• BORN 1928

  • BAPTIZED 1957

  • PROFILE A sister who tactfully helped her opposed husband learn the truth.—As told by her son, Mario Koetin.

MY MOTHER was a warmhearted, outgoing person who loved the Bible. When she met Gertrud Ott, a missionary in Manado, North Sulawesi, she readily agreed to a Bible study and came into the truth. But my father, Erwin, a prominent banker and later chairman of the Jakarta Stock Exchange, vigorously opposed her new faith.

One day, my father gave Mother an ultimatum.

“Your religion or your husband—you must choose!” he raged.

My mother thought long and hard. Then she gently replied, “I want both—my husband and Jehovah.”

My father was speechless, and his anger evaporated.

In time, my father became more tolerant, for he loved my mother very much and greatly valued her wisdom and insight.

 My mother, however, wanted her husband to join her in true worship. After praying earnestly about the matter, she remembered that my father loved to learn languages. So she decided to display Bible texts in English around the home. “I’m trying to improve my English,” she told him. Realizing that he valued public speaking, she also asked him to help her rehearse her Theocratic Ministry School talks. He agreed. Appreciating that he was hospitable, she asked if they could accommodate the visiting circuit overseer. He consented. And knowing that he cherished his family, she gently suggested that he might like to sit with us at Christian conventions. So he did.

My mother’s patient and discreet efforts gradually softened my father’s heart. Later, when our family lived in England, he attended meetings and befriended John Barr, who became a member of the Governing Body of Jehovah’s Witnesses. That same year, my father was baptized, bringing my mother unbridled joy. In the years that followed, he showered her with love.

My mother’s chaste, respectful, and deeply spiritual nature touched all who knew her

Some of our friends liken my mother to Lydia, a first-century Christian woman who showed outstanding hospitality. (Acts 16:14, 15) But I often think of her as being like Sarah, who happily subjected herself to her husband, Abraham. (1 Pet. 3:4-6) My mother was a chaste, respectful, and deeply spiritual woman who touched all who knew her. It was her example that helped my father into the truth. To me, she was a true daughter of Sarah.