" Called Into Ministry "
Dear Friends and Family,
I would like to share with you how God called us into the ministry. About forty years ago I started having problems with pinched nerves in my back. The pain was so severe that I couldn’t bend over, and wasn’t even able to dress myself. I had gone to a chiropractor, and then eventually to a surgeon. The surgeon told me that I had a bone separation in my back, and because of that, the bones had pinched the nerves, and left me in pain. I was told that if I would have the operation, the bones could be fused together, but the only problem was that they could only give me a 50% chance of it being successful. I would either be completely free of pain or the bones could be fused in a way that I would be in pain for the rest of my life. They also told me that it would take up to six months for recovery. Now that didn’t sound very good to me. They then told me it was either that or I would have to wear a back brace for the rest of my life. I chose the back brace.
Shortly after Lena and I were married, the Vietnam War broke out. I remember getting a letter that said I had to go to Detroit for my induction physical into the army. Now that was bad news. We had just found out that Lena was going to have a baby.
When I got on the bus to go to Detroit, it looked like it was going to be a one-way trip. I already had one physical several years earlier and was classified as (1-A). While going through the process of the exam, the doctor noticed I was in pain, and was limping. They took me into another room to wait, and then took an x-ray of my back. After waiting for awhile, the doctor came back into the room. He told me to get dressed, that I wouldn’t have to finish the physical, and that I would be taking the bus back home. Now that was good news.
After a few weeks I received another letter that stated I was not acceptable for the military. That was a relief. Many times we find ourselves wondering why we have to suffer with physical problems. In my case suffering with a back problem made me not eligible for the military draft.
I wore the back brace steady for about three years, and then off and on whenever I needed it. I didn’t like wearing it because it was very uncomfortable.
A few years later at a church where we used to attend, an evangelist couple came for meetings, and they had a Spanish musical group traveling with them.
The bulletin announced them as Charles and Frances Hunter, and the Singing Amigos. The Singing Amigos were quite talented. We still have one of their albums. When they were finished singing, they introduced Charles and Frances Hunter. The Hunters started telling us about how God was using them in healing. This was something new to me. I never heard of God using people in healing. I had always thought only the elders of the church could pray for people. They gave a word of knowledge that God wanted to heal certain people with a particular problem. I never heard of a word of knowledge. I didn’t know that God would tell anyone about someone else’s problems, let alone heal them.
They prayed for many people. They told the audience to stand up and hold their arms out in front of themselves, and look to see if one of their arms appeared shorter then the other arm. Much to my amazement one of my arms was shorter. They said for everyone who had a shorter arm to remain standing, and for the rest of the people to be seated. They then said “in the name of Jesus arms grow out”. This was quite a different way of praying for someone, but all of a sudden my arm started moving out until it was the same length as the other arm. They then said try bending and you will see that your back pain has gone away. Sure enough, as soon as I bent over, my back pain went away. It was wonderful to be without pain.
After they finished praying for everyone, they had everyone hold hands. They then went down each isle, touching the end person’s hand. All of a sudden each row, one by one, the people weren’t able to stand. As the power of God fell on them, they fell back into the pews. What an experience.
This was the first time I had ever seen a miracle of healing or the power of God so strong that you weren’t able to stand in His presence.
The following Monday they started a three day seminar on healing, and told us that God would use us also in healing. I took hold of that and believed what they were teaching us. Charles told us to ask God to reveal to us a physical problem someone else in the class was experiencing. All of a sudden I felt a pain in my stomach. Charles said that was the way God was telling me of a problem someone else was having. He asked if anyone had that problem. One person came forward, but Charles said that wasn’t the person because the pain wasn’t in the same spot. Then another person came forward. This time it was the right person. Charles had me lay my hand on the spot and to command the pain to go way, and to be healed in the name of Jesus. The pain left the person and they were healed.
Several weeks went by, and I was starting to have back pains again. I had truly believed I was healed, but the pain had come back. We heard that the Hunters were going to be in Michigan City, so we went to their meetings. I was prayed for again, and the pain left me, but later on the pain came back. We heard again that they were going to be in another place, so we went to those meetings as well. The Hunters prayed for me again for the third time. I wasn’t about to give up. I had seen too much, and I knew in my heart that God was going to heal me. It didn’t matter how many times I was going to have to be prayed for. I knew I was going to be healed. The third time stuck. I was finally healed.
I remember one evening while lying on the couch, the phone rang. It was a friend from church. She told Lena that she had been in an accident, and couldn’t bend over, and also had to wear a neck brace. She said she had been to the doctor, but after the treatment she had gotten worse. Lena looked at me, and asked if we could go to her house and pray for her. At that point I can remember the Lord speak in an almost audible voice. He said, “Yes go, this is your ministry”. I said, “I will”. When we arrived at our friend’s home, her husband greeted us. His wife was in severe neck and back pain. She was bent half way over and couldn’t straighten up. Her neck was in a brace, and she couldn’t turn her neck. We prayed for her, and all her pain went away, and she was able to straighten up, and to move her neck. God heard and honored our prayers, and healed her. This was the start of our ministry about thirty years ago. God has been using us in healing ever sense then, all because I said “I will”.
God speaks to me more often now than He ever had before, and it is still the same words, “Yes go”, and my answer is always the same, “I will”
I challenge you to say, “I will”. But it doesn’t come without a cost. It will cost you your life as you know it now. For the more you say “I will” the more He will say “Yes go”.