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Nurse Picks Up Phone, Finds New Beginning

The weekend she moved to Tennessee, Laurie received a phone call at 8:00 Saturday morning. It was Dr. Larkins, with another kind of invitation. "Would you like to go to church?" Laurie declined. It was her day to sleep in!

Laurie White was a born and raised Baptist. While working as a nurse in New Jersey, she met Dr. Debra Larkins, who soon invited Laurie to come down to Tennessee to help her start a new practice. Being a "city girl," Laurie was not excited about the idea. However, she decided to accept the invitation.

The weekend she moved to Tennessee, Laurie received a phone call at 8:00 Saturday morning. It was Dr. Larkins, with another kind of invitation. "Would you like to go to church?" Laurie declined. It was her day to sleep in! An hour later, Laurie's phone rang again: the same invitation. When the phone rang a third time, Laurie finally decided to accept. "And when I first arrived at the church back door, the first thing I saw was all these happy people. Happy Sabbath! Happy Sabbath!" The church members left such an impression on Laurie that she started attending regularly.

But church wasn't where it ended. The Christian environment and mission-driven employees at Takoma Adventist Hospital encouraged Laurie in her spiritual journey. "We always prayed for every meeting...and they prayed with the patients. If they were going for surgery, if they had a baby, there was always prayer."

Among the spiritual literature available at the hospital was a copy of the Desire of Ages, which Laurie happened upon one day. "When I picked up the book, Desire of Ages, and began reading it, it was as if I was put in that time. It was as if I was reading a story, but it felt so real; as if those words were coming right off the pages and it was painting pictures that were so vivid that I could literally see."