miracles and healing testimonies

rita ferns

Rita Ferns
I’LL TAKE YOU OUT OF THE MUD

When mother-of-four Rita Ferns had five people close to her die in the space of I4 months, she spiralled into a deep depression. But the new Christian clung to her faith during that dark time and is now able to look back and see that even in the hardest periods God was with her.

“I used to cry day and night, but God has dried my tears,” the -55-year-old says.
“I had two brothers and a niece commit suicide, then my cousin died from mouth cancer and I just broke down. I didn’t think it was possible to feel that bad and still live. I locked myself away and the only thing I had was my Bible. I didn’t even have the strength to read it but I would cling to it every night.

“Every morning I would pray to God to take me, then one morning as I cried out to him I heard the words, ‘I’m going to take you out of the mud and set your feet on the rock.’

“Then Psalm 40 came to me where it says, ‘I waited patiently on the Lord and he heard my cry.’ I knew then that God was with me. The days started to get better as he poured out His love.”

But Rita’s faith was to be put a further test when tragedy struck again as her son died from drug overdose last year.

“I just felt myself being lifted’ she says. “Despite what I ‘as going through, the love of God was there – I felt loved and precious and I knew that Jesus
was with me — even through that.

“Now, even though I have the memories, the pain that goes with them isn’t there. Jesus has taken it away and now I can look back on my life and see God at work, even in the dark times. I used to just cry constantly but now I am totally set free. God is an awesome God.”

That’s quite a statement for Rita, who attends Bathgate Elim in Scotland, as her whole life was characterised by abuse and poverty.

“I was abused from the age of five,” she says. “My dad had a drink problem and it wasn’t uncommon for him to spend evenings in the cells. There were nine of us and I was the eldest. My mum struggled to cope, so I took on that maternal role.”

As Rita grew older, things got worse as her father’s drink problem increased and periods of homelessness followed.

“When I was eight my mum just ran away and left us in a social worker’s office. In those days they had no homes for men and children so even though my dad was willing, we were put into foster care and those are some of the happiest memories in my life. We were placed with an American family in Dunnon near a naval base and life was good.”

But after social workers tracked down Rita’s mum, the children were taken back home. With seven children in a one-bed-roomed flat, a cycle of drink and despair soon returned.

“We lived there for five years and dad started to be violent towards my mum, even when she was pregnant,” Rita
recalls.

“He was constantly in the cells. There were quiet periods when he was trying to come off the drink but they never lasted long.”

Throughout her childhood, Rita suffered regular beatings and left home at I6.

“I got straight into a relationship with an older man who was quite controlling,” she says. “I was just desperate for love. We were together for ten years then the relationship broke down.”

Looking for a new start, Rita — who now had children of her own — moved to Livingston where she concentrated on bringing up her family.

“I was determined that they’d have the childhood that I never did,” she says. “I made sure that they were always clean and fed.”

Then four years ago her daughter told her about an Alpha course at the local Elim church and Rita decided to go
along.

“Pastor Jimmie Vowles at Bathgate was running the course,” she recalls. “I’d been brought up as a Catholic where it was all about rules and regulations. I’d always believed in God but thought of him as a scary God who would never want me because of all the things I’d done. l carried around all this guilt because l blamed myself for what had happened. But here I was being told about a Jesus who had died for me and loved me. It was incredible and l got to know him through relationship, not religion.”

But life wasn’t easy for the new Christian as she came to terms with her past. “l would still cry every day when I thought about my mum, dad and brothers, then I had the four suicides of my family members,” she says. “I just wanted to die. L was in agony inside.

“But then God spoke to me and my life started to turn around. I went to therapy and they couldn’t understand why l wasn’t angry after all I’d been
through but God has allowed me to look back on my life and see the blessings along the way and understand my parents’ pain. Every trial and challenge l face I’m able to cope with,” because of all the responsibility l had as a child.

“I believe that God has put me in Bathgate Elim so that l can help others. Every day l wake up and thank God that he’s taken the pain away.”

Pastor Vowles has seen Rita’s transformation first hand. “I have known Rita for several years now,” he says. “When we first met, there was so much pain and brokenness in her life.

“The greatest privilege of being a pastor is watching a person transform from old pain and hurt to healing and forgiveness. Rita is one of the most dramatic transformations l have witnessed. Jesus does what he says — he heals the broken-hearted.”

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miracles and healing testimonies

Matthew Murray
PRAYER SUPPORT HELPED ME

att murrayThere were moments when Matthew Murray didn’t think he would see 2015 after a near death experience in October. He told IBelieve about his remarkable recovery

A journalist who was tested for Ebola after falling ill following a mission trip to Africa believes God saved him from a deadly form of malaria.

Matthew Murray — iBelieve’s Contributions Editor — was critically ill for three weeks after the malaria spread to 50 per cent of his bloodstream and all his major organs started shutting down. Murray’s wife Becky was told by medics they could do no more and to prepare for the worst — but she turned to social media and asked friends and family to pray for his recovery. Within three hours, Murray’s malaria levels dropped and his organs began to improve. He was released from hospital two-and—a-half weeks later and given a clean bill of health.

Speaking from his South Yorkshire home, Murray said: ”l can’t believe I’m alive. lt’s a miracle for sure. They say that if you have five per cent of malaria in your bloodstream then it can be severe, so when they told my wife it had reached 50 per cent, everyone feared the worst.

My wife turned to her faith, put the message out on Facebook, and Christians all over the world started to pray. l have no doubt whatsoever that God performed a miracle. Even the doctors and nurses admitted it baffled them that I survived. l was a dead man in everyone’s eyes but Jesus saved me.

“l didn’t look at my phone for a week because I was out of it and almost unconscious, but when l logged onto Facebook l was amazed. l had about 2,000 messages, mostly from complete strangers, saying people had been praying for me. Churches cancelled their services and held special prayer meetings, and believers gathered in homes, hotels and small groups, crying out to God on my behalf. I had messages from India, Sri Lanka, Sierra Leone, Kenya, Australia, Spain, the Philippines and Germany — literally from all over the world — saying that people were praying. A worship leader in Sunderland even wrote a song about me and his church sang it and prayed for my healing.

As soon as l heard that song it gave me hope. I knew the Church had my back and it filled me with instant peace.

”I’m so humbled that so many people were touched to pray for me. It’s been quite overwhelming to hear of the response. The Church saved my life through their prayers and God heard them, reached down into that hospital room and did what only he can do. When medicine could do no more, Jesus stepped in.”

Murray, 27, was on a fundraising trip to America when he complained flu-like symptoms. Two weeks previously he had been in Kenya, where he and Becky run King’s Children’s Home as part of their Murray booked an appointment with a doctor in Daphne, Alabama, who agreed to see him again two days later if his condition worsened. On his second visit, the doctor was extremely concerned and ordered Murray straight to hospital. He had all the symptoms of Ebola and was placed in an isolation room while experts tested him.

“|t was quite traumatic,” Murray revealed. ”My wife couldn’t touch me, hold my hand or kiss my face. She had to wear a huge suit and mask just to be in the same room as me. l was at the other end of the world thinking my life was about to end. We’d been in Kenya, which is the opposite side of Africa to the Ebola outbreak, sol was never really worried about that, but I did know I was very sick. We have a three- year-old son, Josiah, and I wasn’t even allowed to see him for two weeks.

“They tested me for every disease you can think of — Ebola, HIV, rabies, hepatitis — but they came back and told me I had malaria. At first I was relieved because many of our children in Kenva get malaria but with antibiotics they’re OK within a few days. But I had no idea of the severity of the strain and that it would almost kill me.”

As the parasite levels began to rise Murray’s body rejected the antibiotics, and Becky was told that his heart was enlarged, his lungs were functioning at 40 per cent capacity and his liver and kidneys were severely damaged.

“I really did begin to think that was it,” Murray admitted. “I had my faith in Christ and I always knew he could heal me, but the news was getting worse and worse. There were times when I felt so close to death. My mind was going, I was saying strange things and I felt that I would slip into eternity at any second.

“When I started getting better, I’d have a different doctor or nurse walk into my hospital room every day. They’d simply want to congratulate me on surviving. They’d say they saw me when I was first admitted and that everyone assumed I would die.

“I’ve since had some of the doctors and nurses who treated me add me as friends on Facebook. They’ve messaged me privately and said they can’t believe I made it. One even said the turnaround had restored her faith in Jesus.

“God is a God of miracles. Jesus healed people in the Bible and if we believe the Book then we believe he’s the same yesterday, today and forever. He never changes.”

Murray’s lungs, heart and liver were all declared well by doctors, but he couldn’t fly back to Britain until his kidneys had improved.

“It was so frustrating,” he added. “Everything was well other than the kidneys. My good friend Nathan Morris, who is a well- known evangelist, came to see me, and I sensed that his visit would be significant. He prayed for me, and from that day, my kidneys got better and better.

“When I got back to England and had them tested again, the consultant said the numbers were completely normal and that there’s no long—term damage.”

Becky is delighted to have her husband home and the couple are busy planning future mission ventures together. “This certainly won’t stop us,” Becky added. “God saved Matthew for a reason and ‘ we’re ready for the next chapter in our lives.”

Doc: Healing is a. miracle

Matthew Murray’s doctor, Mike Mahoney, also believes God performed a miracle.

Dr Mahoney, a committed Christian, said: “l believe in miracles as l have witnessed many throughout my life and career. My meeting Matthew was no coincidence. It is still amazing to me that he walked around for as long as he did before he became so deathly ill. My initial compassion for him and his family was that they were all alone in a foreign country with only a couple of friends and without the support system that we all have in our homes and family. l felt compelled to pray for them in this manner.

“As Matthew deteriorated, my prayers changed to simply asking that Matthew not suffer and more towards Becky to give her strength to endure what l felt would be the inevitable. When God opened the door that Matthew possibly could survive, my prayers turned to intercessory prayers for a miracle. Even though Matthew continues to have an occasional setback, not only his survival, but his profound recovery from multi—system organ failure, has been astounding and miraculous.

“Modern medicine and good doctors get credit, but as instruments of God. Matthew gets credit for his faith and determination, but as an example of God’s love. Matthew is alive and with us today and l look forward with eager anticipation to see what great things God has in store for Matthew and his family.”

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miracles and healing testimonies

dawnpringle

Dawn Pringle
MUM’S JOY AFTER MIRACLE HEALING

MS Sufferer leaves Doc Stunned

A mother has spoken of the look of astonishment on her neurologist’s face after she was miraculously healed from multiple sclerosis.

Dawn Pringle, who watched her own mum battle MS, understood it was an incurable disease, but her faith in God’s healing power never wavered.

After being diagnosed in 2009, Dawn’s life became increasingly difficult.

“It was quite scary to start with,” she said. “My mother had it, so I knew I‘d have to go through.

“For me, it was very limiting in terms of what I could do. I went from being able to walk normally to suddenly realising that one of my legs was starting to drag.

“Going up and down pavements, I had to lift my leg rather

“And I would have to stop after ten minutes of walking because my muscles would lose strength.

“Even for things like getting in and out of the car or bath, I had to lift my legs. It was just a constant struggle”.

After receiving the diagnosis, Dawn was preparing to re-visit the hospital and discuss possible treatments to manage the disease, but God had different plans. “I used to go to Aspley Pentecostal Church in Bedfordshire with my mum and sister when I was little,” she said. “So when I saw in our local paper that they were having a healing crusade, that brought me back”.

Although she and her family were regulars at their local Anglican church, she knew that this was an opportunity she could not miss.

“I went forward to be prayed for and I had never felt so much heat, starting from my head, across my face and down my whole body – the power of the Holy Spirit was incredible.

“I felt all my MS symptoms gradually swept out of my feet. My muscles and nerve-ends started to feel stronger. I knew God was miraculously healing me; I just knew it!”

Suddenly Dawn was relishing her hospital appointment to be able to tell the neurologist what had happened.

AMAZED

“I couldn’t wait to see his re-action. So I asked if I could tell him what happened since my diagnosis, and he looked amazed.

“I stioll had to do the tests, but my scoring – which had previously been low – was now perfect! The neurologist couldn’t believe what I was doing! I walked in a straight line and there was no evidence at all of MS behind my eyes, where he expected to see it.

“He signed to discharge me and came out to watch me tell the receptionist I had been discharged. They had never discharged an MS patient before!”

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miracles and healing testimonies

ernest-024[1]

Rev. E. Anderson
BONNIE’S MIRACLE

Kim D. Armstrong

“The Lord will guide you always” – Isaiah 58:11

Bonnie and Bob owned their own flower shop. Because of the economic conditions in the area, the availability of flowers at local grocery stores, shorter funeral viewings and Internet access, their floral business was not thriving as it had been three years earlier when they purchased it.

For about a year, my sister Bonnie and her husband Bob discussed what they should do. They debated selling. They talked about expanding into a gift shop or maybe a bookstore. But there just wasn’t enough traffic or people around the area to support the business.

After reaching a point of despair one morning, Bonnie began sincerely praying and asking God for answers. Should they sell the business? Should they expand and put more money into it when it had little opportunity to survive? In desperation she prayed, “God, give me a sign telling us What You want us to do. Call me on the phone,” she teased, “but show me what to do.”

Soon the phone rang. A young woman was asking how much they wanted for the business. “My husband and I never take your road,” she said, “but we were driving by yesterday and saw the ‘For Sale’ sign in the Window.”
Puzzled, Bonnie replied, “There isn’t a sign in the window. My husband and I have been discussing whether or not we want to sell, but haven’t reached a decision.”

“But I saw the sign!” the young lady insisted. “My husband saw it too. It was blue and white in the large picture window facing the road”.

Within two Weeks, the young lady and her husband bought the shop.
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miracles and healing testimonies

 

MY LIFE WAS PRESERVEDrachaelhickson

Rachel Hickson

Heart-Cry for Change founder Rachel Hickson knows for certain that God Works all things together for good. After all, she founded her ministry after she was hit by a seven-tonne army truck in Zimbabwe…

I had a baby of four months old at that time,” Rachel re-calls. “I was rushed to hospital and within 24 hours I was in critical condition. My legs were broken —one in five places and the other in three – but the critical aspect was damage to my brain stem due to a fat embolism from the broken bones. My parents came from the UK, wondering whether they would collect my body. My mother- in-law began arranging my funeral.”

In Harare, Zimbabwe, with her husband Gordon, serving alongside Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, Rachel had been administering first aid in the road when she became a victim herself.

“Obviously, that had a massive impact on my life,” she says. ”There in Zimbabwe, that precious church that hadn’t known us very long just began to pray. They took Psalm 118 – ‘You shall not die but live’ — and they began to pray for me. A great heart cry started for my life to be preserved, and five days later I woke up and my brain was completely normal, so we thank God for that!”

Although Rachel woke up miraculously without brain damage, her legs weren’t healed.

”I went on a journey of four years learning from physiotherapists — or physio-‘terrorists’ as I used to call them. It was a long hard process of rehabilitation.

“But within that journey, this heart cry began to develop. God healed me. God

rescued me. I had seen the impact and power of prayer, both in the crusades

and very personally in my own life. I remember, something just triggered in me, and I said, ‘I’m going to pray like I watch and pray in Africa.’ But l just felt so unable to find my fluency and language.

”God spoke to me and said, ‘Rachel, don’t try to pray. First learn to love. Let me teach you how to love.’ That wheel-chair for four years really became a place where God began to slow me down and help me discover the joy of people.”

All in all, I t was nine years from that accident to the founding of Heart-cry for

Change, which celebrated 20 years of ministry last year.

“Often in my life I think I’ve discovered things by accident rather than design,” Rachel smiles. In this case, it might have been a serious road traffic accident, but it led to a pretty serious discovery. Rachel’s legs were completely healed when she was prayed for years later, but her experience helped her find a new purpose in life.

“God was healing the crippled, emotional areas in me,” she reflects.

“He put a heart cry for people in me. l had been known for being a little bit hard-headed, a science girl, had always done well and not needed a lot of help. Out of that place, without my understanding, God was healing me. For years, I’ve carried this heart cry that Jesus saves, Jesus heals and Jesus delivers.”

Rachel’s miraculous recovery is a wonderful story of God working all things together for good, but it is made more exciting by the impact it has had through the work it has inspired her to do.

“I discover other people’s heart cry and come alongside them,” she says.

“I help facilitate them to do what they feel called to do. I met Sharon Eason who had been out in Moldova, got overwhelmed and burnt out, and we’ve been on a journey for three years. Now, we’ve put together relational teams and I’ve introduced her to some of the amazing people I’ve had the privilege of getting to know over the last 30 years.”

Sharon has now joined the Love Moldova project and, with the support of Heart-cry for Change, is working with elderly women in ’Casa Helen’ — a care home they have built.

“Sharon is particularly working amongst older women who have gone through the hard, traumatic times of life,” Rachel explains. “Many of these women have been involved in slavery or sex trafficking in some ways. Now, due to ill health and disease, they’ve been abandoned and we’re gathering them up to make a home of safety, care, refuge and dignity. We’re also working with a young couple there looking at helping the youth, re-orientating their way of thinking.

“l had a young girl look at me and say, ’lf I stay at home, l’ll be abused. If l join the boys — the sex trafficking thing — I’ll be abused, but at least there’s a chance there that I might meet someone who loves me.’ We’re trying to put some value back into these precious people.” Raised by missionaries in India, Rachel was deeply touched by the plight of the lepers she encountered and now Heart-cry is making a difference to the lives of lepers also.

“I failed some of my exams to get into medical school, but God has opened doors and we have worked amongst the leprosy affected in the  Bangalore area.

“We have projects there doing water purification and building wells. That’s more of a social justice side to the ministry.”

Inspired by her own time in a wheel-chair, Rachel is also hoping to begin some disability projects in Zimbabwe and South Africa in the coming years. “It will almost give back. Where they prayed for me in the Spirit I’d love to serve those with disability.”

A regular traveller, Rachel splits her year into thirds, spending time in North America, Britain and the rest of the world, speaking and releasing people. “I love infecting young people with a heavenly virus to know that God has put a mandate in them to do life well.

“I do a lot of training and a lot of counselling. I love helping people break the power of the enemy. It says in John 10:10 that the enemy has a purpose: his purpose is to kill, steal and destroy. But Jesus came to give you life — a rich satisfying life. My role is to teach and preach and get hold of people and put that God sound into them, and hopefully start a new resonance of hope.”

Though she trots the globe, Rachel has a real heart for the UK. She helped start the London Prayernet in 1997 and calls Oxford home when she’s not on a different continent.

“God hasn’t finished with Britain yet,” she claims, half steely resolve, half hopeful excitement. What I find in Britain is an army of extraordinary people willing to give their lives for others. I find that there is a hunger among people to encounter Jesus. People have a missional view not for ‘across the seas’ but across the street. I’ve got real hope for Britain.”

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miracles and healing testimonies

ernest reading pose

Rev. E.Anderson

YELLOW BUTTERFLY

Deborah Derosier

 “Why are you downcast, O my soul?  so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him” -Psalm 42:5

As a young girl, my biggest dream was to be a mother. I always said I wanted four children—two boys and two girls. When I got older I was so blessed to have that dream come true. I loved those kids more than life itself. Many times I found myself standing in the doom/ay watching as they played outside and thinking just how blessed I was, and I was always amazed that all of them were mine.

Like most mothers, in the back of my mind there was the fear that something would happen to one of them. Sadly that horror came true.

It was in June when the knock on the door came. When my husband came to tell me the news, he didn’t have to say a word. I saw into his soul that night as I looked into his eyes. Our oldest son, fourteen-year-old josh, was hit by a car and killed.

The years after that seemed to just run together as we struggled to learn how to live life without him.

A few years later, on a beautiful spring day, my daughter Chelsea and I were going fishing. It was our favourite hobby and we could never wait until the weather got warm enough to go again. The fresh smell of newly cut grass filled the air and the daffodils were in full bloom. Everything around us seemed to be coming back to life, including us, if only for a day.

We grabbed our buckets and fishing poles and climbed over the old fence and headed down the field toward the creek. l looked back at Chelsea, who was lagging behind slightly, and saw at least thirty white butterflies dancing all around her. It was a heavenly sight and I wondered if my josh could communicate with us from where he was. So I called out to him several times, “josh, if you are with us, please send us a yellow butterfly”

Then I stopped and waited as my daughter caught up with me and l told her, “If you see a yellow butterfly it means josh is with us.”S

She said, “How do you know?”

“Because l asked him to send us one if he was here.”

Then we both started calling out, “josh, please send us a yellow butterfly so we’ll know for sure that you are with us.” “God, please let josh send us a yellow butterfly.”

Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere a large yellow butterfly with rounded wings flew right in front of my face not three inches away! Our jaws dropped as our eyes met and when we turned back around it was gone just as quickly as it had appeared. We couldn’t see it anywhere, but we didn’t need to. We had the answer we needed. With a great sense of peace we started walking toward the creek again, saying, “Come on josh, let’s go fishing!”

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miracles and healing testimonies

Uganda 649

Rev. E. Anderson
WHAT LS YOUR FEATHER?

Monica A Andermann

What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient? Job 6: 11

I turned off the kitchen faucet and cocked my head toward the sound of the television. The subject of that afternoons talk show was “What Is Your Feather?” and I could hear the roar of applause and the hosts opening monologue from my fathers kitchen where I was working. Since my mothers passing earlier that year, I had been coming to this house daily after my shift in the office to cook, clean, and just generally help out my elderly dad and disabled brother, only to repeat the same process in my own home later each evening. To say that I was tired was an understatement. So I decided to leave the kitchen and sit on the edge of the living room coffee table to watch the show, and rest, just for a moment.

The guest, a middle-aged woman whose husband had died after a brief battle with cancer, went on to describe an experience that she had several months after his death. She explained that as she was walking through one of her favourite places, a park where she and her husband had shared daily strolls, she became so consumed with grief that she begged to be shown a sign of her husbands love and an indication that he continued to watch over her. The guest recounted how, as she sat on a park bench with her head in her hands, she began to sob deeply. At that moment a perfect white feather floated down from the heavens and landed softly at her feet. She had received her sign as and, amazed at her answered plea, she took the feather home, framed it, and kept it in her living room as a reminder of her husband’s love
for her.

“Oh, how sappy,” I thought. “It was just a simple coincidence. Nothing more.” ‘

The guest went on to say that she had written to the talk show host about her husbands illness and decline, her journey with grief, and her amazing feather experience. He and his staff were so moved by her story that shortly thereafter a crew was sent, courtesy of the show, to redecorate her living room around the framed item. A videotape was shown of the beautiful renovations and the audience cheered wildly. Audience members were then asked to share their own “feather experiences” and a parade of stories began. Some participants spoke of poems, special notes, or photos all discovered postmortem which represented a love passed, each item having its special place in their journey through grief and healing. The host then challenged all viewers to identify their own “feather” during the
next commercial break.

Wearily, I rose from the spot where I sat and returned to the kitchen to continue my duties. In a moment of bitter exhaustion, I wondered why no one had yet been sent to my home to simply do a load of laundry or shop for some groceries. As I worked, I continued to consider the talk show host’s challenge to define my own feather.”

My feather? I couldn’t think of one. After nursing my mother through five years of what doctors called her final stages, I had no feather, just bad memories of late night phone calls followed by rushed visits to the hospital emergency room, endless hours spent waiting in doctors’ offices, and incomprehensible medical explanations. And now, with all my added responsibilities to the remaining members of my family, I didn’t even have a moment to myself to breathe.

My self-pity continued to grow as I recalled how dedicated my mother and I had been to each other. We truly enjoyed each other’s company and had even been on several vacations together, just the two of us. We had been closer, I surmised, than most mothers and daughters I knew Yet, when the time came for me to move on and live my own life, she had the good grace to let me go. Even after I married, though, we remained a strong part of each others lives. We spoke on the phone daily and often met for lunch, hunched over our burgers and fries talking girl talk. Through the years, we continued to be each other’s source of strength, she helping me to stay focused during a cancer scare in my late twenties and, me, helping her through her many years of illness. In those final years, she would always pat my hand before we would part. “Remember,” she’d say, “no regrets when I’m gone. We had a wonderful time together here on earth.”

During my drive home that evening I railed against the memories, good and bad. Didn’t I, too, deserve a feather? Surely after all my mother and I had been through together, after all I had done for her, I also deserved a message of encouragement and a confirmation of love from beyond. I shook my head and tears spilled down my cheeks. I arrived home and parked my car as I did each evening. Before exiting, I wiped my eyes and took a deep breath. Then I walked slowly down my front walkway with my head hung low. As I reached the top step I stopped, stunned. There lay one perfect white feather.

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miracles and healing testimonies

ernest-024[1]

Rev. E. Anderson
THE LITTLE LAMB

Donna Paulson

“He tends his flock like a shepherd; he gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart” -Isaiah 40:11

“God, I really need You today,” I whispered, grabbing a handful of sand and watching the grains flow from my closed fist. “Here I am, feeling like that little lost lamb again.”

I loved this image of myself as a lamb being protected by the Good Shepherd. It helped me feel free to talk to God. As a single mother, I prayed for each of my four children and for the ability to take care of them. It was overwhelming keeping my family out of trouble, and at times I feared that I was failing miserably. Some days like this, brought feelings of being alone and abandoned.

That morning, while reading the Bible I came across the verse, “He will feed His flock like shepherd; He will gather the lambs in His arm.” (Isaiah 40:11) This scripture had a special meaning to me. It had been shown to me a few months earlier by a counsellor, when I’d approached her for prayer because of a hard situation I was having with my daughter. The counsellor, underlining the words with her finger, had emphasized the remaining text, “He will carry them in His bosom and will gently lead those with young.”

I took this as a promise from God that He was there to help me raise my children, providing the grace I needed. Although it was encouraging to be reminded of this again, my sadness lingered. I needed something more.

It was warm and sunny so on my way home from work I decided to go to the beach. I drove to State Beach, a stretch of shoreline over four miles long. Since it was September, off-season, the beach was deserted. I could choose anywhere along the road to stop. I arbitrarily picked a spot, parked my car, and trudged over the dune and down a path. As I sat on my towel, my gaze searched the untroubled sea and cloudless sky.

Picking up a seashell I started dragging it along the sand in a wide arc about me. “Father God,” I murmured, recalling a verse from the psalms, “Your thoughts to me are precious and… they’re more in number than the sand.” I swallowed hard. “I need You.”

As the shell in my hand dug into the sand, it struck something hard. I glimpsed a bit of white. Sweeping away the sand with my fingers, a little plastic figure emerged. I picked it up. When I realized what it was, a shock of surprise and joy hit me.

Had some child brought his toy farm animals to the beach last summer, leaving this behind? And if so, what were the odds that out of four miles of beach I picked this dune to walk down, and this spot on which to sit? Or had a loving Creator planted it, a special gift, in the sand where I sat?

For in my hand was the figure of a lamb, a message from God to me.

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miracles and healing testimonies

swanny - rachel

Graham Sawnn

‘MY DEMONS WERE DEFEATED BY JESUS’

 

He has gone from alcohol addiction to helping the homeless, and Graham Swann says it’s down to God

A tattoo artist who had turned to drink to tackle his demons has admitted: “God saved my life.” Graham Swann — known as Swanny to his customers — is well known for his tattooing skills but now devotes his spare time to the homeless in Loughborough and orphans in Uganda.

The 48-year-old — who still operates as a tattoo artist – says: “I thank God every day. I sit and listen to people’s problems and I’ll tell them that God loves them. God takes x-rays not photographs. He looks at the heart — and I don’t want to become prejudiced and judgmental.

“But I’m very careful what I tattoo. When I first became a Christian I threw away £3,000 worth of designs – things like tattoos of devils and naked women.”
Father-of-five Swanny has seen his life completely changed since becoming a Christian.

He revealed how he had turned to drink to numb his inner pain. Then, a friend told him about Jesus and invited him to church.

“My friend told me how Jesus loved me and cared for me and the only way that I could get healed was to listen to Jesus and his message of forgiveness. He told me that I needed to forgive myself. I put my trust in God and I’ve never looked back.

“At church, everyone started singing about how great God was. I went again the following week and I just knew that He was real. It was like no one else was in the room. I just cried and asked him to help me with my pain and asked himto forgive me for all the horrible things I’d done in my life. I didn’t know the Bible but I knew who Jesus was that day. I’d spent my whole life with a dark cloud on my shoulder and that moment in that church I felt it leave me. I’m a new person now. I’m not angry anymore and I don’t need to drink. I didn’t love myself but I love the man I am today because I’m made in my Father’s image.”

Now Swanny and his wife, Rachel, spend their time helping others.

“I run a soup kitchen from the church every week and we go out to Uganda once a year. It’s just amazing. We work with 250 children out there and last year we put in a well.”
Swanny’s story is available in his auto- biography ‘Prison Without Bars’, which is available on Amazon.

“We want to take the book into prisons,” he says. “That’s our dream.”

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miracles and healing testimonies

ernes1

Rev. E. Anderson
MUSTARD SEED ANGEL

“If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, “Move from here to there,” and it will move. Nothing will be impossible to you” -Matthew
17:20

I never expected to be a young mother with a seriously ill child, much less at a world-renowned pediatric and research hospital. But then again, does any parent or child?

Like many other families there, we found immediate comfort with the caring staff and family accommodations, which even extended to lodging the child’s healthy siblings. The hospital’s mission? Discover cures and lengthen lives. Such miracles did happen there. However, other miracles were also occurring, often unseen by adult eyes, but thankfully claimed and witnessed through the eyes of children.

During one of our hospital stays, I wanted to have a heart-to- heart talk with another young mother in a similar situation. The well siblings were away playing in a nearby staff-supervised area while our sick children received treatments. l confided, “I could really use some time to talk without little ears to overhear.”

It was such a release to share worries and encouragement with a kindred spirit. We soon found ourselves discussing mustard seed faith and what Jesus had said in scripture. “I tell you with certainty, if you have faith like the grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible to you.” Matthew 17:20 (ISV)

Suddenly, my new friends response was interrupted mid-sentence by her healthy preschool son bursting through a swinging door from the adjacent community kitchen. He grinned from ear to ear and excitedly handed his mother a small jar. He was too young to lead and we both could hardly believe the spice container labelled, ‘Mustard Seed.”

“Matthew, where did you get this?” she asked.

“The big boy angel in the kitchen told me to give it to you.”

We both stood motionless, temporarily frozen with mouths and eyes wide open in awe. My heart instantaneously warmed with indescribable joy.

Seconds later, Matthew led us to the empty room where he had seen the big boy angel, on a wall mural of handprints made by children once treated there. Chills rippled over us. Looking at all the painted handprints with each accompanying name, date, and diagnosis, we couldn’t help but wonder. Could our mustard seed angels handprints be somewhere on that wall?

Our gazes met the clock and we realized it was, unfortunately, all too soon, time for us to resume our schedules. We talked and walked to the elevator pondering the coincidences of the angel, mustard seeds, scripture reference from the book of Matthew and the angelic message given to her little boy, coincidentally named Matthew.

Overwhelmed, we glanced at one another saying, “Do you really think. . .?”

The empty elevator doors opened and we could hardly believe what awaited us as we stepped inside… little, white floating feathers faces and touched our souls with promise.
Feathers from an angel? Heaven only knows.

All we did know for certain was that there was only one place for our elevator and hopes to go . . . . “Up!”

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