I just came back to this post. Thanks for your kind words and encouragment, Tracy and Martha.
Tracy, what's happening with John? Any indication of interest in the Lord yet?
Martha, you're right, I was almost tempted to give up because it seemed really hopeless. Almost. But deep down inside, I knew that I never would. My former boss told me to my face that he would never ask Jesus into his heart when I asked him. Never. He said that if he didn't ask Jesus into his heart when his beloved first wife died and it rocked his world upside down, he wasn't going to ask Him into his heart on his death bed. (Famous last words, because that's exactly what he did!) And with my mom, every time I would talk to her about the Lord, her eyes would glaze over and she would quickly change the subject. But there were two pivital events that brought them both around.
With my former boss, it was his Christian wife. He would see God blessing her in ways that were unexplainable in the natural. Plus he would witness for himself answers to prayers that astounded him. I think that made him think it was no coincidence that whatever his wife would pray for would come to pass. I used to go and visit them in their home, and me and his wife would tease him and say, "So you still think there's not a God, eh??" when we would remind him how God was answering prayers left and right...until he finally admitted in a cheeky grin that he was slowly on the "slippery slope to heaven". LOL! (One thing that me and him had in common....we both had the same quirky, silly kind of humor. No one in the world made me laugh like he did!)
In the case with my mom, well, that was a total miracle from God. One day I was at church, and I was sitting in the pew with my Bible opened on my lap at the part in Mark 10:51 where Jesus was asking the blind man, "What do you want Me to do for you?" Well, the interesting part was that particular verse alone was illuminated with a bright light. Just that verse. Stunned, I looked up at the rafters on the ceiling to see if a ray of sunlight had come in through the roof, but there wasn't. I looked to see if I was sitting under a light, but I wasn't, either. Strange. So I picked up my Bible and started moving it around, and the light stayed on the same verse! Right then and there, I knew that was the Lord speaking to me, telling me that whatever I asked of Him, He would do for me. I knew in my heart that the one thing I wanted more than anything was my mother's salvation. So I prayed and said to Him, "Dear Lord, I want my mother saved and in heaven with me. Please save her." Right at that moment, the pastor was quoting the same verse in Mark 10:51 that was illuminated in my Bible!! I knew right then and there that was a confirmation to me, and that the Lord was going to do what I asked! Hallelujah!
Well, a couple of weeks later it was Easter, and I brought my mother over to my house, and put on "The Greatest Story Ever Told" on the TV while I fixed us some lunch. When I went back into the living room, my mother looked at me with an expression in her face that I never saw before....a moment of clarity and recognition....and I could actually see the scales being removed from her mind and heart. She said to me as she was watching Jesus cruxifixion, "Jesus did that for us, didn't He?" Relief and joy flooded my heart, and I told her, "Yes, Mom, He did. He paid the price for your sin and mine. Would you like to ask Him into your heart?" Happily she nodded her head and said, "Yes, I would." I went on my knees before her and prayed the sinners prayer with her and she asked Jesus into her heart right then and there. I then took her into the kitchen and baptised her with water on her head in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (At the age of 86, she was too feeble to go into a pool of water to be baptised by a minister, so I made do.)
Three months later, a month after her 87th birtday, she passed away. I was so relieved that she didn't die lost. Praise the Lord for His goodness!!
I said all of that to say this: Tracy, I can see your atheist church friend John being saved. Let's continue to pray for his salvation! The Lord can do anything.