YEAR BORN: 1948
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: HUNGARY
HISTORY: YEARNED FOR ANSWERS TO LIFE’S BIG QUESTIONS
I was born in Székesfehérvár, Hungary, a city with a rich history stretching back over 1,000 years. Sadly, I can still remember the ugly marks that were left there by the ravages of the second world war.
In my early childhood, I was raised by my grandparents. I remember them fondly—especially my grandmother Elisabeth. She instilled in me a strong faith in God. From the age of three, I repeated with her every evening what is sometimes called the Lord’s Prayer. Even so, it would not be until my late 20’s that I would come to understand the meaning of that prayer.
My grandparents took care of me in my early years because my parents were working day and night, hoping to save enough money to buy a decent home. Every second Saturday, though, the entire family gathered for a meal. I cherished those times we had together.
In 1958, my parents’ dream came true; they were able to purchase a house for the three of us to live in. Finally, I was to live with my parents—I was elated! Six months later, however, that happiness came to a sudden end. My father died of cancer.
I was devastated. I remember praying: “God, I begged you to save my dad. I need him. Why didn’t you answer my prayers?” I desperately wanted to know where my father was. I wondered: ‘Has he gone to heaven? Or has he ceased to exist forever?’ I envied other children who still had a father.
For many years, I went to the cemetery nearly every day. I would kneel at my father’s grave and pray: “Please, God, I want to know where my dad is.” I also prayed for help to understand the meaning of life.
At the age of 13, I decided to learn German. I thought that among the vast and rich German literature, perhaps I could find answers to my questions. In 1967, I began studying in the city of Jena, then part of East Germany. I eagerly read books by German philosophers, especially those dealing with the meaning of human existence. Although I found some interesting ideas, none of them fully satisfied me. I continued praying for answers.
HOW THE BIBLE CHANGED MY LIFE:
In 1970, I returned to Hungary, where I met my future wife, Rose. At the time, Hungary was under Communist rule. Shortly after we were married, Rose and I escaped to Austria. Our goal was to emigrate eventually to Sydney, Australia, where my uncle lived.
I soon found work in Austria. One day, a workmate told me that I could find answers to all my questions in the Bible. He gave me a couple of books that discussed the Bible. I devoured those books and wanted to learn more. So I wrote to Jehovah’s Witnesses, the publishers of the books, and requested more literature.
On the day of our first wedding anniversary, Rose and I were visited by a young Austrian Witness. He brought the literature that I had requested and offered me a Bible study, which I accepted. Since I was eager to learn, we studied twice a week—each study session lasting for about four hours!
I was thrilled by what the Witnesses taught me from the Bible. When they showed me God’s name, Jehovah, in my Hungarian Bible, I could hardly believe it. In my 27 years of attending church, I had never heard God’s name mentioned even once. I was impressed by the Bible’s clear, logical answers to my questions. For example, I learned that the dead are unconscious, as if in a deep sleep. (Ecclesiastes 9:5, 10; John 11:11-15) I also learned about the Bible’s promise of a new world where “death will be no more.” (Revelation 21:3, 4) I hope to see my father again, for in that new world, “there is going to be a resurrection.”—Acts 24:15.
Rose joined me wholeheartedly in studying the Bible. We made rapid progress, finishing the study publication in just two months! We attended every meeting that the Witnesses held at the Kingdom Hall. We were deeply impressed by the love, helpfulness, and unity among Jehovah’s Witnesses.—John 13:34, 35.
In 1976, Rose and I were granted entry into Australia. We immediately located Jehovah’s Witnesses there. The local Witnesses made us feel at home right away. In 1978, we became Witnesses ourselves.
HOW I HAVE BENEFITED:
I have finally found answers to the questions that troubled me for so long. By drawing close to Jehovah God, I’ve also found the best Father imaginable. (James 4:8) And my hope of seeing my biological father again in the coming new world means a great deal to me.—John 5:28, 29.
In 1989, Rose and I decided to return to Hungary so that we could share our beliefs with our friends and family, as well as with others whom we might meet. We have been privileged to teach the Bible to hundreds of people. More than 70 of them have joined us in serving Jehovah, including my dear mother.
I prayed for 17 years to find answers to my questions. Another 39 years have passed, and I am still praying—only now I can say, “Thank you, my dear heavenly Father, for answering the prayers of my childhood.”