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It was Christmas Eve. Felisa Fernandez—she was unconverted then—was about to commit suicide and take her three children with her. She was very sick, having been told she had six months to live. That evening, her husband was gone, attending a company party.

Felisa sealed the windows and prepared to release the gas in the kitchen.

Now, the Sunday before, she had gone to Angelus Temple, founded by Aimee Semple McPherson, with some in-laws who were just saved. During that service, nothing had happened to her.

But as she stood in her kitchen that Christmas Eve getting everything ready, she remembered the church and wondered how the “hallelujahs” were going. She turned on the radio, and Sister Aimee was preaching, talking about how Mary and Joseph were looking for an inn and knocking on the innkeeper’s door.

Sister Aimee banged on the pulpit. Bang, bang, bang. “If Mary and Joseph came by, would you let them in?”

Felisa cried out in great anguish: “Yes! I would let them in!”

Sister Aimee said, “Someone else is knocking at the door of your heart.” Bang, bang, bang. “Would you let Him in?”

Felisa cried: “Yes! I would let Him in.”

Then she fell to her knees, and a light filled the room. That moment, she was miraculously saved. Her husband came home from the company party, and found her walking and praising God, full of the Spirit of the Lord. She received him with joy, tears, singing and praising God.

He looked at her, astonished. “You must be going crazy.”

“Oh, no,” Felisa answered. “I would go up to the top of the roof and tell everyone Jesus saved me.”

A few months later, as she lay in her bed and waited to die, Felisa prepared her funeral service, deciding how matters would be laid out and which songs would be used. She wanted songs about going into the presence of the Lord.

You know, she didn’t die then. She went on to lead a church for another 40 years. She was my mother-in-law. I married her younger daughter, whom I met down in San Diego when I was in the Navy.

But while Felisa was planning her funeral, she asked her older daughter to bring her the songbook. Then she began picking out the songs. It so happened that she was full of the Lord, and she began praising God, singing the songs that would be at her funeral.

She loved to sing, “Jesus, Lover of My Soul.” Suddenly, she began to shake under the power of God, and her kidney, which had been badly displaced, went back to its place.

She was able to get up and preach, and God used her in a powerful way among the Hispanic people.

But before that, I would hear Sister McPherson on the radio, and she preached powerful sermons. She was a powerful woman, a powerful woman of God. She had talent oozing out of her life. Just tremendous, all those dramas she produced. She was a tremendous composer.

My mother was not a member of Angelus Temple, so we only went for special occasions when I was around 12. We had our own little church, and it was almost every night. I used to go to sleep in the benches. My mother used to go to church every night, so I was raised in the gospel.

But when I was 19, I joined the Navy. I was going to the dance halls, and I had a cousin in San Diego who was showing me the ropes about worldly things. I was fresh into the Navy; I was free from church. I was living it up, having the time of my life. On Saturday nights, I went to the Cotton Club, a dance hall.

Then one night, I looked at the couples, and the Lord showed me the souls—showed me the souls!—like demons dancing, and I got the scare of my life.

The following Saturday, on the way back to the Cotton Club, I saw a sign on Broadway in San Diego: “Come and hear Little David Walker and Felisa Fernandez.” So instead of going to the Cotton Club, I went to the revival, and I gave my heart to the Lord that night.

Christ is available to whosoever will let Him into his or her heart. Jesus is knocking on the door of your heart. Would you let Him in?

Dios te bendiga. God bless you.

is a longtime Foursquare evangelist and an assisting minister at Beverly Blvd. / Montebello Foursquare Church in the Los Angeles area.