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Healing Testimonies

Published February 2011

We have an amazing God who interacts with our lives all the time. He is not a distant God somewhere out there. He is a present God right at the centre of life. He made us body, mind and soul and wants to engage with us at every level. He is in the business of saving souls, transforming minds and healing bodies. Yet not every soul will be saved, not every mind will be transformed, not every body will be healed. He responds when we pray. He moves in relation to our faith. But we dont always see the answers that we expect because Gods ways are not our ways and his thoughts are not our thoughts. What follows in this booklet are real life stories from people at Ebenezer Church. So they are our stories. You will read of the joy of miraculous healing on one hand and yet on the other hand the struggle of what seems at times like unanswered prayer. Some stories speak of a healing event and others of a healing process. In the end, you cannot help but reach this conclusion: God heals today. He has done so in the lives of the people writing these stories. This means he can do so in your life. When, how and what the healing looks like will be different in every case. We are learning that God works in partnership with us and so he uses our praying, our faith, our knowledge and the gifts he has given us. Dont be surprised when he uses the medical profession to bring about our healing. Dont be surprised when he defies what the medical experts tell us. There are future stories yet to be written that will be included in further booklets. When your story is ready to be told, please speak to someone on the Church Leadership Team, or to Sue Allan to whom we are grateful for compiling these testimonies.

Sue Received healing from M.E. 24th April 1995

For this purpose the son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the evil one 1 John 3:8 In 1994 I became very ill and was eventually diagnosed with M.E. a cruel illness that doesnt kill you but sucks every bit of life out of you. I was virtually bed ridden for 9 months and during that time I had to face the reality that I might spend the rest of my life as an invalid. To say I was scared is putting it mildly! The ultimate agony for me was not to be able to bring up my two young children. Initially I was really angry and confused. Since a teenager I had desired to follow and serve Jesus and now I wanted to bring my children up to know him Where was He in all this? At one of my lowest points Rosemary Reed came to encourage me and said she had a word for me from Romans 12 that I was to offer my body as a living sacrifice to God. Although I didnt really understand it at the time, in hindsight, I see God was telling me that I needed to surrender my body totally to him - so he could mend it!! Rosemary also told me I needed to practice the presence of God so I wouldnt be so afraid and showed me a scripture to think about: I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear: I will help you. Isaiah 41:13 When Rosemary left me I spent a long time thinking about those words, and as I lay in my bed I began to sense a presence next to me; I actually felt Jesus holding my hand! The fear was replaced by wonder! I thanked him for being with me and told him that I still didnt understand what was happening but because I knew He was beside me I did trust him. The moment I told him I trusted him I felt such peace, it was quite amazing. The very next morning (!) I heard about a friend of a friend who had been healed through Sozo Ministries, who were seeing many people healed from M.E. I immediately sent off for their teaching tapes and listened to them over and over again. In a nutshell they taught to look at what the Bible says about healing for yourself, not what other people say or what you think you know, but look at what it really says in the Old and the New Testament. This I did and it was a real eye-opener: I discovered God hated sickness as much as I did!! :) It was never his plan for his people but had come into the world at the Fall and Jesus dealt with it on the cross. I learnt to take the Bible seriously and it became my lifeline. I prayed scripture over my food so I would be able to digest it (Exodus 23:25) and regained half a stone in weight in 6 weeks. I found scriptures that promised physical strength and made them my prayers. I put scriptures all round my bed on post-it notes so wherever I looked I would be thinking about what God was saying about my situation, not what my body told me.

I read the bible in all my conscious moments and could tell I was getting stronger as I was able to read for increasingly longer periods of time before I had to rest. I read a lot about Jesus healing people. I was still very sick and weak but hope began to rise up as I realised that God wanted to heal me as healing and salvation are different sides of the same coin. Jesus was broken to make us whole. Listening to the tapes of Sozo Ministries, it was clear that a lot of their healings came about during worship. Not going-through-the-motions type worship, but heartfelt and intentional times of seeking His presence. So using the Psalms as a guide I resolved to worship with every fibre of my being. By this time I had enough faith to take the journey to a Sozo Ministries worship weekend and I went fully expecting to be healed. The first night I received prayer, nothing apparently happened and I was tormented all that night with doubt and fear. I spent the next morning looking at the healing scriptures that had become so much a part of my life and once again faith started rising up. I remember announcing to my husband that afternoon that as far as the Bible was concerned there was no reason whatsoever why I shouldnt be healed. That evening during the worship I was prayed for again and I felt something like an electric surge go through my body and knocked me off my feet. At that moment there was no longer any doubt, I knew Jesus had healed me. Something inside of me just knew it. The next morning I awoke with such pain in my legs and a voice in my ear Youve not been healed I leapt out of bed and said out loud Yes I have been healed, I dont believe you pain! and I felt the pain drop away from my legs just like a baggy pair of trousers falling off!! (I know it sounds crazy, but it is true!) Every time the symptoms tried to come back I stood against them by the truth of the word and kept the freedom Jesus gave me. Whooppeeee doooo!!!! Health is so wonderful! God is so good! My physical healing was a miraculous event but also a process. I knew I had been healed when I saw the truth of healing in Gods word and then felt his power in my body, but the outworking of that took some time and a daily walk of trusting him. Just as my spiritual salvation has been an event and then a process in my life - I knew I was saved the moment I accepted Jesus was the way, the truth and the life, but the process of salvation continues throughout my life gradually changing me to be like Jesus. There are still many things that puzzle me about healing, but I am certain that Jesus is still healing today because it is part of the complete salvation he offers us. How? Through His word and His Holy Spirit: His truth and His presence. He wants to make you whole, so why not give yourself to Him and let him mend you?

Cathy - Healing of Broken Ankles

When I was at college during the summer holidays, I worked at a Christian adventure centre in North Wales, Llanbedr and got to know one of the climbing instructors quite well, we stayed in contact and often went rock climbing. During the Christmas holidays, just after New Year, early January, we set off early one morning at 4.00 a.m. with some friends back to North Wales to climb Snowden, it was cold and icy (freezing in fact!). Having climbed for a few hours we were nearly at the top and came across a large rock namely the "Amphitheatre Buttress" and we had to do a traversal climb across (there were 4 of us roped together). When it came to my turn, I started out but slipped and fell about 30 feet down the cliff edge, consequently breaking both my ankles! Cutting a long story short (it was a miracle that I did not fall all the way down the cliff edge pulling my mates with me! Thank the Lord for Angels!), the others had to pull me up to the ground level again and then I had to slide down the side of the mountain on my bum to get back to the car and off to hospital, arriving home the next day totally plastered (legs only!!). The healing was quite spectacular, looking back, I used to get together with some ladies each week to pray, the Lydia prayer group (Karen P. was also there) and one evening we prayed specifically for healing of my 2 broken ankles, and being quite enthusiastic, we prayed with great faith! I felt my ankles become warm, and one of the plaster casts on my legs actually cracked open! I can remember going home and waking up my parents saying, "Look, my plaster cast is broken, I have been healed!". I was due back at the hospital for a check-up and also as the plaster cast had cracked thought it best to go and check it out. After having x-rays, I went to see the doctor, he looked at me and asked me what was wrong with me, why was there at the hospital! No signs of broken bones! I returned home with no casts at all! All quite an exciting experience, how great is our God - He is faithful!

Beth Received Healing from M.E. June 25th 2008

Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to Godthis is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will ishis good, pleasing and perfect will. According to the medical profession I should still be very ill as I had a life long debilitating untreatable condition. God is so good, I was healed and leaped up from my sick bed on June 25 2008. It was and is totally amazing! I am so excited about what I am discovering about God. Since then I have shared some of what I am learning with many people and

have seen God at work over and over again as people, who receive the good news with joy, are getting healed! I have been a Christian for many years, I knew that God could heal and that sometimes it happens today just like in the Bible days but I never expected it would happen to me. The teaching I have had in church over many years left me with the understanding that we are supposed to keep asking God for healing in the hope that one day He might decide to heal, maybe. Well, I am so grateful to a lady who visited and told me that it is always God's will to heal! (That was a very strange concept to me as I see so many people sick and have prayed many times for people and had never seen them healed) She explained that God doesn't pick and choose who, or when, but that when Jesus died on the cross He provided ALL that is needed to make ALL of us completely whole with forgiveness AND healing. It was very hard for me to believe this because of many years of understanding God very differently and because I am used to judging God by what I see around me (all the sick people) rather than seeing the world around me through God's eyes and in the light of His word. Every example of healing throughout the Bible (old and new testament) God never refused to heal anyone who came to Him. Those who believed what God said and looked to the bronze serpent in the desert were healed, and those who came to Jesus believing He would heal them, were healed. That doesn't mean that everyone was healed.... those who didn't follow the instructions to look at the bronze serpent weren't healed, the people who didn't come to Jesus weren't healed. But it seemed to me that God was refusing to heal me.... I had been praying and asking for healing for many months. Many people from church had also prayed with me and nothing had happened. So what changed? Well, I discovered that although I am a Christian and have faith, my lack of knowledge and belief about God's healing got in the way of me receiving it. As I didn't know that God had already healed me (in the spiritual realm) I couldn't believe deep down in my heart that it was true. I had a lot of seeking God and learning to do. I spent much time seeking God by reading His word and asking God to reveal His truth to me. God is so faithful, little by little He helped me get past all the excuses I had for not believing what I now know is true. One day God was able to really get through to me and helped me to receive the healing that He paid for 2000 years ago and was ready for me the first time I asked and even before I ever got sick! So what changed? Not God. Me. My knowledge, my believing and my expectation. Maybe this sounds as strange to you as it did to me. My best advice to you if you want to see God healing today is get stuck into His word. The Bible is alive and God has sent His Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to us as we seek first His Kingdom. There are some podcasts talks that you can download which may help you in your journey of getting to know God

better in this area but ultimately it is Gods word deep in our hearts which allows God to move in our lives. May His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven! I pray that as you seek God and get to know Him and His love for you more and more that you will see His Kingdom come on earth in your own life and those around you!

Paul Received Healing from Tinnitus and Deafness 2010

On the scale of human torment, I guess my misery ranked pretty low. I had not been in any physical pain so the suffering I endured when my left ear ceased to function as it should was, compared to others, minimal. However, I had to deal with the daily irritation of Tinnitus and its intrusive impact on the way I lived my life. This is a condition that gives one the perception of a sound, (a continual ringing, buzzing or whistling). It is quite common. The medical experts still do not fully understand it and, to date, there is no cure. Frustrating enough but this was combined with partial loss of hearing in the left ear that meant I battled to distinguish sound on that side. Up to this point in my life, I had been blessed with good health but I had to adjust to a life-changing issue. Being partially deaf affected how I inter-reacted with other people. (For instance, I attempted to keep the speaker on my good side). It is only when things start to go wrong with our bodies that we appreciate how much we take our health for granted. I had coped with this condition for nearly a year and had undergone several hearing tests, referrals and an MRI scan but the only solution the Audiology Department at Southmead Hospital could offer was a hearing aid. After taking a rubberised mould from inside my ear, they told me my hearing aid would be ready in six weeks and booked me in for a session to fit and do the necessary tests to see that it was working properly. Initially, I had prayed for healing but as time passed I prayed less and less. There had been no improvement and I had come to accept medical opinion that if you get Tinnitus, there is little you could do about it apart from learn to cope. I prepared myself for a life with a hearing aid. For many years, I have attended a weekly Small Group on a Thursday evening. During one of these evenings, I bucked up the courage to tell the group how I recognised that my attitude had been wrong and I had no expectation of being healed. I had put a limit on the power of the Holy Spirit. My observation from this time was if we want God to work in our lives, we have to meet him half way! I had expected a good telling off but my confession was not received with condemnation and a slapped wrist but with a reaction approaching delight. By being honest, I had humbled myself before the group and ultimately before the Lord. One could say that it was the Old Testament equivalent of wearing sackcloth and scattering ashes on my head, (but I never fancied doing that so I just confessed it seemed easier). I asked the group to pray for me. I asked not for healing but a change of my attitude towards a disability I would need to get used to. I believe the events of that night were instrumental in what happened next. Within two weeks, I had been healed!

About a month after my healing, I attended the scheduled appointment to have my hearing aid fitted. I wanted to use the opportunity to have an expert verify my improved hearing. I told the Audiologist about my healing and she carried out another hearing test. I am delighted to tell you that, under clinical conditions, the test revealed a significant improvement. My appointment should have lasted about an hour. Within fifteen minutes I walked out the door without a hearing aid! I have mixed feelings about this testimony. Yes, I am glorifying the Lord but I do so at the personal expense of confessing my failure in demonstrating a lack of faith in prayer expectation. However, if you read 2 Chronicles 16:12, there is a crucial verse about King Asa who, amongst a whole host of evil kings, was a king who "did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord" yet he failed on the same issue as myself. I take consolation from that. Ultimately, on reading this account, if my testimony encourages you in the power of prayer, I will delight in sharing my failure and the undeserved reward given to me through grace. Exodus 23:25 - Worship the LORD your God and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you Psalm 107 - He sent forth his word and healed them Isaiah 53:4 - Surely he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered him stricken by God, smitten by him and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities, the punishment that brought us peace was upon him and by his wounds we are healed. Matthew 8.16 - When evening came many who were demon-possessed were brought to him, and he drove out the spirits with a word and healed all the sick. This was to fulfil what was spoken through the prophet Isaiah: He took up our infirmities and carried our diseases.

Psalm 103 - Praise the LORD all my soul and forget not all his benefits. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases: Isaiah 42 - So do not fear for I am with you: Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand Proverbs 4:20 - My son, pay attention to what I say: listen closely to my words, do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart; For they are life to those who find them and health to a mans whole body. Matthew 4:23 - Jesus went throughout Galilee teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Matthew 10:1 - He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness

Fiona Received Healing from Coeliac Disease 2nd April 2009

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. (John 10:10 ) I'm not quite sure where to start with my story...the beginning, of sorts, is when I was diagnosed with Coeliac Disease in August 2006 after being unwell for nearly a year. In September of 2005 I had been feeling a bit worn out & had been turned down for donating blood because my iron levels were too low. I was starting to get occasional stomach symptoms but ignored them until February when I was just so tired all the time & noticed that after pasta my stomach really wasn't happy. I went to the doctors & explained the symptoms as well as the family history (my Aunt was diagnosed as a coeliac about 10 years previously). Following blood tests that were fairly conclusive I was put on the waiting list to the have the final diagnostic tests that was 6 months of waiting & having to continue to eat things that I knew were making me ill. When the diagnosis came I had a real mix of emotions. In many ways life was never going to be the same again but equally it was a great relief to know that all I needed to do to be well was to be careful about what I ate. (My cousin, who is a couple of months younger than me was diagnosed with the same thing with in weeks of my diagnosis.) I changed what I ate & managed the disease well. It was mostly fine at home where I was in control of my food but other situations involving food became incredibly stressful. Eating out with friends or in restaurants or church meals even communion, could tip the balance from coping to tears. Things like holidays were not looked forward to fully or enjoyed properly because food & fear would be on my mind. It was life - but rather restricted. I had wonderful family & friends who did whatever they could to try to make life feel as normal as possible but it never was. Our dear friend Beth became very ill during 2008. She was at rock bottom at times & was challenged to look at God & his healing power. She shared some of what she found with us as she was discovering & this is where my 'journey' started. Gradually over many months lots of questions came up. Some I knew what I thought some I had never considered beforeand with some questions I realised that my answers were using twisted logic which wasnt biblical. I had to assess my understanding of God's sovereignty & how his will & purpose fits with us having free will & living in a fallen world.

I came to realise that His plan for my life never included me being ill. It was not His will but a reality of this fallen world. I was also beginning to realise that I didn't have to just accept it & let it be part of my identity. I was living as if I was a coeliac first rather than a child of God first & foremost. (Ruth Lorrensons sermon on Identity at Ebe on John 10:10 helped me realise this last bit) Beth asked me one day, while in the car going off for a walk, if I was still an 'if' or 'when' about being healed. I said 'if'. I later explained to her that it was if not because of God - I realised that I was managing my conditions, coeliac & asthma, so well that I was not letting God do anything about them. Healing wasn't going to happen because I was not willing to take the risk of standing in faith. Ebe was running a monthly CGA (Church Growth Academy) for people in leadership roles in the church On 9th March 2009 it was on the subject of the Holy Spirit & outreach. During the worship time after the session I felt God say to me I want to do a new thing in you. I don't think I had ever had such a clear sense of His voice before. Unknown to me (until Sunday 19th April) Sue Allan was praying for me at the time that the Spirit would touch me. On Thursday 2nd April 2009 I had spent the afternoon with Beth talked about other health issues (pregnancy or the lack there of). I drove home realising that I needed to live in the fullness of kingdom life & that meant being willing to give over my health to God. John 10:10 was going round & around my mind, even though it wasn't one we had discussed earlier. I just couldn't get away from the fact that I wasn't living life to the full, as Jesus had died to bring me, and that I should be! I felt as though I could hear Him saying I've done this for you you just need to trust me. I knew I had to act. Tim & I regularly don't know what we want to have for dinner until we looking in the cupboard just before we start to prepare & that evening was unusual in that Tim had decided he wanted to have bolognese not knowing what had been happening with me. I decided to take the opportunity to stand in faith & join him in eating ordinary pasta. This took him by surprise but when I explained what I felt God had said to me he was willing to let me take that step. Eating like this, under normal circumstances, would have led to diarrhoea a couple of hours later; but God is faithful in what He promises & there wasn't any then or in the days that followed as I ate more & more things that my old diet forbid. I have to say, everything tasted so good!!! It hasn't been 100% plain sailing since then. There have been occasions when the thief has tried to sow doubt in my mind. I have to keep standing in the knowledge that it isn't what I've done that has made a difference but the victory that Jesus has gained on the cross that changes everything. That means that I can say I am healed by the great I AM! We walk with God with a new enthusiasm to learn more about His kingdom & what it means to live life to the full for Him.

Annette - Healing of Asthma - 1973

I had my first asthma attack when I was 3 weeks old. Our doctor thought I was the youngest baby in history to have an attack, he never verified it but I guess my Mom would rather I hadnt had that statistic associated with myself! My Mom went through a really bad time in the next 3 days. 72 Injections later, I was eventually injected in my feet because I had no available veins in my upper body. 1961 was not a good year to be that ill. Asthmatic medication was not as sophisticated as present. No inhalers, no nebulisers, no preventers, asthma was treated with antibiotics and oxygen tents. The doctor suggested prayer because there was nothing else left that the medical profession could do. My Mom never gave up. The doctor did make a final suggestion; I could be a guinea pig for a new tablet called Ephedrine, a stimulant used to treat breathing problems. It was new on the market and never used on children. My Mom agreed and it worked (along with prayer, no doubt), and I pulled through. Unfortunately that was not the end of my Moms suffering. For the next 6 years it was a constant battle trying to ascertain what was causing the asthma attacks. I was too young for blood and skin tests. Our doctor suggested various ways of determining my allergy by a process of elimination and things that were obvious from experience. As far as food was concerned, I could have 2 foodstuffs per week. If I didnt react to either, I was ok with them. If I did react, I would have to avoid one and live on one for the week, and so on. Eventually he built up a profile allergic to dairy products and anything related to dairy products (goats milk was totally acceptable). Oh, and oranges! All fruit including citrus but not oranges. I could eat the male chicken (rooster) but not hens because hens laid eggs. Avoid red meat although not life threatening, but not very good for my health. Feathers, pollen, dust, house-dust mites, animal hair and smoke the list went on. Once I turned 6, I was able to have all the necessary tests that confirmed what the doctor had already established. However, the asthma was difficult to control and I spent the next few years drugged up in school with antibiotics or in hospital in an oxygen tent. I must stress that I still led as normal a life as any child would. I wasnt made to feel any different, my parents treated me just like my siblings and I am very grateful for that. In 1973, a minister who specialised in healing came to our church. My Mom knew he was coming and spoke with him before the service and explained my condition. I remember going to the front of the church and the minister laying hands on me and praying that Jesus would heal me. It was a quick prayer but really powerful. Being a child and having the faith of a child I assumed I was healed because he had asked Jesus to heal me. That was it. So at the end of the service, we went home and I poured myself the biggest glass of cows milk and drank it in one go. My Mom also believed I was healed, she didnt say, lets try a little first, or go to the doctor to check if I was healed; she knew the glass of milk would do me no harm. Before the prayer, that glass of milk could have brought on a fatal asthma attack. I had no idea what the cows milk would taste like; I had grown up on

goats milk, which I love to this day. But I had to try something that I used to be seriously allergic to. Everything, and I mean everything, I was allergic to prior to the prayer that healed me no longer affected me. The doctor was amazed at my healing. He had been there right from day one when I was born. He had been through all the bad days with my Mom, yet he could not find a trace of asthma in my lungs the week following my healing. It was such a simple act of faith. I trusted God and he answered the prayer. He wants us to be healthy. He wants us to trust Him. 1 Kings 17:21-22 - Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the Lord, Oh Lord my God, let this boys life return to him! The Lord heard Elijahs cry, and the boys life returned to him, and he lived. Matthew 21:22 - If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer. Asthma has never had a hold on me since that day. However, since moving to Bristol in 1998, I have become susceptible to a very mild form of asthma, which is linked to me getting colds. It is totally non-allergy related! I occasionally use an inhaler to ease my breathing, however, I control it. It has no hold on me. I am healed. God has been faithful. Totally

Adrian - several healings

I was in church leadership from the age of 28, often praying for healing in others, but, if I'm honest, a lot slower to get others to pray for me! In fact, our God is gracious and in my relative ignorance of the ways of God in healing when a young adult, I was healed without a lot of fuss and getting anointed with oil or anything like that. It was a long time ago! 1970 was the year (before leadership in the church!), and in quick succession I was referred by my GP to three consultants for different conditions. One was straightforward where the GP sought advice on the best line of treatment, but the others could easily have developed into life-threatening illnesses: recurrent severe cystitis which in my next door neighbour's case had recently led to a terminal prognosis with cancer of the bladder. The third was a large and quickly growing lump in my thyroid gland. I can only explain the outcome as God's answers to my prayers and of those nearest and dearest. The cystoscopy was clear and the condition has not recurred in over 40 years. Well, maybe there wasn't really anything major there in the first place. Maybe. I remember the consultant, who has also had charge of my neighbour, saying afterward that it was an outcome that he had not dared hope for! The really amazing thing is that the lump in the thyroid, perhaps 20x10x10mm shrank spontaneously and eventually completely disappeared. It's never come back.

Many years later, and when a church leader but also with homegroup leading responsibility, I developed Bell's Palsy which is paralysis of the Facial (Cranial) Nerve believed to be due to an obstruction to nerve impulses in the long canal through which the nerve passes as it leaves the skull. The result is paralysis in three regions: the eyebrows and forehead, the eyelids and cheeks, and the mouth and chin area. In many cases this is due to an infection, viral or otherwise, and the swelling around the nerve responds to large quantities of steroid and the condition clears up. In other cases it leads to a permanent disability which causes drooping of eyelids and mouth, usually on one side. I was quickly put on the steroid treatment but unfortunately the condition did not improve. Sometime later Allan Crocker (still at Ebe, and many of you will know him) and Chelian Mahesan (now at High Grove Church), who were members of our own homegroup, came to me during a group evening and asked to pray for me for healing. This was not 40 years ago, but neither was it today, and my own experience of God's healing was not extensive. Once I'd recovered from the shock of the approach, I readily and gratefully agreed. Nothing spectacular happened that evening. But I sensed something special unfolding, and in the next few days the condition completely resolved ... and again, has never recurred. I think what happened to me on that occasion has been a benchmark of faith and trust for me that I have given though to again and again when prayer for healing is on the agenda. Praise God!