Praying Spanish Mother
By Rebeca Ruiz Laguardia
As a 10-year-old girl, Pilar Laguardia stared at the starry heavens over Spain and asked herself, “Who created the stars? Do we have a Creator, or are we just the result of chance?”
This question filled her thoughts for years. She asked relatives for their opinions, but no one could provide a satisfying answer. She attended church services on Sundays, but the sermons about burning hellfire and a tyrannical and vengeful God caused her to drift away from her family’s faith.
An illness nearly killed her at the age of 22. Pilar was terrified about dying without any answer to her question about God.
One day, in anguish, she opened the window and screamed at the sky, “God, if You exist, I want to know you! Help me! Answer me!”
God answered three days later when a Seventh-day Adventist church member, SimÃ³n MontÃ³n, knocked on the door of her home. SimÃ³n invited Pilar’s father, an agnostic sheep herder, to evangelistic meetings, and he accepted out of curiosity. Pilar asked to go along, but he insisted on going alone. Pilar persisted and finally won the argument.
Pilar, sick and weak, entered a Seventh-day Adventist church for the first time in the late 1960s. She heard beautiful hymns and the end-time prophecy of Daniel 2. Although her father never returned after the first night, she attended until the end of the meetings. On the last night, she received a book as a gift, and a church member wrote down her address.
Several days later, a woman visited her at home and offered Bible studies. Through the weekly studies, Pilar received answers to her questions about God. She found calm and peace for the first time.
Pastor Luis Bueno baptized Pilar 10 months after the Bible studies began.
She married at 32, but it was difficult for her to conceive a child because of her health problems. Again, she went to God in prayer — and became pregnant with me.
My mother, pictured, born in the humble home of a Spanish shepherd 73 years ago, is joyfully leading souls in the flock of the Great Shepherd today. I’m thankful to God for giving me such a mother.
Rebeca Ruiz Laguardia lives in Spain. Read about her missionary work in this quarter’s youth and adult Mission quarterly.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org
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