come over.

When Hannah told the group she did not have a Bible but could “manage it on her phone,” Cole remembered something.

After determining that Hannah spoke Mandarin, the pastor rushed to his office and returned with a Chinese/English Bible that “just happened” to be on his shelf. He gave it to Hannah, explaining how to start reading in the Gospel of John.

Hannah’s joy was evident as she opened the scripture for the very first time.

“This is how God works. When we humble ourselves and ask God to show up and do amazing things, he goes completely off script and does things that only he can get the glory for,” the pastor said

“Think about it, what are the odds that a Chinese immigrant would attend our church on a Sunday night when we have the IMB executive vice president leading a prayer conference … we don’t normally have Sunday evening activities … where she would receive Jesus as her personal Lord and Savior and get a Bible in her Mandarin language collected on an IMB mission trip years ago?” he told the Texan.

That shows the “true power of prayer,” he added.

Maria has since invited Hannah and Amy to church events and also fellowshipped with them in their home. The women continue to attend the church.

Hannah is active in a connect group, ESL classes and weekly church events. She participated as a helper in the fall festival and collected items for needy families at Christmas. She continues to read her Bible and have gospel conversations regularly, the pastor said.




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