Prayer The Gathering Sunday Service

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Finding God's Way of Rest

March through June was probably the hardest season that Marc and I have faced since having a family, and for us the pandemic provided just another layer on top of other challenges we were already facing. Marc was having to work crazy hours, and I was mostly alone caring for our twin toddlers while pregnant with our third child.

 

It was during this season that I felt God showing me that He had a way of entering Rest that was more than just respite from our challenges.

 

For me, God began having me revisit various issues from the past year or even years prior in order to address them and bring healing. It was during my quiet times of prayer that He would bring up these issues that were very painful and deeply uncomfortable, and each time my gut response was, “God, do we really have to talk about this now?” Given all my family was going through, it felt like the least opportune time to think about seemingly unrelated issues. But I knew in those moments that in order to receive the good that God had for me, I had to engage with Him on what He was calling to mind.

 

One example was a painful experience I had earlier in the year with one of my children becoming very sick. Though my child went on to recover and I knew that big picture wise that God had been sovereign, there was one particular moment within that situation where I felt that God was absent, and it was this place 6 months later that God wanted to address. It was painful and there were a lot of tears, but the amazing thing was right after going over this in my own private prayer time, God continued to minister to me that same day through the corporate noon prayer, even though I hadn’t shared with anyone what I’d been praying about. It was during that time that someone prayed out thanking God for “draining away bitterness and replacing it with something more holy and grounding” And this prayer was so on point and I prayed in agreement that God would drain away the bitterness of my son’s experience and replace it with something more holy and grounding. I came away from the experience with God having shown me that He in fact HAD been with my son at the precise moment where I felt that He hadn’t.

 

This has not been an isolated occurance. God continued to use corporate prayer to further what He was doing with me in private.

 

Through these experiences I felt God illuminate for me the passage in Psalm 84 in a way I’d not previously understood: ” As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion.” The places of tears through which God has led me have indeed become places of strength. It’s been a beautiful redeeming story of God reclaiming wounded places in my life for Himself. It’s deepened my intimacy with the Lord knowing there isn’t a corner of my heart that He wants to leave untouched, He desires to increase my awareness of His presence with me in every moment, even the painful ones, even the ones that felt too late. For the ones that felt too late, He’s been gracious to say, “Let’s go back” and have me walk that way again with Him.

 

-Karissa
8/1/20

 

 

Finding Peace and Patience

My sister tested positive for Covid-19 and because we live together, I was required by my Employee Health to get tested & self-quarantine away from her. So I took up residence at a hotel, planning on being there for 14 days. Fortunately, 4 days later, my test result was negative. I was cleared to go back home and back to work.

 

I was completely asymptomatic throughout this time. Because I do work in an Emergency Room, I have monitored my temperature & any symptoms( ie sore throat, cough & or shortness of breath) twice a day since 3/28/2020. There was still a chance that I could have given her the virus while being symptomatic, even though I was careful with PPE, hand washing, consistently disinfecting, social distancing. With constant prayers, kind words & thoughts from family, my work family and friends I was able to have peace and found renewed patience with these uncertain times while staying in lock down in a hotel.

 

I found peace and a renewed patience because I wasn’t alone. I was lonely at first, but through the power of prayer by the 4Him/VCF group, the emotional support I received from my family, my work family and my friends via Zoom, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, emails, texts, & phone calls- I was beyond belief! I knew that I wasn’t alone. It was quite the opposite! I felt the Spirit of Our Lord all around me. The days went by quickly. I felt a sense of peace. The anxiety and stress of the situation was quickly put to a halt. I had prayed for patience. My sister was on medication for her symptoms and was getting better already.vc When I got the good news five days after I was tested, I still had to wait to go back home until my sister was symptom free x 72 hours. So on the sixth day, I will go back home & continue with my social distancing, disinfecting, etc. And I will be able to go back to work and stand with my fellow coworkers to fight the horrendous Covid-19 virus.

 

-Karin
4/7/20

 

Debilitating Back Pain Disappeared

2 weeks ago, I strained my back to the extent that I was not able to move without great difficulty. The pain would increase each day especially on waking up in the morning. I was not able to sit for long, and somehow had only two positions that were without considerable discomfort: standing up and lying down.

 

After last Sunday’s online service (which I was able to finish with God’s help, my family was in the family room. When I entered into the room, they could see that I was in discomfort. One of my children had earlier spoken about declaring authoritatively God’s healing upon my back. Immediately the rest of the family jumped on it and prayed strongly to rebuke the pain that by then had steadily increased through the day.

 

I sat down on the floor with them to watch one of the episodes of Agatha Christie’s Poirot series, forgetting that I was in a position that should not have been comfortable. Then I noticed that I was feeling no pain at all. I was healed! Since then, the debilitating back pain has disappeared. Praise God!

 

-Pastor Michael Koh
3/28/20

 

Healing from Decades of Sadness and Grief

Georgina’s sadness regarding Eric, her son who died 20-30 years ago, has been debilitating. She heard the crash outside her house – he was one week from graduating from Med School! Georgina and he were going to do medical missions together (she was a nurse), but this ended their call. She would see in her mind his dead body over and over…

 

I witnessed a miracle this afternoon. I don’t think there is any other word for it. I went over to Georgina’s this afternoon. She wasn’t answering the phone or calling back like she normally would.  She was on her bed, out of it – big time. It took 10-15 minutes to get her coherent enough to even stand up. She had food out on the counter for hours that she planned to warm up and cook, but she never did, so I threw it away. I wanted to show her what I got for her, so we were slowly walking to the kitchen. She said, “Wait” and went over to the white chair and said out of the blue, “Can we pray?”

 

I was shocked and said, “Yes of course.” So I went and sat in the black chair, and she started praying, raised one hand up, then started singing. Then a second hand was up. I was praying but would open my eyes once in a while to wipe away tears (yes, she even did that to me this time). Oh, she went on and on for about 45 -50 minutes, praying, singing, and raising her hands and arms!

 

When she finally stopped, she told me that she didn’t feel alone anymore. She said she saw Eric and my mom in heaven. She told me not to worry about them (though I knew her vision was more for her, since she couldn’t let go).

 

She said that she has never had an experience like that before (I hadn’t either). She went on and on how good God is. She wasn’t sad about her son Eric anymore.

 

I told her this might be the beginning of her getting better now.
She said “Amen”. She is in a different place right now.

 

Praise God! Let’s pray for her to resume her calling!

 

-Jeff
3/23/20

 

Healing from Kidney Pain

I had a kidney infection many years ago. I was in Italy, unable to speak Italian, and could only watch but not understand two doctors who spoke Italian while I pointed to my lower back pain. After a few pills, what I later understood as a kidney infection was corrected. For many years I forgot about my pain as long as I drank enough water. However, after a year and a half of stress after my mother’s death and nights praying through, the pain came back. This time drinking enough water didn’t stop the ache.

 

Since I continued to be a mom with other responsibilities, I didn’t have time to think about the continuing pain. After a few weeks, I became concerned. It is easy to forget that we have others, close to us in our own families, who can pray. I told Michael who immediately said, “Let’s pray”. I didn’t expect the results to be quick. But they were. The pain left and did not return.

 

My kidneys have not had additional pain! I followed up with my doctor who saw me immediately. The tests showed the kidney was normal. Praise God! He is the Great Physician in a world that isn’t just less able than He, but not as trustworthy as our Creator. I lean more on prayer than on doctors even as I am thankful for them.

 

– Cindy Koh, March 2020

 

Healing from Stomach Pain caused by Candida

Over the past few years my stomach has become extremely sensitive, so much so that I would feel pain after almost every meal. I tried changing the way I eat to help ease some of the pain and somehow along the way I developed a stubborn intestinal infection called candida. It’s kind of a complex infection so I won’t get into it but it left me light headed frequently, and caused abnormalities on my skin. The worst part about this disease is its stubbornness. The process to get rid of it involves a very limited diet for a prolonged period of time. I thought about it very little at Fall Conference but when the ministry time came around, I searched for what God wanted me to do during that time and I felt him say to go get prayer for your candida so I did. Cindy prayed intently for me to the point where I really believed I was healed on the spot. It’s been 3 months and I haven’t experienced any Candida related symptoms since that night. Not only that, but my usual stomach sensitivities have been extremely reduced. I’ve gone as far as eating foods that feed the infection without any side effects (fruits). God not only freed me of the disease, but freed me of the attention it demanded of me, and gave me back the gift of food enjoyment.

 

– Athar Mikhail Chavez, 1/12/18

 

Crossing the River

My name is Shannon and I want to share about my recent trip to Haiti. Before I begin, a little background: I am a nurse and I went to Haiti on a medical mission through Azusa Pacific University to provide health care in the villages of Northern Haiti.

 

The fusion of providing health care and serving the poor has been a dream of mine for six years. I have wanted to start a mobile clinic to deliver health care to the most unreached parts of the world. When I graduated nursing school, I asked some of my friends to pray for me and commission me into the profession of nursing. As one of them prayed, my calling was further confirmed. He had a vision of me at the edge of a large river with swift currents. He said I would have to cross this river in order to reach the people I was called to serve. He said on the other side, there would be people waiting for me, because I am meant to love and serve them.

 

For six years, I have been praying, waiting, studying, saving money, getting rejected from medical school, getting three degrees, all so I could get to those people. On the second day of my trip in Haiti, there we were. I couldn’t believe it! We had to cross a large river to get to a remote area of Haiti where people were waiting for us. They had walked over 5 hours to arrive there for medical care. Many of them had no access to medical care because of the rough terrain they live in.

 

I stood in front of this river, large currents, cholera-infected. We were required to cross it barefoot because the current would wash our sandals off. It was then that I remembered that vision. In that moment, I realized I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

 

In that moment, those six years of waiting didn’t matter. All the longing, the heartache, the locked doors, the many No’s faded away. God’s greater Yes always trumps the other No’s. As I crossed the river, I experienced so much joy. When you are in the center of God’s will and living out what you were born to do, He enables you to make unprecedented sacrifices even risking getting cholera. God put that Spirit within me. I arrived at the clinic and we treated over 100 patients and actually saved the lives of three children that day because we were able to transport them to the hospital and give them needed medications. They were in fact waiting for us.

 

I share this because I am sure many of us have dreams and visions for our lives. Perhaps God told you what you are to do or who you are to be in His kingdom years ago and yet your reality doesn’t seem congruent with what you have heard and been promised. But I want to encourage you and say that our God is always faithful. He will never fail and His word will never return to Him void. His timing is perfect and He will always come through.

 

And when He does, the pain of that labor leading up to the birthing of your destiny and calling will not only be forgotten, it will be worth it.

I want to leave you with one word I got while in Haiti from : 1-4:

Listen to me, coastlands,

and give attention, you peoples from afar.

The LORD called me from the womb,

from the body of my mother he named my name.

He made my mouth like a sharp sword;

in the shadow of his hand he hid me;

he made me a polished arrow;

in his quiver he hid me away.

And he said to me, “You are my servant,

Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”

But I said, “I have labored in vain;

I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;

yet surely my right is with the LORD,

and my recompense with my God.”

 

– Shannon

 

A God Who Heals

At the beginning of November 2010, Grant shared a word during a 70 Cohort meeting that he felt that the Lord was releasing a ministry of healing to us. He challenged us to believe God for something we haven’t seen before in healing. In the past when I’ve prayed for healing for people, even though I can say that at times God has indeed answered my prayers, I realized that there was a certain underlying dread I felt whenever someone mentioned to me that they had an ailment or sickness. Sometimes the dread was so heavy that even though I felt I should, I wouldn’t offer prayer. My dread was two-fold: I was afraid that God wouldn’t answer my prayers (and I would look like a fool) and I worried that the person I prayed for would have less faith in God after my prayer if he or she weren’t healed.

 

The following Monday, an acquaintance of a friend from church called me and asked if I could pray for her and some issues that were coming up with her daughters. I agreed and we all met to pray that evening. While the woman was sharing about various struggles, she casually mentioned that she was unemployed because of a problem she was having with her knee. In fact, her knee was causing her so much pain that she couldn’t sit still for more than a few minutes and also couldn’t stand for very long. She was scheduled to have surgery at the beginning of December. I remembered Grant’s word from Saturday and even though it wasn’t the original reason she had asked me to pray for her, I announced that we would pray for her knee and felt a certain surge of excitement that maybe this was the beginning of the release of a ministry of healing Grant spoke of. We prayed for quite a while for many things and God seemed to be releasing healing to her in many areas of her life. At the end of the prayer time I asked her how her knee felt. She was surprised because she said it didn’t hurt and we had been sitting for over 30 minutes. She got up and started twisting it all around saying it actually felt good. Her face was joyful. My friend and I were amazed! I saw this woman again a couple of months later and she reported that her knee was still doing well. This was the first time I had seen a super-clear connection between prayer and a healing.

A couple of weeks later I had the opportunity to pray for my sister’s baby who was born two months premature. As a result of being born so early, she was regularly having apnea where she would “forget” to breathe and would turn blue. As you can imagine, this was very distressing to my sister and her husband. After Thanksgiving, I went to visit my niece at the hospital and felt led to pray for healing for her apnea. I just connected with my sister this morning. Her baby was able to go home from the hospital a month earlier than expected. My sister told me that after I prayed for her baby that she didn’t have any more apnea spells. Praise God!

 

A couple of weeks later, my husband went to Berkeley to speak at a conference. He called me in the morning because he woke up with conjunctivitis (both of my boys had conjunctivitis over the weekend). One of his eyes was red and painful. Because of his schedule, he wasn’t going to be able to get medication before he had to make his presentation. I prayed for him and his presentation over the phone. When he got home from the conference, he told me that the redness and swelling in his eye had almost disappeared completely by the time he gave his presentation. Praise God again!

 

I feel that God has released to me a new confidence in his healing power. Moreover, God has been strengthening my understanding that he is a powerful God who desires to heal his people and love us deeply through the daily pains and difficulties of life.

 

– Armi

 

God Healed Me of Malaria

On July 13, 2010 I returned from a trip to Nigeria. Six days after my return I became sick. I knew from the symptoms that it was malaria. The doctor I saw attributed my stomach pain to excessive acidic gas and prescribed medicine. That took care of my stomach pain but not the body ache and headache.

 

There was no relief either for my body temperature.

 

I contacted Nigerians that I know in New York, Maryland, and here in California for assistance. They all responded with what they had for malaria. Every drug I took brought temporary relief, but not total cure.

In the meantime my situation was getting worse. Headaches continued every day until the morning of September 18. That morning there was the 70 Cohort prayer meeting in the church chapel. I was weak, feeling like vomiting, and my head was aching terribly. I didn’t think I could attend the meeting because of the way I was feeling. But at the last minute I went to the chapel. I made sure I sat way behind just in case I would have to rush out to the bathroom. Pastor Mike led the session with a reading from . Then he prayed before we were to split into groups.

 

During the prayer I was complaining to God that He had not healed me of the malaria that was ravaging my body. I was reminding Him that there was nothing impossible for Him to do. I reminded Him of the miracles of healing He performed when He was here on earth. While I was doing that I had the prompting that I was in the right place and that I should ask for prayer. With that, as soon as Pastor Mike was through with his prayer I gathered myself and went to him requesting prayer. I explained to him my situation. He prayed. After the prayer, my headache grew worse but I kept telling myself that I had been prayed for so I was healed. I went back to my room and slept. When I woke up, the headache, the stomach pain, body ache, and the high body temperature all disappeared. To Him is the glory.

 

– Salihu

 

God Makes A Way

July 27, 2009 I was laid off from at Huntington hospital. A separation package was offered but for reasons of conscience I did not sign the agreement and left with no severance pay. Huntington did set me up with an organization which helps people find new jobs. This helped some, but it was difficult to stay motivated after a few promising leads fell through and it seemed nothing was opening up.

I continued to work a few hours a week at another position, while collecting unemployment but overall was making less than half the money I had been making. Brenda & I wondered how we’d be able to keep paying the rent. We cut back some, but this was not easy since already felt squeezed before the layoff.

 

During this time I was also meeting with a group of unemployed professionals through the unemployment office. There I gained some encouragement and built up a few skills. Yet, I also began to realize that it’s hard to find work through others who are also looking for work.

 

Around the end of June 2010 I learned unemployment benefits were going to be discontinued and Congress might not reinstate them. With Grant and Brenda’s strong encouragement I spent less time at the unemployment office and began looking more in earnest for any kind of work. I applied for sales work, construction, painting as well as looking for other ministry positions.

 

Then “out of the blue,” one year, one week and 5 days after being laid off, I got a call from Randy Boer. Randy told me that a friend of his who I had met before told Randy that a chaplain position was opened at Mission Hospice. They were ready to offer this position to someone else, but they were open to interviewing one more candidate. I called and was asked to come in that same afternoon. The interview went very well. The director said I was the best qualified candidate that they had. He said if all worked out I should hear from him within 24 hours. That was 4:30 PM on Thursday. Friday, Brenda and I waited and prayed. 4:30 came and went. At 5:30 my cell phone rang. It was the director. He offered the position, I accepted. He asked if I could start the following Tuesday. My answer, “Yes!”

Again it had been over a year and I did not know how we could make it on the money that I had coming in. Yet month after month God provided, sometimes in totally unexpected ways.

 

Four months in my new work has challenged and invigorated me. God provided a great team of people to work with. Areas in my life that had been blocked are beginning to open up. One key to moving forward has been holding on to the fact that God has provided this job and that it is really His work. I’m learning more to step forward in the confidence that He alone (and not any circumstances I face) is Lord, He does make a way in the deserts of life! Praise God!

 

– Steve

 

A Paradigm Transformation

I’d been worried for months that Steve might lose his chaplaincy job at Huntington Hospital. However, I believed the Lord would surely prevent this because since we had no savings to speak of, we wouldn’t survive otherwise. The Lord had his own (better) idea, however, and Steve was laid off at the end of July 2009. I estimated our savings would last us about 1 and a half months. As it turned out, Steve was unemployed for one year and one week.

Steve’s unemployment benefits weren’t enough to cover our living expenses. I regularly had nightmares about being evicted. But astonishingly, during the first 4-5 months, our checkbook balance never seemed to drop. Neither did we touch our savings. It seemed that God was recycling his miracle with the widow with the bottomless oil cruet and jar of flour.

 

After December, our balance started dropping, but unexpected sums also came in every month from different sources. Consequently, we were always able to cover our expenses. We never knew where the next month’s rent would come from, but it always came.

 

Meanwhile, the Lord began doing an important work of healing my frantic fear of destitution. Although we’d seen tough times before, I’d never really believed God would provide for us if we didn’t scramble to provide for ourselves. But now I saw he was providing for us, one month at a time. So my trust grew.

 

Then in late June, Congress failed to pass the extension of unemployment benefits, meaning that Steve’s benefits would end in one month. And the job market was worse than ever. I freaked out. God was going to let us crash after all. The faith I thought I had accumulated collapsed like a pancake.

 

Only God’s grace enabled me to maintain my discipline of prayer, Scripture reading, and listening for words. During this agonizing time, I tried hard to keep my eyes on Jesus and remember how God had provided thus far, but my heart would quail in spite of myself.

 

About two weeks later, the unemployment extension bill came up again. This time, thankfully, it passed. Obviously, unemployment benefits were only a temporary stopgap. But soon afterward, Randy called and told Steve about a hospice chaplain job he’d heard about from a friend. Steve followed up, was interviewed that very afternoon, and the next day, he had the job.

 

Interestingly, this job turned out to suit Steve better than any of his previous chaplaincy positions. He’s enjoyed and grown in it in wonderful ways. Given the way things converged, it’s clear where it came from: the Sender’s name was written all over the package.

 

This whole experience also brought me unexpected blessings. It’s too simplistic to say “God taught me I could trust him.” I can’t overstress what a profound paradigm shift God began to work in me through his demonstration of faithfulness in a prolonged time of trouble. Because of it I see him now with new eyes, and experience a new closeness to him. I’m extremely grateful.

 

– Brenda

 

Augustine's Birth Story

Monday 8/24 Two days away from a scheduled induction, I watched my two toddlers as best as I physically could while Marc worked. It was a surprisingly restful day, a rarity with active kiddos, and I found myself able to treasure the quality time with my boys, a perfect end to a beautiful season. (This was a huge blessing and answer to prayer that God would lift my family “above the orbit of chaos” for that week, as one of you prayed.)
At 3 PM I began experiencing mild contractions, which quieted down by dinner time.
Tuesday 8/25
3 AM I woke to more mild contractions that lasted a couple hours before subsiding. Marc and I did a final check of our hospital bag and packed for the boys as well. It worked out nicely that this happened at a quiet hour while the boys slept!
8 AM I called my OB, and she told me to come in at my earliest, ahead of my 11 AM check up. We packed up the boys and left as a family for my appointment, prepared to not return.
9 AM I kissed the boys goodbye as they dropped me off, letting them know that if I didn’t go home with them that their grandparents would take good care of them.
10 AM My OB wasn’t initially convinced that I was in early labor, but decided in any case to send me to labor and delivery to move things along upon noticing that baby was showing signs of stress.
10:30 AM I walked the two blocks over to labor and delivery, texting a friend who alerted my prayer group as I went, and checked myself in. The contractions became regular as soon as I arrived. Marc in the meantime drove the boys to his parents.
12:30 PM I’m admitted to a room after waiting two hours (while laboring) for my rapid Covid test to clear.
1:20 PM I’m 4 cm dilated and 80 percent effaced. The contractions intensified after being given pitocin, and I texted Marc to please come soon. He was delayed, having had to wait with the boys for his mother to come home from work.
1:50 PM(ish) On a “hunch,” my OB stopped by my room to check on me. She had intended to step out for an errand and thankfully hadn’t, I was 10 cm dilated and ready to push! 
2:03 PM Augustine is born! It was THAT fast, and very intense! Sadly Marc did not make it in time for the birth, and this was the one disappointment we had in this birth experience. But God’s presence over that situation was palpable, and my OB and nurse were amazing, providing me with the compassionate support and focus I’d expect from a doula. My previous birth experience had left me emotionally numb for weeks afterward, this one did not, despite that momentary disappointment, and to me is a sign of God working.
2:30 PM Marc arrived in time to see Augustine get his vitals checked. The three of us remained together for the duration of our hospital stay, which was very peaceful and joyous.

I’m in awe of all the moving parts that came together for Augustine’s birth. Given what we had to juggle with the boys and making sure they were situated, and how quickly the labor progressed after a very slow and uncertain start,  I’m grateful that the transitions were peaceful and orderly and that I made it to the hospital at just the right time. 
Other answers to prayer:
Baby Augustine’s health: 3 weeks leading up to the birth, my OB had concerns about his growth and weight and his showing signs of stress in response to contractions, which prompted further testing, more frequent visits, and a scheduled induction. God provided by allowing me to deliver a healthy 6 lb 9 oz baby and go into labor naturally.
Transition for Isaiah and Matias: the boys did GREAT spending two nights with their grandparents during our stay at the hospital. It was their first overnight away from their parents in over a year so we weren’t sure how they would do. Upon our return home, the boys were elated to meet their brother and have continued to treat him with tenderness and affection. 
Matias has done well with letting caregivers other than me help him out, accepting our explanations why I can’t lift him ect. In the beginning we had some battles, but he responded positively to the boundaries we set for him. 
Now at the tail end of Marc’s paternity leave, we’re seeing the precious fruit of the quality time that he’s had with the boys from being their primary care giver for this season. This is something I prayed about since June, especially in regards to Matias who was stubbornly attached to me for months.

Again, thank you all for your support and for being in our lives!
Much love,
Karissa

 

-Karissa
10/17/20

 

 

Healing from esophageal (throat) cancer

Part of this testimony is on behalf of my father, Nicholas Grasso, and part of it is my own. My father began to know that something was seriously wrong with his health towards the end of 2018, but it wasn’t until July 2019 that we finally got an accurate diagnosis, esophageal (throat) cancer. This took my father and our whole family by complete surprise as his doctors had previously linked his symptoms to a heart condition. The doctor who provided the initial scan and diagnosis thought it was late stage cancer and inoperable. Based on that information, we read that he likely only had 3-12 months left to live and that the disease was terminal.

With prayer and time, we later learned from an oncologist that the tumor was in fact operable and that the cancer was not as obviously widespread as initially feared. Additional tests showed that it had started to spread to lymph nodes around the throat, but it was not yet clear if it had spread to the lungs. This was a crucial factor in my father’s prognosis and the course of treatment available to him. In the intervening period I prayed for my father’s healing and brought my request to VCF prayer meetings repeatedly. Shortly before he was to get his crucial test, I had an image at our prayer meeting of a sword cutting the cancer out of my father’s lungs. When he finally got a new scan of his lungs there was absolutely no cancer spread! It was still a long road ahead with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to remove the tumor, but after successfully undergoing surgery in December 2019 my father has been cancer free for over a year!

While I would like to say that my faith never wavered and that I took the initial diagnosis in stride, the truth is that I struggled spiritually to process the news. My initial response was to be stoic and logical (‘we all die in the end’), and then turned to optimistic platitudes (‘everything happens for a reason’), but I was eventually able to admit my anger that God allowed this to happen and my desperate desire that he be healed. With time, the anger turned to grief; it was in this place of mourning and honesty before God that I was actually able to find comfort that “Jesus wept” over Lazarus, and that he too is offended and outraged by the sickness and death of his loved ones, and that, ultimately, Jesus conquers death through the power of his resurrection. My prayer for healing was that God would slow the growth of the cancer and allow its destruction by any means God saw fit, to his glory! Although I did not immediately recognize it, I believe the prayerful confirmation of the cancer’s elimination from my father’s lungs was a sign of the complete healing in store for him and its continual outworking to this day.

God was able to take my father (and our family) from a place of sorrow and confusion where death seemed almost certain, to a place of physical healing, renewed hope, and confidence in God’s faithfulness. It wasn’t easy, and I wasn’t always faithful, but God never abandoned me or my family. God gave me the faith to pray when the situation seemed hopeless; he gave me the hope needed to genuinely pray for healing and trust in the goodness of God’s will. Thank you to everyone who joined in God’s work of healing through prayer!

 

– Tim Grasso, 1/15/21

 

 

COVID 19 Testimonies

In no way I am negating or dismissing the realities and dangers of COVID 19; it is a real thing, which is affecting people.  However, I have learned through many years of ministry that sickness is from the devil and when there is any serious illness, you are sure to find the demonic in the shadows. It’s a huge mistake to only treat COVID 19 from the standpoint of a medical virus. If we do not seek the Lord for what the enemy is doing in every case, the healing may be slowed or halted. My wife and I minister through the USA and have friends and family in different states. Three recent cases come to my mind. Two in New Jersey, and one in Florida.

One was the son of a woman whom we have done ministry with in NJ. Her son was in bed with a 102 fever and very scared and wanted to be taken to urgent care. The mother had been in prayer. I remembered praying with her and breaking the attack that came against her son. I never felt that there was anything physically wrong with him
Last night, he spent the entire night with a 102 fever. When I asked her this morning his condition, the fever had broken and was nearly normal.

 

The most impressive case was a couple in NJ who have a home ministry to nearly thirty people. Because of COVID 19, they chose to live stream the service. She contacted me two days before the service that the she, her husband, and kids were sick. She asked me to pray. I had a vision of red danger flags posted in their lives. God had me pull them out. The next day there was a pronounced improvement of the family’s condition. Especially, the woman felt much better. The morning of the meeting (I think it was this Friday), she contacted me again, that her husband was really sick. So much so that with a 102 fever, he curled into his bed and could not move. They were contemplating canceling the meeting. The meeting was about 6 hours away. I prayed and saw the enemy coming at them. The Lord told be to build a wall of the blood of Jesus in between them and the attack, but it did not help much. I asked her if she could do the meeting. Her words were, “I don’t care about the meeting, I want my husband to feel better.” I told her, why don’t you take him to urgent care. She reached out to a few others for prayer and did not take him. The Lord told me then to take authority over the demon and rebuke him and tell him to release the man. At that moment, I felt a tremendous peace, and I knew that God had thwarted the attack. By the Spirit of God, while her husband still laid immovable on the bed, and with two hours before the meeting, I said to the woman, “I would not be surprised if your husband gets up, feels fine and does the meeting.” An hour before the meeting, he arose, ate and said, “I feel better, let’s do it!” I tuned in to the telecast. He was totally healed. His voice had come back, the fever was gone and he did the entire meeting, just fine.

 

The third case was with a young woman in Florida. She was laid up by herself in her apartment. Her lungs hurt, she had difficulty breathing had a headache and felt hot. I started praying for her a few days ago. I was convinced that she did not have COVID 19 and told her, but she was not convinced. Two days ago, she attempted to get a thermometer at the local Walgreens but it was 50 dollars. Yesterday evening she was still complaining of pain in the lungs and a difficulty breathing and a lingering headache.  I told her again, that she did not have COVID 19, and prayed again for her, commanding the evil spirit to leave her lungs. This morning she woke fine. Everything is back to normal with her.

Last case is me. These past days I have felt an ache in my lungs, a bit of a breathing problem and the onset of sore throat. However, in no way did I feel sick. I was convinced that it was a demonic lie. Every time rebuked the demon I could feel the pain moving up different parts of my back and an oppression around me. This morning I woke up feeling almost fine. Case in point, there is the COVID 19 and there is the demon of COVID 19 that attacks when there is there is the open door of pain and fear. I have no doubt, because I can discern it, that there are spirit is of fear and panic functioning as we speak, in a big way. There is also a spirit of COVID 19 as well, in a big way. I can discern it. There are real cases of COVID 19 that must be attended to, as well. Nevertheless, learning how to discern the difference, and deal with each of them accordingly, is most essential.

 

– Jose Alvarez, 5/21/20

 

 

Healing from Osteoporosis

A lot us happening out here. We are at the cusp of a great move of God in Europe. There is a generation of prophets being raised. I know for myself my prayers are rooted more and more in the Word.

 

I do have a very strong sense as I am writing this that there will be an outpouring of His spirit in the old places of worship that have been abandoned.

 

As I am sitting at my desk writing this, I am just amazed at all that God has given me over the years. His gifts are much better than what I could have imagined or asked.

 

There is also a time of ecumenism coming over Europe. I attend and worship at two different churches, one in the morning and one at night. I do have a strong calling to be a bridge between cultures. Even my prayers have become more prophetic over the course of 2018. I am entering into a new dimension of His reality.

 

Just before picking up my phone, Isaiah 58:12 popped into my mind:

Those from among you will rebuild the ancient ruins; You will raise up the age-old foundations; And you will be called the repairer of the breach, The restorer of the streets in which to dwell

 

This is what I feel about Europe. A lot of old churches have been deserted, but if we start worshipping in them again, an outpouring of His spirit will start

 

And as amazing as God is, I am just seeing in verse 11: And the LORD will continually guide you, And satisfy your desire in scorched places, And give strength to your bones

 

I have been having a slight osteoporosis due to all the years on dialysis. And it’s been stable over the years. And this week when I went for my check up it was completely normal. The osteoporosis was gone. This is something that is not physically possible. I just want to share this because I feel it is important that we testify when God does miracles so that others can be edified in their faith.

 

– Alex Meier, October 2018

 

 

Trusting God for Provision

Yesterday morning, in a moment of discouragement, I wondered what (if anything) I had even accomplished this year. Recognizing that I was being tempted to believe a lie, I made a list, and came up with 21 things that I did in 2015, (12 of which were new). I began to cry as I realized how brave I had been graced to be. 

 

Then today, as I was driving to church, I repented for not trusting God to continue to provide for me financially (cause creating costs money). I asked God to help me believe that He would continue to provide, even though I don’t have any new gigs in sight.

 

Then tonight, at prayer at church, I felt God instilling in me a deeper trust.

 

Then after prayer, as I was driving home listening to KJLH, the radio host said that they wanted people to call in to share their a vision and the steps that they had taken in 2015 to work towards that vision.

 

I pulled to the side of the road, got through to the station, and then shared my vision and 5 things (from the list that I had created the morning before) that I did in 2015 to walk towards that vision.

 

After I shared, they debated, and announced that I had won the prize money! I will use it to produce #14DaysofFunny.

 

I am continuing to see that often God moves in us internally before He moves things externally.

 

– Chanté Griffin, January 2016

 

 

New Baby Testimony

In our family as a whole: This past December, was the first time God organically began to create a certain desire in all three of us. For Bijo and I, this desire was not based in or influenced by child psychology, ill health, in economics or timing. However, God began to create an organic and deep desire to add onto our family. When asked in his small group, “If you can have anything in the world, what would your biggest dream come true for your life, be?” Bijo said, “I want to have a baby.” I told a couple of close women friends, “I want to have a baby despite any logical reasons for or against it.” Micah prayed for the first time in one of his prayers, “God can you give me a little brother and sister?” Bijo and I thought we will plan for 2017, and again, God had other plans. So, the miracle for our family that came out of this year’s fast is a new baby to be born this fall!

 

In the past year, we have experienced the internal and external miracles of God. It has been through a process of the power of the Holy Spirit working in us to transforms us: our thoughts, our desires, and our ways. Then, God breathing His supernatural into our natural world to produce the miracles we can see, feel and touch. This is what Jesus has promised us all in John 10:10, “I have come so they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly”.

 

– The George Family, 8/15/17

 

 

The Holy Spirit works in our children

Micah was sick the first week of February, and I had to keep him out of school. During his quiet time on Tuesday morning, he had an idea. He said, “Mama, my floor puzzle will be the wall of Jericho, and let’s walk around it 7 times for 7 days, and on the 7th day, walk around it, 7 more times quietly. Then, I will blow my pretend trumpet and we can shout, “Praise God!” I said, “Ok Baby; what is our wall though? What problem do you want to come down?” Micah said, “Our problem wall is our sickness, and I want it to come down!” Micah led the way, and we did exactly as he said walking around “our wall of Jericho”. Micah spent the rest of the day fatigued, and just suffering from the cold. The next morning, however, he woke up from bed, full of energy, without one cold symptom. He said, “Mama God healed me!” This was yet another miracle! Even greater than Micah’s physical miracle, is the work God is doing in Micah. Before, when our son would see me sick, he would say, “Mama you have to go to the doctor, and take your medicine.” Now when he sees me or hears anyone is sick, Micah will say, “We just have to pray mama,” and he will pray for people to be healed until he hears that they are well again. The Holy Spirit works in our children. As it says in the Word (Isaiah 54:13), “Your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace,” because “the kingdom of the Lord belongs to such as these (Luke 18:16).”

 

– The George Family, 2/13/16

 

 

Going to God First in Business

During the fast last year, God started working in me and was changing my thought process and the way I was running the business. I usually created plans trying to think of every scenario to ensure that every decision was the right one, and then taking it to the Lord. Instead I started going to God first, and out of last year’s fast came my testimony of God providing the office in Pasadena, which was something I never planned for. Then, the Holy Spirit started revealing other things in me like all the pressure and burden I had been carrying, because of all the roles I had been taking on in the business and the pressure to succeed.

 

 During Easter of last year, through much prayer, God showed that it was necessary for us to hire and start growing. At that time, we did not have the funds to hire and needed more sales in order to do this. I trusted in God and people started coming. First, a very successful sales woman came to us, asking if she could work with us. But we couldn’t afford her as she was being paid well at one of the biggest marketing agencies in the country. BUT I knew God was moving for her to even approach us. In April, she decided to leave her job and began working with us as a contractor which was huge decision for her and us. Through this sales person we grew quickly and so far we have hired 3 additional employees, each hand-picked by God at the right time, each a miracle in its own. There are many other examples of God’s faithfulness throughout the year as I trusted in Him more.

 

By this summer we will have a core team to handle a lot of the work. I didn’t see how this could happen in April last year, God’s plans have exceeded what I even thought was possible.

 

– Bijo George, 2/13/16

 

 

Waiting on the Holy Spirit and Healing from Back Pain

I have been struggling with my prayer time – really since I knew that there was such a thing. But lately, I resolutely made time where I wasn’t reading or saying anything. Just waiting on the Holy Spirit to come. For at least two weeks before Sunday’s service, I’ve been waiting on the Holy Spirit and I’ve been blessed with His presence in a mighty way. It’s been such a blessing and confirmation that God is with me during prayer time. Not that He wasn’t before, but I just didn’t feel that I was giving the Lord the time and space needed for my prayer time.

 

But also the weeks leading up to last Sunday’s service, my back was in excruciating pain. I have arthritis on the base of my spine and it’s always been stiff upon waking or if I sit too long. But this was different. I was traveling a lot and working 13 days straight. I had no relief – not through pain medications or the application of heat. I was using the seat warmer in my car and slapping on heating pads every day – but to no avail. I got no relief sleeping – in fact it made my back worse – so much so that I dreaded having to get up in the morning because I knew it would be so bad that I would scream.

 

On Sunday when Pastor Koh asked if there was anyone suffering and wanted prayer, I actually resisted going. I wanted to go up but I was held back by thoughts that God wouldn’t heal me on top of thoughts that He would. I actually walked out with my purse on my arm and then came back to pray some more. I finally got up and sat in the front to wait for prayer when Pastor Koh sat next to me and asked if I needed prayer and if anyone had prayed for me. So he prayed for me. Immediately, I felt the presence of the holy Spirit – just like in my prayer time! So I knew that I was already healed, whether I felt it or not. 

 

So afterwards I stood up. I didn’t even realize that I was feeling better until I was actually walking to my car. I told the Lord – Ok Lord, I’m going to walk like my back is fine, I’m not going to turn on my seat warmer nor am I going to take any pain meds because I want to know the moment my back feels completely normal. Even though I drove three hours that day, my back continued to get better. Even at dinner at my aunt’s house, I met a woman who had a testimony and we started giving the Word to each other! That night, I let Pastor Koh know that my back was like 80% better but would let him know what my back was like in the morning. The mornings were the worst, of course but I was waiting in faith on the Lord and prayed. Pastor Koh prayed as well. 

 

That morning was a miracle. I got out of bed with very little trouble. I was stiff, but no pain from that site!!! Every since Monday morning, I’ve awakened with a stiff back but no pain. Praise God!!

 

– Kim Thomas-Barrios, November 2016

 

 

The Freedom that Comes with Faith

I came to VCF in struggle…

 

I was dead in my transgressions and sins in which I lived and could not hear God. But, God…in His great mercy began His work in me as soon as I set foot in VCF. I remember weeping…uncontrollably. Not crying…weeping. It was as if my eyes were leaking…flooding…I had rivers of tears coursing down my face to meet beneath my chin and stream down like a salty waterfall. I was alarmed that I couldn’t stop. I think that those around me were as alarmed…I think I felt a subtle shift away from me on the pews….my own children would give me the elbow…but I just could not stop crying. This continued unabated each time I was here in the presence of God and listened to the Word. My heart and mind were being transformed…and it was certainly nothing I could do to arrest the mighty hand of God….I had taken the step toward Him, but He was doing the work of it. It was like I had put an exploratory toe in the water and He reached up and took my hand and yanked me in and said, “Don’t worry…this is where I am….this is the best place for you to be…”

 

I was living with my finance’ in a house we bought together. It was a beautiful house. A house I had only dreamt about – it was three stories…five bedrooms…three bathrooms…two kitchens…two living rooms….balconies….beautiful vistas either way you looked out of the picture windows….

 

I say house, because it wasn’t a home….

 

We lived there with our children and from the day we moved in it was apparent that it would be rough going. My fiancé lost his job almost immediately and wasn’t employed fully the entire time we were together. In fact, he felt that since I made more money than he, it was fine that I take on the lion share of the expenses.

 

But, I was a “fixer”. I believed that I could fix all of our problems– I could have a beautiful home, a good life for my children, a good relationship with my fiancé and his children…all I had to do was work harder, make more income, and just give all I had…. But, as the years passed, the rougher it became to live there, until each of my children moved out and didn’t want to come back.

 

But, I thought I could still fix things and I didn’t want to let go of a house I put so much of my equity into, both financial and sweat. I wanted it to eventually be something that would be part of my inheritance to my children. I didn’t want to let it go. But living conditions had gotten so bad in the house that I wasn’t physically safe and was emotionally stressed because I feared for my safety and the out of control conditions with my fiancé and his children. Not to mention the deterioration of my relationship with my finance, and the physical distance now between me and my children. I had started grinding my teeth in my sleep. I was clenching my jaw while I was awake – so much so that I broke a molar so profoundly that the tooth couldn’t be saved.

 

Shortly afterwards, I was on an early morning flight to San Jose and had my eyes closed praying for safe passage and an uneventful flight…because even though I was a science major in college and a science teacher and know and taught all about the physics of lift,  I KNOW who holds up planes in the sky and it’s not the pilot.

 

I had my eyes closed after praying and suddenly saw Armi Sipple’s face. Armi is our prayer leader/warrior – I was in Armi’s Thriving group last year and again this year.

 

She just popped into my mind’s eye. She said…”Jonah ”. I thought…”Jonah? Is that the name of one of her boys? ‘I’m not good with remembering names accurately, so I transposed Elijah to Jonah in my attempt to make sense of what was going on in my head…and then like the numbers on a gasoline pump readout, I saw numbers rolling down…it was first the number two and then one…and I thought, “what?” and then I had a Scooby Doo moment…ERRRR!??? Did I just receive a Word? Was this a Word? If that was a Word,  I thought, I’m going to faint…Now, I do not know the landscape of the bible…I grew up Catholic and read and memorized our catechism , which are selections taken from the bible, so I never really even remember touching a bible, much less know the names of the books. So, I wasn’t sure what I had just received, and couldn’t wait until the pilot turned on the “yes you can open up your electronic bible app on your iphone” light.

 

When the light went on the delightful voice of the stewardess or steward, I can’t remember, said go ahead and find out if God just gave you a Word, I opened my iphone.

 

I scanned through the books of the bible – there WAS a Jonah! Ok…I thought…if there is a 2;1, I’m going to faint… Yes! There it is…2:1!! Ok – I didn’t really faint…but I had broken out in a sweat. The question then remained…will this Word speak to me? I was scared….I needed to hear from God, yet I didn’t want to fool myself into thinking that this was really it – God was choosing to speak to me in my situation. I so desperately needed a solution – one that was from God – but I was scared to take the first step out…

 

So, I began to read… the very first line made my heart leap in gladness…

 

 “ From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said, In my distress I called to the Lord and He answered me….”

 

What? He already answered me? All I had to do was call? That’s all? I just had to call out to Him and there was an answer for me?

 

“From the depths of the grave I called for help, and You listened to my cry”…remember? I was dead in my sin and transgressions…and His love for me was so HUGE that he who is rich in mercy, made me alive with Christ…

 

“…the engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever.”

 

It’s where I felt I was – I couldn’t turn left or right – I had no solution for me that would work, but I now knew that it wasn’t going to take a solution from me – it would be a solution that ONLY a God with such love for me – a God that Pastor Koh says is SOOO BIG that He can fit into the smallness of my situation, could do.

 

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”

 

I no longer wanted to cling to worthless idols – for me, it was a house that was not a home.  With faith, but MUCH doubt and fear, I broke away from my fiancé, signed over my stake in the house, and completely walked away from a sinful life.

 

“And the Lord commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.”  

 

I like to say that at one time I was a slave in the land of Egypt with a pomegranate in my hand, and now I am in the wilderness, sleeping on my futon of peace. But I guess I’m also on dry land sitting in a pool of fish vomit….but still free. The freedom that comes with faith is so much better than anything else for us – it certainly is for me.

 

– Kim Thomas-Barrios, March 2013

 

 

Healing of Neck Pain

My name is Myra. I have been coming to this church since 2012 with my two girls Kate and Liz and for the past four years my relationship with God has grown stronger and stronger. The first time I ever heard of this church was through Cindy Koh, when Kate was swimming with her daughter at Rose Bowl. I am so thankful that we have found a church where we feel the love and security of God all around us despite the troubles we may face elsewhere. I met with Cindy every Wednesday of the week, she ministered me. She taught me how to meditate and listen to the word of the Lord. She taught me how to communicate with God.

 

I also met with Miss Armi several times. Miss Armi is like a mother to my girls. She brought my girls closer to God and taught them how to have an intimate relationship with God.

The past couple years have been difficult.

 

God indeed turned my marriage upside down, my personal finances upside down, my health and well being upside down and parenting upside down. Which as it turns out, would become  RIGHT SIDE UP. This is what God does, He transforms the lives of people he encounters, by rearranging their life. God did an overhaul in my life and the girls. I know looking back now and the years ahead it is what needed to take place. Surrendering everything to God to do the transformation is the best thing I have ever done.

 

I got separated a couple years ago and just finalized our divorce this past week. It was a long process, but one that God led me through from beginning to end and He is still supporting me and the girls.

 

During the process of our separation I  hurt my neck which caused me a lot of pain, I was so scared that I would not be able to go back to work. I became depressed and hopeless. I remembered reaching for the Bible and praying to God to guide me and to heal me. I did not know how to find  the word of God (which later on Cindy and Armi taught me). In desperation to talk to God, what I did was closed my eyes and opened the bible and whichever page I came across in the Bible. I read it and tried to understand what God’s message was for me. One day I came across of the word “ I will rebuke the pain in your neck” three times. And  Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God ; I will strengthen you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” When I read this I knew then that God will never forsake me.

 

When we went to our retreat in San Bernardino Mountains last October.  I had experienced one of God’s many miracles in my life.  When we were praying at the end of the service, Pastor Koh was calling the people that have stomach pain and knee pain to be prayed for healing. I was patiently waiting for him to call for those who are suffering from neck pain. Unfortunately, he didn’t.   So I decided to just go in front so that Pastor Koh would pray for me. I wanted to tell him to pray for my neck pain. When I approached Pastor Koh, he asked me what I wanted to pray for, and I told him to pray for my girls. I totally forgot to tell him to pray for the healing on my neck.

 

As Pastor Koh was praying I kept thinking, “Lord I forgot to tell him about my neck.” But I decided to just keep quiet and allowed Pastor Koh to pray for the girls. Before he ended the prayer, He  paused and  said, “Wait a minute there is something else. I don’t know what, but I can feel there is something about your health. You are in pain and I can feel it.”  I started to have teary eyes as I told him about the pain in my neck and as he prayed for it a warm sensation rushed through the right side in my neck giving me a numb sensation. I didn’t know how to react. But I just allowed the warmth to flow. That night Liz and I went back to the cabin and had a great, painless sleep.

 

God is amazing!  I am thankful for His unconditional love  and grace. Sometimes , I don’t even know what to pray for. I just keep praising him( singing praises), thanking him in all that He does to me and my family. I know God will lead the way and He will never forsake me and my Family.

 

– Myra Fogassa, November 2016

 

 

Healing of Upper GI Pain

The reason my hospitalization occurred was due to concern over my recent gall bladder surgery. However it was almost two weeks after the surgery so my doctor was puzzled about my complaints. If it were related to the surgery my pain should have occurred directly after the surgery. But this was 12 days later. He made arrangements for me to be admitted immediately when I reported to Emergency.

 

They took me right away to do a CT Scan which revealed what looked like an inflammation where the surgery occurred. I was hooked up to 2 IV’s (1 in each arm), with 6 bags of something dripping into my system. My doctor called in 3 specialists to evaluate the CT Scan, and conduct their own tests. So I was on a clear liquid diet the entire time I was in the hospital, Wednesday through Friday evening. 

 

After each test (4) was completed my doctor reported their findings to me: NOTHING.  They could not related my pain to anything.  However the pain continued every time I took a deep breath pain shot across my abdomen. The final test was an upper GI which was scheduled for Friday at 12 noon. 

 

When Pastor prayed for me on Thursday he asked the Lord to close any avenues that would allow the enemy access.  When he said that, in my spirit, I asked Him to show me any open doors that gave the enemy access. His response was immediate – TELEVISION. While Pastor continued in his prayer I committed in my spirit not to turn on the television that night although I was concerned about sleeping.  I thought, “Oh my what would I do, it would be a terribly long night if I could not sleep.” But I was convicted and committed to obeying what God was wanting me to do . . . . . spend time with him, prayer, and praise. 

 

They had pumped so much fluid into my system I was going to the bathroom every hour. During the previous night, I woke up and was fully alert each time I went to the bathroom. Because I only sleep about 4 or 5 hours each night, I was really concerned about being awake and not having the TV on to entertain me or help me forget where I was and for what purpose.  I started praying at 7:30pm, fell sound asleep, woke up at 8:30pm , went to the bathroom,  crawled back in bed and began to pray again (my prayers were for others, whomever God brought to mind). I woke up at 9:30pm  from a very sound sleep, went to the bathroom and back to bed, prayed again, fell asleep and did not wake up until 3:00 am. When I woke up I was fully awake, went to the bathroom, returned to bed and was impressed to enter into a time or praise, and so I did. I fell asleep again, but prior to falling asleep, I saw something that I am having difficulty describing — not what I saw, but how I saw it. I did not see a picture in my mind as you would if you had a dream, rather in my spirit there were hundreds of people praising God, I could not tell what their surrounding were only that there appeared to be clouds, or fog.  I was engaged praising along with them, but somehow I knew I was not part of them, that’s the only way I can explain it. I again fell asleep and did not wake until 8:00 am. I do not remember getting up to go to the bathroom between 9 and 3, nor from 3 to 8. I felt no unusual pressure to run to the bathroom either. 

 

That was Friday morning and I was scheduled to have the Upper GI at 12 noon. The pain still persisted, I remember asking God about that, but was reminded to be still and know that He is God. So I continued my time of prayer and worship. When they came to take me down for the Upper GI  I was still in pain but trusting Him. When I arrived where the test would be conducted, I was told it would be awhile because the doctor had been called to emergency and I would have to wait. It was 2 hours before the doctor returned. Understanding that patience is not part of my DNA, I found it remarkable that I stayed calm, in good spirits,  praying and worshiping. When the doctor came I took a deep breath and said, “Finally.”  But I had no pain, all pain was gone. I still had to have the Upper GI even though I did not want it. They took pictures and showed them to me after the test, the doctor said you are fine, I cannot find anything that would cause you the pain you are referring to. Of course in my spirit I said,  “Thank you God… of course they can’t find anything.”

 

I remember telling Pastor about the gentleman I have been praying for that had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I checked my phone to see when I received his message, but also noted when I responded to his Praise report. It was the same afternoon when the pain in my abdomen started. His report was that they could not see any cancer, after two years of fighting this with chemotherapy.  All the tests came back normal.  However he was not claiming God’s healing but thankful that prayers were being answered. I told him in my response that healing was his and that he needed to claim it.  I said “It’s yours, claim it!” It may be that the enemy attacked me when I sent him that message. When I first started praying for him in May, I had a strong sense that he was skeptical that God would heal him.  He kept giving excuses saying God had already healed his spirit. We had not met him before May, but I was instructed that Rodger and I were to pray for him before we left him after our meeting. 

 

The open door of TV which is an escape for me when Rodger works long hours, but for some time I have known that I should be spending more time with God rather than watching news, HGTV etc. How many houses do I need to see rehabilitated, and how many people do I need to see purchase a home?

 

What I do know is that He healed me, period. I was reminded of Isaiah 30 and the lessons I had learned about trusting Him and that He allows adversity into our lives but is ready to heal our breach. What a God we serve. I look forward to seeing him one day face to face.

 

– Karen Hirst, August 2017

 

 

Healing of Ear Ache

I have prayed in the Spirit (prayed in tongues) for over thirty-eight years, ever since I met the Lord, but honestly I hardly used my gift as it seemed to have no life or power behind it. My husband and I started attending VCF in late February/early March of 2017.  We found the sermons life changing, but this testimony is concerning the impact that certain ones, committed to a prayer life,  has had on me.  I immediately noticed that they pray in the Spirit with purpose and with all of their heart.  Whenever I was with them in prayer I followed their example and did the same.

 

Last Sunday evening, in the prayer meeting, I had a vision.  I saw Heaven with God in all of His glory and the angels worshipping around Him.  It was so very wonderful.  I felt myself longing with all of my heart that Heaven was on earth.  I knew that nothing would be impossible if Heaven was on earth.  But underneath Heaven I saw the second heaven which was completely dark and filled with demons.  I started to cry out to God, asking Him how Heaven could come to earth.  Instantly I was reminded of a certain prayer warrior and the intense way that he prays in tongues.  Then I saw everyone praying in tongues with the same intensity as him.  As they did, their spirits lit up like nuclear power houses.  Heaven had come to earth and now everything was possible.  I brought this wonderful revelation home with me.  I started to wake up early to pray in tongues with purpose, to bring Heaven to earth.

 

Tuesday morning I woke up with an intense ear ache.  It was so bad that the whole side of my face hurt.  I was distressed because recently swimming has become very important to me. My habit is to swim Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I wanted to wake up Wednesday ear ache free so that I could swim.  My husband was very concerned for me and spent time in the middle of the night praying for me.  The pain was less when I woke up, but it was still there,

 

I didn’t know if I should take the chance of swimming.  My husband encouraged me to ask God for myself.  Remembering the new revelation that I had concerning praying in the Spirit, I began to intensely pray in the Spirit with purpose.  As I was praying, I saw the River of Life, with the leaves from the Healing Trees, rise up within me and overtake me until it went into my ears.  As the River of Life entered my ears and overtook them, all of the pain disappeared and pain free I was able to swim.

 

I am so very grateful to God and to Pastors Michael and Cindy for their example.  My life has been changed forever.

 

– Mary Alvarez, August 2017

 

 

Voice Healed

For years I had a condition in which my throat would feel parched no matter how much water I drank. It would happen multiple times a day, usually at the same times: my voice would strain and crack, and speaking would become uncomfortable to the point that it was a struggle to speak clearly or even audibly. It often made social interaction awkward for me, and I would seek ways to withdraw from conversation – or I’d anticipate it and forgo social engagements altogether. It was a much bigger source of anxiety than I wanted to admit, but I rarely told anyone, because I couldn’t explain why it was happening. There was also an element of deep embarrassment that I didn’t fully understand. Having my voice taken from me at random hours made me feel powerless. It certainly made me self-conscious.

 

I’ve waited two weeks to share this just so I could be sure it was true. At a church retreat near the end of October, someone prayed for my voice to be healed, and it was – completely. It happened overnight, and the difference was dramatic. The trouble with my voice used to be a daily occurrence, but it hasn’t happened since that prayer. I’m elated and still a bit stunned.

 

I’m sharing this because I want everyone to know what Jesus will do for you if you open your life to him: he will pour his life into you. That’s really it. I don’t pretend to be an expert on miraculous healing – this was my first direct experience of it. But it was real. Why? Because Jesus is alive, present, and powerful. Maybe he really is the Life.

If you’ve never taken a chance on Jesus before, I respectfully invite you to consider him. Not the caricatures of him, but the living person. You might be a committed atheist, but so what? Why not give him a chance? People explore every other option for healing and contact with the divine; why not Jesus? I’m not passing along dogma, just experience.

 

An ancient Israelite songwriter penned this line: “Taste and see that the Lord is good. How blessed is the one who trusts in him!” You can be totally skeptical of my story and still ask God to show himself to you. The God of Jesus is a god of experience; he welcomes people to taste and see his reality, and isn’t shy with skeptics. The proof is in the pudding. (Try some!)

 

– Aidan Lewis, November 2015

 

 

Healing of Ankle Pain

My name is Mary Mubanga and I want to share a testimony on how God healed my ankle. Last year, when we came here, somewhere around March and April,  my ankle used to hurt alot. I thought it was a condition that came along with the pregnancy and after I delivered I thought my ankle would be OK.

 

But the pain continued. My husband prayed for me. I prayed. Nothing happened.

 

I would take my daughter to school. I would go to school and the pain continued. Every morning I would wake up and I would be in so much pain. 

 

When the opportunity to go to the Fall Conference came, I was glad to go because I wanted to go just to have fun. It was more like a vacation. I was so tired.  That was what I was looking forward to – to go and have fun. But, one night Pastor Koh was praying for people, and mentioned in his prayer there was someone whose ankle was hurting alot. I thought, maybe I’ll have someone from the prayer team  pray for me. I thought that could be my word. I asked someone to pray for me. He prayed and asked if it had stopped hurting. I told him “No,” and he prayed for me again. He asked again if it had stopped hurting, and I said, “No” and he told me I should have faith that it would stop. He prayed for me again and when he asked again if it had stopped hurting I didn’t want to tell him “No, it’s still hurting”, so, I just told him ‘Yes’.” 🙂

 

When the next day arrived, I started to go home. I didn’t notice the pain had gone away.  I hadn’t felt anything.  I thought to myself that I should wait a week, maybe the pain would go.  I waited, a week or two passed and there was no pain at all. 

 

And that’s how I got healed.  I thank God….

 

– Mary Mubanga, January 2018

 

 

A Tale of Two Healings

Prior to the Fall Conference, I had a very full week that itself was an answer to prayer for a short vacation offering breathing room for quality quiet time with God in a place of natural beauty.  This He had answered with an unexpected invitation to a couple’s home in Hawaii to participate with friends in planning for an annual conference. 

 

While there, amid delightful shared times of laughter and meals and sightseeing, a multi-hour hike brought on a flare-up of inflammation in my feet, which have always been sensitive and for which I wear special orthotics and pads. When I arrived at Fall Con, I was walking slowly and painfully, my left foot in particular feeling tender even to the touch to the extent that the mere thought of taking that first step in the morning on a hardwood floor caused me to wince. 

 

Moreover, during the prior week, I had been bitten by mosquitoes against which I had no regional immunity, and by Saturday evening, I felt weak, feverish, and achy.  The worship during the ministry time was so infused by the Holy Spirit that I didn’t want to move from that place, but as the symptoms worsened, I was concerned about the potential effect on the service and the trip home the next day. 

 

Therefore, seeing how greatly the Lord was moving, I took leave of the piano. Michael prayed about both conditions and I felt a little better, able to enjoy the worship “afterglow” to the very end (nearly 3 hours total), then continuing in the Lord’s presence in a very long and restful sleep. From then on, the recovery from fever was steady — a definitive turning of the corner.  Perhaps the most striking improvement was in my feet. As soon as I awoke, I was able to walk across the floor without pain. 

 

Since then, even periodic flareups have been much milder than they had been prior to the conference, so that the previous “wincing” has become a mere memory. Therefore, every time I think of it, I have great joy and thankfulness for His healing touch, for His eye is upon the sparrow and all the more, His eye is upon us.  

 

For the God who is able to number every hair on our heads holds all that concerns us, calling each of us by name and is present in our every need so that we can dwell in Him fully wherever (and however) we might happen to be.

 

– Sonia Balcer, November 2016

 

 

God, Suffering, and Pain: A Reattached Finger

Many of you may remember that immediately after the Fall conference I was involved in an accident in which my finger was cut. That was a very painful experience. It happened when I was trying to move the trash bin and accidentally the bin slipped and hit my finger against the metal. That is how the finger dropped. By the grace of God it was picked up, put on the ice, and I was rushed to the hospital.

 

It was interesting when we reached the hospital because 4 doctors came in and they looked at me as I held the other piece of the other hand . They asked me, “What do you want us to do?” I told them, “I want you to put it back.” One of them said, “No. How old are you?” I said, “I’m 34. Next year I will be 35.” They said, “If you were 12 years we could guarantee that it would hold, but you are way old so it can’t hold. ” I said, “No, I believe it will hold. Put it back.  I respect your profession, but I trust God, above all. So, please, do so.”  So they began discussing. They asked me, “Do you smoke?” I said, “No.”   They said, “OK, maybe there could be a chance.” I told them, “God will do it. Please do it.”

 

So later, one doctor came and said, “Stephen, you seem to trust God so much for your finger. ”  I said, “Yes.” He said, “OK. We are going to do what you say.” That’s how they put 12 stitches around my finger and attached it.

 

I was discharged. I went home. In the night, the pain started. I cried. I asked God, “Why did you allow this?” And, to make matters worse for my part, it was the day that I was praying and fasting because I wasn’t feeling too well. I was sensing that something would happen.  Towards the end of the day, it came to pass. 

 

So I cried that night, and prayed.

 

As I was just crying there, God just reminded me. First of all He told me, “Remember you were holding the bin with 4 fingers and only 1 of them was cut. What if 4 of them were cut?”

 

Then the Lord was asking me, “Aren’t you the one at Fuller?”  We had just finished our Summer Quarter. During Systematic Theology the professor said, ” Among the 10 topics given you can choose any or choose one of your own. Do your final paper on this and I’ll grade it.” Out of all the topics I chose “God, Suffering and Pain.”  Now, I was even asking myself, “Why did I go for this one?” . So I was busy. I wrestled with the topic and wrote the paper. I got an A for my grade in Systematic Theology.”

 

God was asking me that night, “You are the one who is forgetting that despite what can happen to us, God is still there. Why are you changing so soon?” So I remembered and said, “Praise God.” And, again, He reminded me of a dream that I had had 1 month and 2 weeks before. The same thing happened in my dream, and I was taken to the hospital.  So God said, “I know all of this and I am doing something.”

 

That was around 1 am or so. Mary was sleeping. I had courage. I woke her up and said, “Wake up! The Lord has told me something! Remember that dream I told you about?” Mary said, “What dream? I’m sleeping.” I told her, “Wake up!” I explained everything to her.  She said, “Don’t worry. Come and sleep. God knows it all.” I said, “Honey, why should I sleep? I am troubled in the middle of the night, many times. I would tell her, “Look, it is coming off!” She would say, “It’s the healing process.” Every time I felt the pain and would say, “Look, it’s coming off!” She would say, “Yeah, it’s the healing process.” Indeed, God has been so faithful. It has begun attaching. Right now I’m putting on this small bandage only. I’m doing this for you. People will sometimes get curious and ask me questions. It has dried, and in the bye and bye the remaining part that dries will fall leaving the healed part.

 

To God be the glory! I have seen the very face of God during this period.  Things were very tough. But God has come through. Even financially, when I went to Illinois. There were promises that were made, scholarships. But, God has been very, very faithful.

 

A miracle took place, just yesterday, actually.  Mary woke up early in the morning. She went outside the door. She saw an envelope. On it was written, “Love offering for Stephen and Mary”. She came running and said, “Stephen, wake up! God has done it today!” I asked, “What has He done?”  She said, remember whenever we would see the bills we would wave them before the Lord and say, ” Lord, you’re going to pay for this. We are receiving bills in our mailbox. One day we will receive money.” 

 

Then, when we opened it. Oh my God. We couldn’t believe it. We were wondering. There was no name. No note. We wondered, “Who could this be?” As we started to figure it out, we thought of a person. We called him, and he said, “Yes, it was me.” We are so thankful to the Lord! We’re thankful to the congregation, and all who have played a part in our lives. The pastor also will just come through at times just to see how we’re doing. We are so grateful. God bless you all!

 

– Stephen Mubanga, 1/29/18