by Janice Boone
When Rene Brunet began studying the Bible with two gentlemen who came to his home in Florida, his mother, Grace, in Tennessee became worried that this exposure would misguide him. She had prayed for many years that he would join her in the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
While visiting him two years earlier, Rene’s mother, Grace Brunet, had attended the Adventist Church in Brooksville and kept the bulletin for that day. Now, as the worry increased, Grace got out the bulletin, found my name listed as the first elder, and called me. She asked if I would contact her son and perhaps study God’s Word with him.
As my husband, Van, and I drove to church the next day, I decided to call the number Grace had given me. I simply invited Rene to come to a community clubhouse where I was conducting a Revelation Seminar that included a special slide presentation on space taken by the Hubble telescope. He seemed interested and agreed to attend. After the meeting, I asked Rene if he would like to come to our house to start at the beginning of the Revelation Seminar studies. He readily agreed, and we made an appointment for the following Monday evening.
When Rene arrived at our home, we learned he was a Vietnam War veteran who had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. He had also suffered a severe loss of hearing from bombs exploding close to him as a young soldier.
Rene became such a seeker of truth that I told him he reminded me of Nicodemus meeting Jesus. He diligently studied, comparing scripture with scripture. As soon as he recognized there were certain adjustments that had to be made in his lifestyle, he learned to rely on Christ’s ability to get him over these hurdles.
It wasn’t long before Rene told me that his mother was worried about him studying with the two gentlemen. My response was, “Well, Rene, I’m NOT concerned at all because you are studying the truth, and if there is anything you hear that is contrary to that truth, you will recognize it!”
Soon, he was showing the two men scriptures that were not in harmony with what they were teaching. After several weeks of attempting to help them recognize truth, the men stopped coming to his home. Rene hoped that God would prepare him to minister to them some day.
It was a great blessing for Van and me to watch Rene grow stronger in Christ week after week. Sometimes, it was hard for him to hold back tears when he was obviously at the foot of the cross. During his six months of Bible studies, he also read The Desire of Ages and asked if we could study twice a week with him.
Rene wanted to go right into the Daniel Prophecy Seminar when the studies on Revelation were finished. After three months, he decided to be baptized. What a day of unspeakable joy for Rene’s mother to be at Brooksville Church, watching her precious son step into the water as he was baptized by Pastor John Sabo. Grace had prayed many years for this moment, and God had answered her prayers.
By this time, Rene had planned to become a Bible teacher. He had four people with whom he was planning to study; however, this would never happen. Just three months after his baptism, Rene and his son, Derek, were in a motorcycle accident. Rene was rushed to the hospital where he went to sleep in Jesus.
How grateful Grace is to have seen God’s purpose for her son realized, and how blessed and honored I am to have been his teacher. When Grace calls or writes, she constantly speaks of the reunion she is promised with her dear son when Jesus comes again.
My purpose in sharing this story of Rene and the answered prayer of his mother, Grace, is to encourage mothers and other family members to never stop praying for loved ones—God may answer in the eleventh hour!