Power of Prayer
About a month before my illness, my daughter, Jeannie, woke up from a dream about a man lying on a bed with a cloth on his head and a doctor was putting salve under his eyes. She knew God wanted her to pray for this person but she couldn’t find out who it was that was sick. So she continued to pray for this unknown person. When she saw me after my surgery with salve under my eyes, she then realized it had been her own father she had been praying for. It is amazing that God had someone praying for me even before my need. I am so thankful for a wife who clearly hears God’s voice. On Sunday morning, February 24, 2008, I told my wife, Cheryl, that I couldn’t go another day without getting something done medically. My back had been hurting very badly and I had a bad cough and I thought I had the flu. She was going to try get me into Care Now but when she started to book the appointment on the computer, God said clearly to her, “No! take him to the emergency room.” So we went to the ER with chest pains instead. They discovered I had double pneumonia but after 6 days when my white blood count rose, the doctors realized something else was seriously wrong. They determined I had a strep virus hiding in my sternum and the only way to get it out was by surgically inserting tubes in my sternum that would run out my side. I was very near septic shock. They also would cut a 12 inch opening in my back, separate my ribs and suction out liquid and mucus around my lungs, esophagus, medium sternum and heart. On the Saturday after I had been admitted to the hospital on the previous Sunday, they performed the emergency surgery. The decision to do surgery happened so quickly, people from the church who would have been there to pray for me before surgery were not able to make it. A friend from church, Lonnie, came by on Friday night before surgery. He was such an encouragement. God had already given me complete peace that everything was going to be o.k. I had no doubt about it but Lonnie reinforced it when he said God told Him that I was going to be alright. My daughter’s close Christian friends where she works also said that God told them I was going to be alright. Before the surgery on Saturday morning, my wife, two daughters and a close family friend prayed for me. Then I said now let me pray for you. I placed myself in the arms of my heavenly Father and I asked Him to give my family strength. God heard and answered. My wife was concerned about this surgeon she had never heard of working on me. Is he any good? Then God sent four different strangers to assure her that the surgeon was the best and he had done a wonderful job for them. The surgery went rough. My heart beat was going wild and the doctor had to stop. The surgeon came out to the waiting room after he was done to give the family an update. There were many church members there in addition to my siblings, mother and father and in-laws. It is a blessing to have so many people who care for you. The surgeon said, “Gerber family” and the whole waiting room quietly arose. The doctor was taken aback and said, “You’ve got to be kidding”. He told them I would not let him go any further with the surgery and that he had gone an hour longer than he should have. But I personally think it was God who stopped the surgery saying “that’s enough…no more. I’ll take it from here.” The surgeon said I was a strong man. He didn’t know how I was even able to sit up with so much fluid in and around my lungs and heart. Another woman, a patient, told my daughter, “Your dad is a strong man. He is going to be o.k.” I don’t know about me being a strong man but I do know I serve a strong and mighty God who sustains me. The surgeon painted a dismal picture. He said in 25 years he had not seen such infection in a person’s sternum area when he couldn’t figure out where it came from. He said I would get worse before I got better while I was in CCU. Also he said I may need two other surgeries. But God had other plans. As he told his people though the prophet Jeremiah in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” The next day was Sunday and my church canceled Sunday school to spend the entire time in special prayers of intersession for me. Several church members told me later that they wished I could have been there. God’s presence was so evident. As an answer to the people’s prayers, I did not get worse in CCU like the surgeon said but instead I improved the 4 days I was there. During this time there may have easily been thousands of people praying for me as a result of people who knew people who knew people and whose churches put me on their prayer list. There were people in Romania praying and even in the Pentagon praying for me. International groups were praying as well as churches in Texas and other states. The one thing I needed most and desired the most was happening, people were praying for me. I remember my parents and siblings visiting me in CCU. My brother Keith whispered to me that his wife was praying for me. Though I could not talk because of the ventilator tube down my throat, I mouthed the words “pray for me”. As Keith began to pray, they said I tried to sit up and they had to make my lie back down. Keith continued and asked God to give me God’s tranquil peace. That’s when I dreamed I had just entered the cleanest, spotlessly white and pristine place. I thought to myself, this is a great place where they are going to take excellent care of me. I was in complete rest and peace. On Thursday, after my time in CCU and after I had been transferred to a private room, I had sort of a crisis of faith. I woke up that morning and told Cheryl that people had stopped praying for me. She assured me that nothing could be further from the truth. She said it was normal to suffer some depression after all I had been through. My wife and two daughters, who were always there for me, surrounded my bed and my oldest daughter, Diona, began to pray for me. One of the things she asked was that I would be surrounded by angels. During that prayer, God gave Cheryl a vision of four angels around my bed. One was at the foot looking out obviously protecting. Two more angels were bent over on either side of my bed, their hands working intensely on my chest area. A forth angel with the most loving, caring and sweet look stood at the head of my bed gently stroking my brow. God sent an angel just to stroke my brow and comfort me? I have discovered that there is a side of God that is a lot like a Mother. In times of deep distress He is there holding us, speaking to our hearts, saying it’s o.k. child I am here. Needless to say my crisis of faith was over. My loving Father had given me reassurance that He was still with me. Assurances were abounding everywhere. My seven year old grand-daughter was praying for me when God said to her, “Maddie, don’t worry, your Granpawpaw is going to be o.k.” Isn’t God good! I am overwhelmed by His goodness! I believe God wants us to pray for specific needs. We would send the church specific prayer needs on a regular basis and God would answer. I had needs for my kidneys that quit working because of the CAT scan die. The church prayed….my kidneys began to function. My heart was out of rhythm due to the surgery. The church prayed….my heart got back into rhythm. When I was nauseas, the church prayed and I was o.k. When I couldn’t stomach the hospital food, the church prayed for my appetite and I was able to eat more. I developed a stomach virus due to the antibiotic I was taking. That virus is supposed to last 14 days. The church prayed and it only lasted 2 or 3 days. One scripture that was on my mind a lot during my 19 day hospital stay was Psalm 23:4. It is a verse I memorized as a child. “Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.” I certainly experienced God’s presence. I never had any fear. If God is with you, there is no reason to fear. One of my doctors was talking to my daughter near the end of my hospital stay. He said, “You know this could have been catastrophic but we got it just in time. He said, “I know I am not telling you anything you don’t already know” and she said, “I know it is a miracle and he said yes it is”. The doctor said we had a matter of hours not days to take care of my problem before it would have been too late. God is good! When God’s children pray, He listens. Because of prayer I am still here on this earth today. But I am a changed man with a deeper devotion to God and a greater understanding of the depth of His love for us. Our God, though awesome and mighty in power, is so loving and caring towards His children. He is truly the perfect Father. Today I love Him more than ever before. I look forward to the days of eternity I will spend with Him in His home. If God had chosen to take me during this time of sickness, it would have been O.K. with me except I didn’t want to leave my family behind. I have been a healthy man all my life but then very suddenly I found myself near death. If it can happen to me, it can happen to anyone. It is imperative that you know Christ personally as your Savior today. None of us know how much time we have left on this earth. In an instant you can find yourself near death or dead and either spending eternity with a wonderful loving Father or spending it apart from him. Apart from God there will be eternal torment and suffering. So, if you have not done so already, receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior today and don’t take a chance with the most important part of your being…..your soul. I am praying that everyone who hears this testimony or reads it will do just that. You will never regret it! The bible tells us in Acts 2:21,”And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” I would like to offer a suggested prayer for you to pray, to call on the name of the Lord….that is to receive Jesus as your Savior. Pray this prayer with all your heart and your place in heaven will be reserved. “Dear God, I admit to you that I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I repent of my sin against you. I ask Jesus to be my Lord and Savior whom I trust to take me to heaven when I die. Thank you. Amen.” If you prayed that prayer and meant it, you are now a Christian. New Christians are babes in Christ because they are newly “born again” spiritually speaking. Like all babies they have the need to grow and mature. The first step for growth and greater understanding is to read God’s Word, the bible every day. Most people suggest starting with the gospel of John. Also important is to pray regularly and attend a bible believing church. May God bless you as you begin your new and exciting journey with the Lord Jesus!
— Gary Gerber, 01/01/2009
A True Miracle of God
A True Miracle of God for Dwight Evans and Family Dwight was in intense pain for over a month. He had a ruptured disc with a pinched sciatic nerve. His neurosurgeon set him up for two spinal shots, each one two weeks apart, before Dwight could have surgery on the ruptured disc. Dwight had no relief from pain after the first shot. He was then given pain pills which caused him to be confused, but gave him no pain relief. I massaged his back, hip and leg many times on Saturday night October 27, 2007. He finally went off to sleep and so did I. At 5:00 a.m. October 28th, 2007, I was awakened by some very strange noises that Dwight was making. I reached over to touch him and he felt like a block of ice. When I jumped up to turn on the light, I saw that his eyes were fixed and dilated. There was no breathing, just some bark-like noises coming from his throat. I took the mask from his breathing machine off his face and threw it across the room. I then called 911. Remarkably, through all of this I had a peace that everything would be okay. Within five minutes the ambulance and the paramedics from the fires station were here. They discovered that Dwight’s sugar level was 28 and he had no oxygen in his body. They rushed him to Methodist Hospital in Mansfield. I called our five children and our pastor, Brother Gary Flynt, and then I went to the hospital. Our pastor, his wife, Becky, and deacon Ken McCall and his wife, Kay all came to the hospital and were praying for Dwight. Within a few days, Dwight opened his eyes but couldn’t focus. The pastor went into ICU and called Dwight’s name. He opened his eyes, turned to look at Brother Gary and stretched out his hand to him. Brother Gary began to talk and joke around with Dwight and he got Dwight to laugh. The next day our daughter, Dodie, our son Jerry, his wife Michelle and I went into his room and his eyes opened in recognition of us. He laughed the whole time we were allowed to visit with him as we recalled the goofy things the kids did with Dwight when they were growing up. This is the last time he laughed or seemed to recognize us until late November. Dwight was moved from Methodist Hospital to the Kindred Rehabilitation Hospital in Mansfield on November 17, 2007. During the month of December, he began to focus his eyes again and we saw improvement every day. We experienced the peace that passes understanding which comes only from God. One day Dwight couldn’t even raise his head, but the next day he was sitting up in a wheel chair. The therapists were wonderful and helped him to walk with the use of a walker. The only thing Dwight can remember about his time at Kindred was when Pat Struble came to cut his hair. He was moved to Health South in Arlington January 12th, 2008. There he learned to feed himself and to walk. He also began to get his wonderful sense of humor back. He was released from Health South Rehabilitation Center in February of 2008. On the 11th of February he began therapy three days per week as an outpatient. Dwight is a walking miracle. He still has tremors in his arms and can’t use his fingers too well. Nevertheless, God has brought him so far and we know God will continue His healing work. We give all praise to our God, and we thank God for a praying church. People were praying for Dwight all over the country…..even in Africa….and we praise God for everyone’s continued prayers. Nancy Evans
— Evans Family, 02/29/2008
A friend was teaching us to swim and I had on floats. I got into the water and after a while, I decided to go to the deeper end of the pool. I guess I just wanted to see how it felt. I got onto the back of a guy friend who knew how to swim. Suddenly, I felt like we were sinking. I panicked and began gulping water. He tried to stabilize us, but it didn’t work and we both went under water. I couldn’t scream for help under water. I let go of him because I knew he could swim and go for help. But when I let go, I got scared and grabbed onto his shirt. He grabbed my shoulders and tried to pull me up, but it wasn’t working so I let go again. When I let go, I sank to the bottom. I was flapping my hands trying to come up, but in my panic I swallowed more water. I looked up from the 12’ end of the pool and saw my friend reach the edge. I remember thinking, “I don’t want to leave Blessing (my twin sister) here by herself. We do everything together. But when my guy friend reached the edge of the pool, I stopped fighting and closed my eyes and waited. Blessing said that the guy called for help, but no one heard what he was saying. When she saw I wasn’t with him, she knew something was wrong. She immediately started yelling for help and the lifeguard jumped in but couldn’t find me. He and a friend named Sam jumped in again and finally found me and pulled me out. I wasn’t breathing or moving, but I knew I’d been pulled out of the water. When I was pulled out, Blessing said I was pale and that my eyes were rolled back. Blessing said that Sam started giving me CPR and water came out of my nose. He continued as someone called 911. Blessing opened my mouth and my eyes. When I regained consciousness, I felt the lifeguard giving the chest compressions and continuing the CPR. Everything seemed to move in slow motion. I looked to the left and saw Blessing and the others around me. I was having a lot of flashbacks….mostly I saw Bible verses….not movie scenes….but the truth the Bible is based on. I remember asking myself, “Why am I seeing Bible verses?” I wasn’t focusing on the meaning of the verses so much as I was trying to regain my consciousness. But every time I blinked, I saw something different. I kept blinking. At one point, I saw that everything was pure white. I was in white along with everyone there. I was thinking, “Where am I?” There was joy. A look of elation was on everyone’s faces. We were in a line and someone pointed to the right. There was no crying, no agony, no pleading for mercy. It was serene, but I had so many questions. I kept thinking, “I don’t want to leave Blessing. I want to go back.” At that point I coughed up a bunch of water. Everything around me was blurry and people were speaking but I couldn’t really hear them. It was like they were off in the distance. I was still trying to understand what I’d seen while I was unconscious. I remember seeing Blessing who was crying and saying, “Merciful, you’re not going to die. You’re not going to leave me alone. Do you hear?” In God’s timing I woke up. That’s when the ambulance picked me up and placed me on a gurney. They were asking questions like, “What’s your name? What’s your date of birth? What’s the current day, month and year?” I was very responsive at that point. They put me on oxygen and asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital. I told them they needed to ask my mom, but since I’m 18, they needed my response and not my mom’s. When mom said, “Yes,” I said, “Yeah.” They wheeled me out of the pool area and into the ambulance. I told them I wanted Blessing with me. In the ambulance I kept throwing up water. I was closing my eyes, not because I was sleepy, but because I was exhausted. At the hospital I started hyperventilating and having difficulty getting my breath. The doctor had them put me to sleep so they could get a tube down my throat to suction the water out of my lungs. After they gave me the medication, I tried to move but couldn’t. I got scared because the oxygen in my nose was off and I couldn’t breathe or let them know. I just decided to relax and go to sleep. When I woke up, it was Sunday and I was surrounded by family members and I still had the tube down my throat. I believe God was showing me that He is real. His Word is real, heaven is real, and He is real. I had had doubts at times, but this was God’s way of telling me to stay strong in Him. He had given me a glimpse of what is to come, but it wasn’t my time yet. Drowning is scary. People ask me why we had gone to the 12’ end of the pool. I’ve asked myself the same question. What was I thinking? I don’t really know the answer. I just thank God for my life. I’m 5’3” and I went to the 12’ end of the pool and survived this incident without any complications.
— Merciful Eyongegbe, 06/26/2016