Connecting Columbia Union Seventh-day Adventists

Lauri and Joe Nichols came to know Christ as a result of Rachel Velez (center), a 14-year-old who couldn't hide her love for Jesus.

‘A Little Child Shall Lead Them’

Story by Liz Bailey

Fourteen-year-old Rachel Velez became friends with her public school teacher Lauri Nichols during their private tutoring sessions. As they met each week, Velez could not hide her love for Jesus, often talking to her teacher about God. One day, Velez invited Nichols and her husband, Joe, to church to hear her sing special music.

Amazingly, before that Sabbath arrived, Lauri had asked her husband, “If you could meet God and just ask Him one question, what would it be?” In jest, he replied, “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” Little did they know that Jim Buchanan, Cumberland’s pastor, had planned to preach a sermon with that same title. When the Nichols arrived at church, they were convinced this was no coincidence.

Lauri told the Cumberland (Md.) church congregation how they came to be there that day—because of Velez’s personal witness. After some time, the couple requested Bible studies and were baptized into the Cumberland family. Lauri is now taking care of her mother in a different state, where she takes her new friends to church. She is deeply in love with Jesus, all because a child shared Him with her.

To watch the couple’s interview, visit

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