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Many people come to Wheaton Bible Church via a right turn off North Avenue. Others make their way south along Morton Road. But for Donalyn Bruzzini’s
family, the path to WBC on their first visit was a direct route from the Coyote Crossing mini-golf course in the park next door!
At their daughter Lindsay’s request, the family had headed out for a round of mini-golf. As they played, Donalyn noticed how close they were to the church they’d heard about from a neighbor—and decided right then and there to check it out.
Donalyn had been eager to find a church ever since she spent time with an aunt and uncle in Tucson last June. She had gone there to help care for her ailing grandfather, planning to give her relatives who had been caring for him a break.
During that brief visit, there were some interesting conversations between Donalyn and her uncle as he brought up spiritual things.
“He was testing the waters with me,” Donalyn says, “and I would say, ‘I’d love to hear about that.’ And we’d talk, and then he’d say, ‘Someday we’ll have to talk more.’ But even in that short time, my aunt and uncle explained so many things that I had never known about God and the Bible.”
Donalyn was, she says, “raised Catholic. But we didn’t practice it much.” Her church attendance was more consistent after she married, and her two children were baptized as infants and taken to church regularly.
“I believed in God,” she says, “but I didn’t really understand much. I didn’t know anything about the Bible. I was pretty much clueless.”
The conversations touched on many different subjects. As an example, Donalyn recalls, “I thought that everyone went to heaven. But my uncle explained that you will only go to heaven if you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins.
“I’ve always heard that, but the depth of it never reached me. And when it did, my first reaction was to think about my father, who had passed away six and a half years earlier. I started crying, hoping that my dad was saved and had gone to heaven when he died. It really made me wake up.“
After that trip to Tucson,” she said, “I was really concerned about my family and making sure that they were saved. I started telling my kids and my husband what I was learning.
“When I got home, I shared everything with my daughter, a high school senior, and she didn’t know any of it either. I told my husband, too, and my son before he went off to college,” Donalyn says. “I think my excitement and what they saw in me was really intriguing to them, and they wanted to know more.”
Soon, Donalyn joyfully reports, Lyndsay, too, came to Jesus.
Email Bible Study
As a follow up to their conversations in Tucson, Donalyn’s uncle had started sending her Scripture verses to read, and he began teaching her using email. “He had me reading every day, all summer long! We started in Genesis, and then went to Luke—and that’s where I am now, where Jesus is on the mountain telling everybody exactly who He is.”
Donalyn also passed those emails along to her family. “I was really learning,” she adds, “but even with the emails from my uncle,
I was thinking to myself, I have to find a church where I really can get what I need. Then when my daughter got us over to Coyote Crossing for mini-golf, we saw the church over here, and I said, ‘Let’s take a walk over.’”
They hiked up the hill and walked in the door, looking for a brochure about the services and what the church is all about, she recalls. The helpers at the Welcome Desk told them about service times and answered their other questions about the church.
Donalyn’s next step was to email her uncle. “I said, ‘I found this church. It’s called Wheaton Bible Church.’ So he went on the website, and he emailed me back: ‘That’s a good place to be;that is everything you could ever want in a church.’”
The next Sunday, Donalyn and Lyndsay decided to come to a service. “We loved everything about it!” she added. Soon, her husband, Bruce, was coming too.
It was just two weeks later, as Pastor Chris McElwee was teaching about baptism, that Donalyn and her daughter decided to take another step of faith and be baptized. “My daughter and I looked at each other,” she remembers, “and said, ‘Why wouldn’t we?’”
Both Donalyn and Lyndsay were baptized on Saturday, September 8, at the All-Church Baptism Celebration. This fall, Donalyn attended Alpha for Women and continues to be an eager learner. Lyndsay has joined a Student Ministry Core Group of senior girls.
Donalyn’s grandpa in Tucson—just a week before he died—put his trust in Jesus Christ!
“Before, he never wanted to talk about Jesus or the Bible or God or anything like that,” Donalyn says, “but a week before he passed away, my uncle was reading him Scriptures, and finally he said, ‘I believe. I know it.’ And they reconfirmed it with him several times. We are so happy that Grandpa is in heaven!”
Donalyn held a memorial service for her grandfather at her home in Bartlett, for family members in this area who couldn’t go to the funeral in Arizona. Among the Scripture verses she read that day was Romans 10:9–10:
If you confess with your mouth, that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. nlt