Before me stood a petite Honduran man. As he limped towards me, I could barely hear what he was saying because my focus was on his legs. One leg was extremely larger than the other. I soon found out that he had injured his knee the day before while hiking up a mountain.
A friend and I offered to pray for God to heal him, but nothing happened.
So we prayed again. The pain lessened, but he still limped.
So we prayed again. The pain lessened, but he was still limping.
So we prayed again. This went on until we had prayed almost 10 times.
Jesus prayed for the blind man several times before he was healed so we were following His example which proved to be working. By this time, he had very little pain and was walking comfortably around the room. I asked him, “Do you want to keep praying?” He said, “Yes. There’s still a little pain and I can’t bend my knee all the way back.” So, we kept praying until almost all pain was gone and he could bend his knee.
The next day I saw him with a bandage wrapped around his knee.
Her hands were clenched tight enough to cause fingernail impressions, but even those had been chewed to the quick. Her facial expressions were hard, depressed, and did not reflect that of a 30-year-old young woman. I could see the pain in her dark eyes as she shuffled closer to me. Her first words brought meaning to her small frame and short, very thin, black hair. “Ten years ago I was diagnosed with a nerve disorder. I used to have long, thick, black hair, but I’ve pulled it all out. Over the years, this disorder has caused other sicknesses in my body such as stomach ulcers and heart problems. Will you pray for me that God will heal me and make me whole again?” Nadia said.
That was the purpose of my visit to this Ukrainian church, located in a small town three hours from Kiev. Fadey, my interpreter, had never interpreted for a teacher before, and let’s just say we were both stepping out in faith that day.
Walking through the dirty, long halls, my face had to remain calm as I held back the expression of shock for what my eyes beheld. “Certainly this is not a hospital!,” I thought to myself. The floors and hallways bore the soiled smell and filthy dirt of neglect for what looked like years past. We soon breached the doorway of a much larger scale of astonishment. A large warehouse room filled with over 500 twin size metal beds. All of which was chipping from the paint that was once used to cover its mature age. Old brown plastic coverings with a thin mattress laid beneath the women and newborn babies. No sheet, no pillow, no bassinet for the baby. There had to be one other family member there with you to ensure that the woman next to you didn’t roll over onto your new bundle of joy.
I was so thankful it was raining and the weather was cooler than usual. There was no source of air conditioning in this building except the small fan located at the center of a few large windows around the room.
I soon realized that the bed frame and mattress were the only thing provided at this hospital. Family members had to leave the hospital to bring pillows, sheets, and food. If the patient was in need of medication, or even blood, the family member had to leave and purchase these items from another place and bring them to the hospital, including the needles and instruments needed to perform the care.
Shock and awe showed on our faces as my friends and I watched her enter the market. It appeared her bones were not able to support her crippled body. Her crooked legs shifted to the right then to the left to walk towards her companion. Her posture was bent in a 90-degree angle and excruciating pain was painted on her face.
Immediately my friends saw this as an opportunity to pray for this Filipina woman who obviously needed healing. We all talked amongst ourselves sharing our compassion for this woman. They boldly asked me to approach her to ask for prayer and why not? God says He is our healer and she looks like she needs healing, so let’s go for it. We boldly walked towards her, our hearts ready to see a miracle and mustard seed sized faith believing for the impossible.
The beautiful coat of colors wrapped around her delicate, porcelain skin was picturesque as it reflected her culture and history. It seemed as she walked closer and closer to me that someone or something had smeared the canvas of her face. I could barely understand her broken English, as this petite Japanese lady tried to communicate what appeared to be a mix of excitement and need. As I looked closer, I could see her face was drooping a bit and I assumed she needed prayer, but we all know what happens when you assume, especially in other countries, so I went to look for a translator.
My friend and I soon discovered she had been suffering from severe migraines that eventually lead to numbness in her face. A few months prior she had consulted a doctor who told her it was caused by a severe infection in her face. The pain eventually left, but the numbness increased and she was now experiencing it on both sides of her face. Her once youthful appearance had caused her to appear much older. She quietly said, “I have been praying that God would send someone to pray for me. Will you pray for me?”
My friend agreed to join me in prayer for this sweet lady, Airi. After receiving permission I placed my hand on Airi’s face, and we began to pray. Immediately, Airi’s quiet and timid disposition changed as her eyes flew wide open in amazement and looked up at me. I was sure she could feel what I was feeling. A heat that consumed my hands like a fiery furnace was consuming her face. A common occurrence for me that was likely the first time she felt the healing power of God. A few moments passed and I asked how she was feeling.
She struggled to answer in her amazement, “It’s better.” My friend & I didn’t know how to react to her. You would’ve thought Airi had just seen an angel. Her eyes still big as golf balls and her mouth permanently opened in shock, she could barely stand to her feet. As we helped her to a seat nearby, I asked if all numbness was gone or did she still feel a little. She said again in amazement, “It’s 90% gone.” So, with her permission, we prayed again.
God completely healed Airi after praying the second time. The drooping had begun to diminish and her face take on its form again. We watched as she stumbled away with her eyes and mouth wide open and speechless. After about 10 minutes of talking with other people, I noticed her on the other side of the room holding her face and staring at us while others tried to gain her attention. She couldn’t believe that God had healed her.
Thank you, Jesus!
As you can tell, I am a woman of many words. Too often I neglect to stand in awe and wonder of my God. I have seen hundreds healed from everything from a headache to incurable diseases. Some of those healings were even my own, yet I neglect often times to stand in awe of the God who made it all possible. I am nothing without him. I did not heal that woman. It was God who healed Airi. None of these stories, none of my experiences would have been possible without God.
Are there moments in your life that wouldn’t be possible without God? Take a moment to remember His goodness and stand in awe of his love for you. Don’t forget to say, “Thank you, God.”
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I am getting older, but I’m way too young to be having a forgetful moment like this one. I was sitting at a stop sign trying to remember where I was located? What’s my name? Where am I going? Which way was I suppose to turn?
We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Our lives get overwhelmed, stressed, busy, and in a moment we zone out.
I had only driven this route a hand full of times and was confident as I traveled back into the city that I could remember the directions without the help of my GPS. Not recognizing anything around me, I asked Siri to give me directions back to the office. Sure enough, 20 minutes later, after enjoying the new sites I didn’t recall from my drive in, I realized I took the wrong turn, but still ended up at the right location.
This is not too dissimilar to my life. I’ve decided to follow the way I think I should go, only to end up taking the long route to the same destination God had planned for me. If only I had consulted with Him before leaving instead of trying to find my own way, it may not have taken me as long to get there. He certainly knows the way better than Siri.
It was a beautiful Sunday morning, as my friends and I were greeted at the door by the sweet sounds of southern hospitality. The decor of the church reminded me of growing up in the ’80s where we slept soundly under the pews while the loud hell, fire, and brimstone preacher delivered his message. Potluck smells filled our noses as we dreamed of the savory country fried chicken and gravy cooking in the cast-iron skillet for the church potluck following the service.
Even as a visitor this particular day, I felt like I was at home. The music refreshed my soul as we sung old hymns like, “Victory in Jesus, my Savior forever.” and “Oh, how He touched me and made me whole.” If you needed prayer, then the altars were always open. No invitation was needed and this morning was no different.
Church members were met by the pastor and church leaders as they began to walk down the aisle. I watched from the third row as more people filled the altars after the pastor’s invitation, “If you need anything from God today, come forward for prayer.”
Out of the corner of my eye, I could see a man moving slowly towards the front, for obvious reasons. He was bent over at the waist at about a 45-degree angle and his face painted with pain and weakness. Trying not to stare, I focused my gaze back on the members at the front of the church already receiving prayer. Immediately I heard God say, “Khristina, I want you to pray for that man.”
The conversation quickly ended with my response, “Lord, it’s okay, he will be prayed for by the pastor and church leaders. These people don’t know me. If I walk up there and pray for that man in this old school, country church, that pastor may reign fire and brimstone down on me.”
After a few minutes of chatting with my friend, I saw the man return to his seat in the same condition that he was in when he had slowly walked to the altar.
I heard God say again, “Khristina, I want you to pray for that man.”
I watched as the line of people in front of me grew longer and longer until it wrapped around the inside of these ancient church walls built in the 1800s. They weren’t waiting to see me, but to experience healing from the Ancient of Days. One by one, myself and a team of three Hungarian church members prayed for each person as God healed them of headaches, vision impairment, back pain, and other illnesses. An hour had past when I looked up to see Marian. She leaned heavily on a cane as she slowly walked towards us.
The interpreter explained how the pain was originating in the center of her left leg and went all the way up to her lower back. I asked if she would raise her slacks up so I could see for myself what she was sharing. She agreed and what I saw before me was something I had never laid eyes on in my life. From the center of her leg branched out multiple, deep, dark blue veins showing through her pantyhose. It looked like a New York subway mapped out on her pale skin. In complete awe of what my eyes beheld, I starred at her leg. I had never seen veins protruding like they were forming an identity of their own.
So I waited…not to allow more time for me to take in this site or to commit this moment to memory. Not to think about what I would say next or contemplate whether God was big enough to heal this woman.
I waited on the Lord.
My interpreter waited.
Fifty people waited in line behind her for prayer.
The midnight rain was the culprit for the muddy hillside we were hiking on this warm, humid morning. Each step seemed like the last before we slid down the side of the steep mountainside, though it didn’t slow us down much. Neither did the long skirt I had to wear for this journey, which kept getting in the way of using my hands for additional support. The rain finally slowed as we soon reached the top and began to make our way through the tall grass and trees. Our destination took us to a small humble abode of a 90-year-old man and his wife, Estuerdo and Evelyn.
Myself, two American friends, and three Guatemalan friends were excited to see what God had planned for this couple. The last two days were filled with miracles in more than 100 people. We saw God heal them of all kinds of sicknesses. While reminiscing of God’s goodness, we explained to our Guatemalan friends, “when we reach this couples’ home, you will be the one to pray for them to receive healing. God can use you just as He can use us to lay hands on the sick and see them healed. God does not show favor.” Romans 2:11
My heartbeat skipped as I stopped to take in the beauty of our Creator’s masterpiece before me. Surely Estuerdo and Evenlyn would be billionaires with this prime real estate in any Western country located 140,000 feet above sea level and nothing but breathtaking mountainsides touched only by the sun.