In this Jewish testimonial video, Lawrence explains how his daughter’s miraculous conception and life brought he and his wife closer to God in ways he could have never anticipated.
Lawrence grew up in a very religious Jewish household in South Africa, but was considered more of a “sportsman” rather than a “philosopher” like his brother, who was always reading into religious texts. One day, his brother came home with a Bible and various other literature and hid it under his bed, his parents however eventually found the Bible, and it provoked a reaction Lawrence had never witnessed before.
“I was really quite shocked to see their response to my brother’s interest, and I’d never see my dad cry before but I saw him cry. My brother put it aside, and vowed to never think about Jesus again.”
When he was 15, he met a girl named Louise, and even though they were young, they talked about getting married one day; agreeing that when they do, she would convert to Judaism. However with national conflict on the rise, the Jewish communities of South Africa had to look towards the future, and many of them, including Lawrence’s family, decided to move to Australia. He was forced with the decision to leave behind his girlfriend, a reality that traumatized him.
“So I had a little deal with God: God, if you’d bring us back together, if we could see each other again, I would become a good Jew, and bring up our children to be good Jews.”
Once they had arrived in Australia, things began to change within his family. His brother started to think about Jesus again, becoming a staunch Believer after a supernatural encounter with God changed his life.
“He kept saying things like, ‘I really love Jesus’, ‘Jesus has changed my life’, and I thought that was very odd. First of all because Jesus was a man, and he lived 2,000 years ago, and I couldn’t understand this love that they shared for one another. Not only that, but Jesus was dead, so how could he love Jesus?”
Lawrence couldn’t understand what his brother meant by all of this, until his brother sat down and read with him. The scriptures spoke about a man who had been rejected by his people, who had come to suffer and die for the sins of others, rather than his own.
“And after he had read the scripture to me, I said to him, ‘Well, that’s obviously all about Jesus and that must be in the New Testament.’ Well of course, he was very quick to show me that he had just read from the Prophet Isaiah, chapter 53, the prophet who wrote 700 years before Jesus.”
Lawrence was struck by the prophecy and the realization that there was truth to what his brother shared with him, it made him feel uncomfortable.
“I always felt a very strong connection with my Jewish identity, and here I was being confronted with the truth about Jesus being the Messiah.”
He began to think that, if Jesus truly is our Moshiach, our Jewish Messiah, then he, as a Jew, had to believe in Him. He reached a breaking point in his life, where the opinion of God overcame the importance of the opinion of his family, friends, and community. That night, he prayed to accept Jesus as his Messiah, and completely changed his life. He called Louise, who was back in South Africa, and shared with her how he had accepted Jesus.
“And I was totally shocked at her response; she said, ‘so have I.”
Neither of them had known or even anticipated such a thing would happen, but as Lawrence grew in his faith in Australia, Louise had discovered Jesus herself and accepted him across the waters. They were both amazed at how God could have entered their lives and revealed the Messiah to them at the same time. Several months later, they got married under a chuppah in South Africa, Sarah became pregnant, and their daughter, Sarah, was born. But when she was born, Sarah didn’t cry.
“The doctor had come in to speak to us, and he told us that Sarah was born with no brain, and he said, ‘Well, we don’t think Sarah will live. She’ll probably only live two or three days.”
Lawrence and Louise couldn’t believe what they were hearing, and knew in their hearts that they couldn’t just walk away from their daughter. They took her home, but Sarah was truly unwell. Louise prayed every moment that, “God, let Sarah live!”, “Let there be a miracle!”, “Let Sarah be healed!” Lawrence grew angry with God, trying to understand where was He in this crisis? Lawrence knew deep down that Sarah would live, but did not want to endure such a difficult trial, and even asked God to take her. But God revealed himself through Sarah in an amazing way.
“The doctor had said that Sarah would be a vegetable, that she wouldn’t smile. And the first time she smiled, she smiled at me.”
Lawrence felt a deep shame within himself as if he was a murderer, that he asked for her to die, and repented of his thoughts, knowing that God had a purpose for Sarah’s life to change something deep within him, and to change them as a family.
“I came to realize that God works in our lives through difficult times in our lives in very powerful ways. That he actually speaks to us louder through our suffering than he does through our pleasures. And Sarah’s disability has taught us so about God, and taught us so much about life.”