Marika Parlee

Marika Parlee

My story begins in Hungary. I was born after the second war, to parents who already had four sons growing up through the terrible times of the 1940’s, when the whole world fell apart, it seemed. My family tried to make sense of their lives, to carry on, and make the best of things. Our father had a good job as a Head Advisor/Mechanical Engineer at the Water department Of Budapest. He was a humble, intelligent man, who loved to grow fruit trees and keep honey bees as a hobby. As a result we always had lots to eat, had our own house, we even had bathroom with running water!

Later in my childhood things had settled down some. In school we were taught socialist songs, and wore red handkerchiefs around our necks. Our textbooks were written by people whose god was Karl Marx, Lenin, and Darwin. Their goal was to shape our young minds to their socialist purposes. The heart of our science was that we came from monkeys and the true God does not exist

Those who were trying to keep their faith by going to church on Sundays were persecuted and lost their jobs. God’s Word was watered down, and heaven and hell were nothing more than a fairy tale. My parents, though, had a fear of God and they believed He is the creator of the world, and had a great reverence for Him. My dad had passed away when I was 12 years old, and mom again was trying to cope with the great changes in her life

In my teen years I wasn’t much interested in spiritual things, busy working hard to accomplish my education and desperately searching for acceptance, peace, and happiness, in all the wrong places. At 21 years of age, I applied for a Canadian visa, to visit my two brothers who lived in Ontario at the time. Nothing less than a miracle, I got permission to leave the country for 4 months. I managed to stay longer, by applying for a student visa, and met Lloyd Parlee. We were married in 1974 and together we raised his three sons and also gave birth to our daughter and a son.

As the years were going by, I knew God was dealing with me. He allowed situations and circumstances in my life, and as a result I was desperately searching for Him. Through nothing more then an emotional experience, I turned over a new leaf, tried to feel God’s presence, do good, go church on Sundays, and teach my children about God. Even though I tried hard, my artificial peace did not last, and fear gripped my soul at times, when I heard of the Lord’s return.

Around this time I sought consultation from men, who I thought “represented” God, and His Truth. Their answer to me was: ” Oh don’t you worry about anything, just keep going the way you are, and everything is going to be alright”. That is when I started to read my Hungarian Bible, to find out my self, what God is really saying and what is the truth.

The first thing I found was in Exodus 33:12, that “he knows me by my name”. It shouldn’t have surprised me, because I had always believed God knows everything, but it right then became personal and real. So I kept on reading, but it seemed the more I read God’s Word the more guilty I felt. It showed me how sinful I really am. It reflected my own sinful heart.

One day my five year old daughter asked me “Do I have the Holy Spirit in my heart?” Well, her question just drove me deeper into searching the Bible, because I wanted more than anything to give her the right answers!

By this time our country had entered the economic recession of the 1980’s, and my husband, never having been without work until now, decided to move back to the Maritimes, where he was from. Jobs that were promising didn’t last long, and we were struggling in many different ways. We were renting a house in Riverview and met our new neighbors, Jim and Zonya Stuart, who were Christians. They were kind, fun loving, and always ready to help, but most of all they lived what they believed. Even though I forced myself to believe I was on my way to heaven, I knew the real peace Jim and Zonya had, I did not possess.

One day again my daughter, now six years old, came to me saying “my teacher told me, that we have to be born again to go to heaven, how can I born again?” I told her all I knew, that God’s son Jesus come to the earth to die for the sins of the whole world. Well, as she told me a few months later “Mom I asked you, but you couldn’t tell me, I had to find out for myself”! By reading “Christ Died For Our Sins” she discovered, she had many, but Jesus died for them all!
Her story reminded me of the scriptures again:
 
“Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein” Mark 10:15

In 1984 I was visited by Zonya’s dad, Mr. Markle, who showed me several scriptures on assurance of salvation. At the end of our visit, I gave up my false profession, and decided I wanted to be saved more than anything! On October 6th, a Saturday morning, I picked up a little booklet that I received from my daughter’s teacher. As I was reading it, things began to become clear to me, and I understood the first time that God created man perfect, not to get old, sick, and to die. I understood sin came in to the world by Adam and Eve, who passed it down to all mankind, through all generations.

So when God looks down from heaven, what does He see? Jealousy, wars, hatred, and I saw myself being a part of that sinful world!
 
“God looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, that did seek God. Every one of them is gone back; they are altogether become filthy, there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Psalm 53:2-3

He is a Loving, but also Holy, Righteous God, sin cannot enter into his presence. So, He has to punish sin in hell! But because of his love, grace, and mercy, to keep me out of that place, He sent his Son to pay the price for my sins!

That was the first time I met personally the Lord Jesus, the only Person who can provide that peace, I was searching for so long. I can hardly describe the joy that followed, the weight had been lifted off, my sins had been forgiven and put away for ever!

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”. John 3:16

My 75 years old mother visited us from Hungary the following summer of 1985. I had the pleasure of telling her how I was born again, and by reading God’s Word, she also came to the Saviour.

Eleven years later, my husband also become a Christian, by reading Romans 10:9 ” That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”.

Together we watched how our 23 year old son struggled with self righteousness. He wanted to be saved more than anything, but he thought God should save him on his terms. He gave up every bad habit that he could think of, and yet still “wasn’t enough”!

He had to come to the realization, that, as the Lord Jesus said ” It Is Finished” the work was done by Him, and Him alone! 2000 years ago, on the cross. He had to come to Christ by faith and not by works. Our son then took salvation for himself, as a free gift, and rejoiced at how simple it really is.

“For Grace are ye saved through faith and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God; Not of works, lest any man should boast”. Ephesians 2:8-9

At age 64 a sudden sickness struck my husband Lloyd. Just in a short few weeks we were told by doctors, that this is the “end”, there is nothing else they can do to help him. He only had hours left on this earth. Even after such shocking news, there was a peace and an inner joy, he was able to tell his doctors; “I am going home to heaven, because Christ is my Savior, and He prepared a place for me!” And he thanked God for it. His eternal security was sealed by the Holy Spirit at the moment he born again in to God’s family, nine years before.
 
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1

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