Often if a stranger knocks on our door we will give them short shrift and have little time for them, or we would be suspicious and wary. However, 16 years ago, housewife Carol Dorey opened her door to an elderly gentleman whom she now credits with helping to save her life.
"I was at home still in my nightdress and not doing much when I answered a knock at the door," she says. "Straight away, this elderly man launched into a speech and asked me, 'Do you know Jesus?'"
It seemed to Carol to be a silly question. "I thought he was being funny and laughed. I replied, 'No, not personally.' How could anyone know Jesus personally unless they went to heaven?"
Being brought up in London, England, Carol had been taught Bible stories and had an awareness of there being a God but had no personal relationship with Him.
She met her husband, David, when they were both 16. They married at 18 and raised three children. "We did life our own way with no guidance from the Holy Spirit (the invisible presence of God). We made many mistakes in our life. Somehow we survived," she says.
But then came one of the most important questions she had ever been asked, "Do you know Jesus?"
Followed by "an even more important question, 'Would you like to know Jesus?' I don't know why, it must have just been the right time for me, but God had His hand on me and I answered, 'Well, yes, I would.'"
The man proceeded to lead Carol in a prayer of salvation. This is basically talking to God and admitting you are a sinner; expressing your belief in His son Jesus and the death Jesus died on the cross, and in His resurrection; and asking God to forgive your sin and take over your life.
Carol says when she committed herself to Jesus, her life changed straight away and she immediately found a loving Christian community to be a part of.
The stranger's name was Ron and he helped her to connect with a pastor of a small church in the area. Carol started attending the church and soon grew strong in her new-found faith.
While Carol had come to her own decision regarding Jesus Christ, her husband, David was not interested in church.
"However, David dropped me off at church each Sunday and would be there to pick me up. Some people from the church would speak to him through the window of the car and ask him to come in. He wasn't interested though."
Carol says it took years of praying before any change occurred in her husband. "One day, he actually went into the church," she smiles. "I had managed to get him to help out around the church, washing up and doing bits and pieces."
Then one day, David sat through one of the services. "Before long, he was coming in regularly," Carol says. "God was working in his life and had plans for his life, plans that involved Ron once again."
Ron came to their house and talked to David. At the end of the discussion, David prayed the same prayer as his wife had done years before.
Carol says David becoming a Christian was a "joyous occasion for us both". "Never underestimate the power of prayer," she asserts. They were both baptised in water as an outward sign of their inward commitment.
David and Carol have been married for more than 49 years. Ron, the stranger who led them to Jesus, has since gone on to heaven but the couple will never forget the amazing impact he has had on their lives.
"He was a faithful man of God," Carol attests. "He had a passion for evangelising [preaching the Gospel]. We were blessed that [God] led him to our door that day.
"We have a peace that only comes from knowing God. We are accepted and loved by God and we have been privileged to be able to serve Him and His people at our church over the years."•