Helping Restless Hearts Find A Home

Helping Restless Hearts Find A Home

October 3, 2020, was a joyous day for the Green Bay Seventh-day Adventist Church as they celebrated two special baptisms. Erma Riesland and Laurie Kuik were both mentored by Gloria Wilde who welcomed them into the church, became their friend, and offered them Bible studies. Both Erma and Laurie have beautiful testimonies from which we can learn that God can use each one of us to reach out to those He is leading to our churches.

Erma grew up going to church on Sunday. However, her father confided in her that he grew up Seventh-day Adventist and had two special things to tell her: that the true Sabbath was the 7th day and that dead people didn’t go to heaven, they rested in their graves until Jesus returns and wakes them up. She believed this and these truths stuck with her. In adulthood, her father’s last message was to look for the Seventh-day Adventist Church as it is the “true church.”After her father died, twice he seemed to appear to her, but because she believed what her father told her she told the spirits to leave her and they did. She realized that the truths her father gave her protected her.

One day she was driving on Shawano Avenue (in Green Bay) and saw the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She and her husband Gary shortly began attending worship services there. They would slip in right before worship started and slip out right before it ended. They did this regularly until last December when Gloria Wilde noticed them and began to speak with them. One Sabbath, Erma told her husband that she wished she could learn more through Bible study.

That very day, Gloria asked her if she wanted to do Bible studies and she feels this was an answer to prayer. This year has been a “wonderful journey of learning Bible truth” for Erma. Gloria came to her house for Bible studies until COVID-19 came and then they did Bible studies on the phone or they met in a park. Erma states that her “restless heart has finally found its church home!”

Laurie began her journey in childhood. Her parents were busy and so church members would offer her rides to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She grew up knowing the truth but didn’t embrace it. Throughout the years, she would come back for different seminars and services. She even did Bible studies in her home. She would say she was ready for baptism, but then wouldn’t follow through. The Holy Spirit continually worked in her life. At one point she yelled at the Holy Spirit to leave her alone, but He didn’t. On Sabbaths, she would be especially impressed of where she should be.

A promise Laurie has seen realized in her life is John 14:14, “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”One night on the way home from work, she literally felt as though the devil was next to her. Chills went through her and she cried to the Lord to deliver her, and He did! Laurie also prayed to be delivered from her cigarette addiction and God delivered her again. She asked, and Jesus answered!

One day her husband, Dave, told her he would go to church with her, and when they came, Laurie met Gloria Wilde. She was happy to learn that Gloria’s parents were some of the people who brought her to church as a child.Gloria invited them over for dinner, offered Bible studies and, according to Laurie “was a true reflection of God’s love.” When Gloria was in the hospital Laurie felt impressed to visit her. Gloria told Laurie not to worry about the past, that Jesus accepts her now, and that when Jesus returns she wants to be able to talk to and see Laurie there. God has always placed special people in Laurie’s life. She states, “I am so glad Jesus never left me alone.”

Both of these testimonies show how individual people play such an important role in sharing Jesus. Erma’s story demonstrates a parent’s love and teaching can be used by the Holy Spirit even if not seen in the parent’s lifetime. Laurie’s story reveals that people’s willingness to bring her to church as a child left a lasting impression on her. In both stories Gloria’s friendship, hospitality, love, and willingness to answer the Holy Spirit’s guiding led Laurie and Erma toward Christ. We welcome Erma and Laurie into the church family, and we pray that we too can be led by the Holy Spirit to reach out in love to those around us.


Amy Moreno, Green Bay Church Secretary and Associate Pastor’s Wife