Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pit Healed

Last Thursday Ellen Putzier, Claire and I walked by the house of a woman who Ellen knew from last summer. We hadn't been back to her all winter. This lady used to be a Christian, but stopped talking to the Lord when she miscarried a baby 3 years ago. Last year Ellen talked with her about how the Lord didn't want the baby to die, and it wasn't his fault, but she had not changed her mind about talking to the Lord.

As we approached the house, Ellen said she would like to go up and see how this woman was doing. We knocked on the door and when she opened the door, there were two dogs going crazy in the background and the lady was crying. She explained "I'm sorry I'm crying, my pit bull Titus is really sick, he's got a cough and I've been up all night with him." The dog was indeed coughing, or more like gagging (and even throwing up) in the background. He's an 11 month old pit, black, beautiful and really big. Before we knocked she was looking on the internet to see how to help him, and was worried he might die from the cough (I guess some dogs die from kennel cough, which is what he had). It was clear we weren't going to be able to have a very long conversation with this woman in the current configuration and the thought jumped into my head that we should pray with her dog for healing. I asked her and she said that would be great. We went inside and prayed over the dog, laying our hands on him as he jumped around, in the front entrance of the house.

At the end of the prayer the dog stopped hacking. In the available peace (the dog was still running around and jumping on us but it wasn't coughing) we had a chance to catch up with the woman; it was clear she was still not talking to the Lord. We told her that the distance between her and the Lord was something that she could choose to end, she could get right with God that day. We asked her if that was something she wanted, and she replied, "how do I do it?" We all got on our knees, repented of our sin, and she gave her life to the Lord. Glory to God. We spent about a half an hour talking about how to start getting to know the Lord again, while Titus and her other dog lay on the carpet as we petted them. Titus did not cough at all during that half an hour. Then I said, "The Lord seems to have healed your dog, he hasn't coughed at all since we prayed." At that point the dog coughed three times. Ellen Putzier said determinedly, "Satan, you are not going to take our faith away!" We prayed over the dog a second time and it did not cough the rest of the time we were there. Thank you Lord. The woman was thrilled we came by, both because the dog was healed and she was right with the Lord again after 3 years. She said several times while we were there, "I'm glad you came." This mission encounter, the Lord healing the dog and then a taken opportunity for this woman to commit her life to the Lord, really moved me. The Lord loves each of us so personally, he'll do the craziest things to meet us where we're at, like healing a pit bull. Thank you Lord Jesus.

Pain Down

A couple of weeks ago, David, Claire and I knocked on a door and a middle age man with a long beard and hair came out. David asked him what he wanted the Lord to do with him and he said to come in and be with his wife. His wife was really ill with about 7 different serious things and was in a lot of pain. She wasn't on her death bed or anything but she was basically bed ridden, on oxygen and deteriorating in many parts of her body. David talked with the man while Claire and I had a chance to talk and pray with his wife. After we prayed with her she said her back pain had gone down from a 7 to a 0. Glory to God, he is good. His love for each person is great, and he's there with them through the toughest things.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Headache Healed

On Thursday, Rus, Ellen and I walked across the cat walk, hoping to bring a bible to a group of teenagers some of the missionaries had recently been talking to. After stomping through a bunch of snow, we made it to the intended door; a girl named Lacy and one of her friends let us in. As we stood in the kitchen, the conversation found its way to "important things in our life", and how we can tell what's important to us by what we do. Lacy mentioned that medicine was important, that she takes her medicine every day. We asked her what she takes medicine for; she replied "lung disease." Moments later we learned she has cystic fibrosis. "You know, God can heal you of that, Lacy," Rus said. We began to tell her a story of Jesus healing a man with leprosy, taking the time to describe the disease (she didn't really know what it was).

As Rus was speaking, chaos, which had been building up over the past minutes in the background, broke out. Some kids were throwing snowballs at the house and Lacy's mom Dawn had had enough. Dawn had a stroke several years back and sometimes has trouble communicating smoothly; she was attempting to get the snowballers to stop. Lacy, her friend and the three of us went back into the house and tried to see if there was anything to do for Dawn. She was very upset, to the point where she didn't look like she could handle anything else. As we sat on the couch, Ellen stroked her arm and she started crying. She told to us that she had a really bad headache and couldn't stop shaking.

We told Dawn, similarly as we had to Lacy, that God could take her headache away and give her peace. "Do you think God can do that?" we asked. "I dunno, I dunno" she replied. We told a story of a women whose back had been healed this past summer when missionaries prayed with her; the woman had screws in her back and wasn't able to bend down. After praying her pain was gone and she could bend and reach the floor, which had been impossible before. We asked dawn again if she thought God could heal her; with increased faith, she answered "yes, yes."

"What's your pain at now, Dawn, one to ten?" Rus asked, to which Dawn replied "a ten." Rus, Ellen and I began to pray over Dawn, with Lacy and her friend watching. As we prayed she seemed to become more peaceful. "What's your pain at now?" "a nine" she replied. We asked if we could pray again, explaining how Jesus sometimes did miracles in two steps like with the blind man at Bethsaida. She let us. As we prayed I asked for the faith of Jesus, as Smith Wigglesworth had done in a story the women missionaries had recently read together. After we finished, we asked her how the pain was. "It's gone, the headache's gone," a huge smile, with joy, peace and relief spread across her face. She had also stopped shaking. Laughter broke out as we praised the Lord and thanked him for the miracle. Lacy had a "I can't believe it look on her face." "Are you serious mom, is your headache really gone or did you make it up?" she asked. She asked several times and her mom continued to reply, "yes, it's gone."

The Lord used the confusion that interrupted our conversation with Lacy about healing to give her a live example, proof of his love and healing power. He sent us over to the house both to talk with Lacy and to pray with Dawn. Jesus showed Lacy how he heals, better than we could show her by telling a story. After God healed Dawn, Lacy let us pray with her for her CF. We must keep praying for and with her until she's healed. Come Lord Jesus, increase Lacy's faith, and heal her!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Meeting Anna

Before Christmas, Claire, Annie and I were out doing mission work near East Street, about a 15 minute walk from our house. We were mostly visiting people who we had already met; we were leaving for Christmas soon. A woman came to Claire's mind who we hadn't seen in a while; we were nearby so we headed toward her house.

As we walked down the street she lived on, another house caught my eye. I thought I might have met the people there a few months earlier and wanted to go back. It turns out it wasn't the same house I was thinking of but we decided to knock on the door anyway.

The door opened and three adults stood in the entry way. The woman of the house Anna, and her husband turned out to be Christians, Pentecostals in fact, and they were very excited to meet other Christians in the neighborhood who were baptized in the Spirit.

We were there for around a half an hour, sharing about the Lord with one another; Anna told us a little about how she had come to know the Lord, how he had saved her and many things he had done in her life. She mentioned to us that there were 10 people living in the house (5 adults and 5 children) and they were short on food.

Before we left, Anna, her husband and her daughter, and us three missionaries got in a circle and praised the Lord together; Anna said a mighty prayer over us, sending us out to bring people to Jesus and asking "Christ to keep us in his warmth." We asked the Lord to bless the household. We left with our faith built up, praising God.

It turned out that the woman Claire initially intended us to visit was not home; God had sent us to that street to meet Anna. As we walked away, I thought it must have been great for Anna to be able to give glory to God and share about the Lord's goodness with us. In my experience sharing with other people about what the Lord has done builds up your own faith and gets you excited about your friendship with God and his work in your life.

A few weeks later a few of us missionaries returned to the house. Everyone there was thrilled to see us and welcomed us in. We stayed for about an hour, talking about the Lord the whole time. Anna told us that after we left the first time we met her, a big bag of groceries arrived at their front door anonymously; Anna tearfully went on to describe how she experienced the Lord providing for her and her household; they were really short on food when the groceries showed up. She also said that since we all prayed together she's seen the Lord blessing them; including food stamps coming through and job opportunities for a member of their household. She said the Lord had used us to show her that "he still loves me, and he's with me, he will never abandon me." She explained she was having a really hard time before we showed up, but the Lord had showed his faithfulness to her through our visit.

Praise God, he allows us to be used for his great purposes! Anna thanked us for coming that first day and I thanked her for the witnessing to us. Thank you Lord for leading us to her house and for building us up!

Women's Day of Reflection


On December 30th the missionaries put on a women's day of reflection for our sisters on the south side. Women from the Indy branch were also able to join us. The Lord blessed the whole day and it was a great time of growing in Friendship with Jesus and with one another. Thank you Lord!

South Side Women's Day of Reflection

Thanksgiving

I'm sorely overdue for a post, and I can't catch up on everything that has happened in the past 3 months, so I'll just touch on a few highlights. The Lord blessed us south siders with an abundance of food on Thanksgiving. Initially, we were not sure if there was going to be left over food after the feast, but at the end of the meal, which fed around 40 people, we had plenty to spare. Annie and I made plates of food to give to folks who we thought might not have much for Thanksgiving. One lady, who we had met a few weeks earlier popped into both our minds; her living situation is a tough one and she sometimes doesn't have enough food. John and I took a big plate of leftovers over to her house that night. We knocked on her door several times and there was no answer; neither of us wanted to leave the food outside and it looked like someone was home so we kept waiting. Eventually the woman came out, and invited us onto her porch. She was delighted to see us, and when we gave her the plate of food a huge smile spread across her face. She immediately began to praise the Lord as she explained to us she had been sick all day and wasn't able to go anywhere for Thanksgiving. She had asked the Lord several times that day for a Thanksgiving plate but as the day got later the chances of one showing up got slimmer and slimmer. Her boyfriend was gone somewhere for dinner and she did not expect him to bring any food home; she had been eating chicken noodle soup that day. She exclaimed out loud, "Thank you Lord! You are so good, you ALWAYS hear me and take care of me." She kept saying over and over again, God is so good, God is so good." This woman has amazing faith in the Lord; We are blessed to witness Jesus taking care of her, even in a small thing like a plate of food. The Lord put this woman on our minds for a plate of food; we didn't know she was asking for a Thanksgiving dinner, but Jesus has her on his mind all the time and worked the whole thing out. Praise Him!