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Thursday
Mar112010

Healing Journeys - Merci Santos

Merci SantosMerci Santos was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis more than 20 years ago. At that time Merci suffered from paralysis and vision loss on her left side. As time passed she regained the use of her body, but the unpredictable symptoms of MS, some mild, some debilitating, would come and go. The up and down nature of MS made caring for her young daughter Danielle and managing a job difficult.

Nine years ago, after moving to Florida, Merci's health continued to deteriorate as she fought hard battles with MS. As is symptomatic of the disease, her flare-ups would occur without warning and without obvious cause, and would last for several days at a time.

Merci shows the leftover steroids and intravenous paraphernalia from her in-home healthcare visits.
(Click to enlarge)
Approximately every six weeks Merci would be weakened to the point of needing professional healthcare. She would either be admitted to the hospital or undergo in-home care. After four or five days of treatment, which included a steady dose of steroids, Merci would regain her strength and would go home—only to begin the cycle again.

Eventually Merci was forced to give up working. Suffering from the severest of symptoms, her doctor said she was unable to work any longer. At times Merci couldn't walk or use her arms as she suffered with the severe and limiting musculoskeletal and sensational effects of the disease. She had trouble swallowing and speaking, and had cognitive issues as well. During these times Merci relied on her own mother for the care of Danielle.

Merci's daughter, Danielle remembers having to call the ambulance for her mother because the symptoms of MS had gotten so severe. (Click to enlarge) Throughout her struggles Merci would say to anyone who would listen, including herself, "I don't care what you see, I know I am healed. By His stripes I am healed."

There were times when she couldn't walk, and the Lord would give her Scriptures, such as Acts chapter three, to stand on. She would receive strength from the Lord and walk again only to suffer through the cycle of regression a few weeks later.

Frustrated and feeling as though she was doing something wrong, Merci asked the Lord, "Why am I sick again? Do I have to do something different?" That night, after asking those questions of the Lord, she came across Andrew's Gospel Truth television program. As she was about to turn the TV off she heard Andrew say, "What you're doing wrong is that you're not praying right, you need to pray differently." Stunned, Merci received Andrew's words as the answer to her prayer. The Lord spoke to her through Andrew's teaching of his series called A Better Way to Pray.

Merci watches Andrew's teachings daily. (Click to enlarge)Since that time Merci and her husband Ray continued to watch Andrew regularly. As she began to apply the principles she learned from the Word of God through Andrew, her life began to change, and her healing began to manifest.

Looking back, Merci realized that she had accepted a different doctrine and that her beliefs were hindering her from receiving all that Jesus had provided for her. Andrew shared the truth so clearly that Merci was freed from the oppression of the enemy. As she continues to apply the lessons she learns from Andrew, she gains more and more strength. Now Merci stands on the Word of God to face down any attempt by the enemy to steal more from her. Should a symptom of anything contrary to God's Word arise, she takes her authority and speaks to the specific area of concern, and through faith in His promises is able to overcome any health issue.

 

Watch as Merci and her family share the testimony of her healing in the video below. Merci's story will be featured on the upcoming DVD release, Healing Journeys Volume 2. For more encourgement read these other Healing Testimonies.

Monday
Mar082010

Healing Journeys - Scott Forsyth

Scott Forsyth spent most of his childhood battling illness. (Click to enlarge) Scott Forsyth can remember being sick like it was yesterday. He was chronically ill through most of his childhood. Because of the pain and suffering Scott endured, he was convinced that God was punishing him. The enemy was stealing Scott's youth.

When Scott was twelve years old, he endured as many as four migraines a week. He describes the pain he experienced as being the same as if something was violently squeezing his head. And when the headaches were particularly bad, Scott could not bear to see any light at all. He was forced to lie down in a dark room, in order to manage the pain.

Scott’s pediatrician sent him to a neurologist and he underwent numerous tests. The doctor eventually put him on experimental drugs, but the headaches continued.

Scott received prayer for his migraine headaches. (Click to enlarge)The Forsyth's church had a healing prayer ministry, and Scott was open and receptive to allowing the group to pray for him. The group prayed for Scott on several different occasions, and praise God, his headaches eventually stopped. The Forsyth family was thrilled.

Then, a couple of months later, Scott began to experience stomach problems. He said that his pain felt like someone was stabbing him in the stomach. Scott’s mom, Vicky, noticed that the symptoms seem to be worse when Scott ate foods containing wheat, so she adjusted Scott's diet and made it gluten-free. For months, they experimented with different tactics to make Scott more comfortable. 

Scott underwent many procedures including a two-hour gastro emptying procedure.
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Finally, the doctors decided to put an endoscope down Scott’s throat to see what they could find. What the Pediatric Gastroenterologist found resulted in the diagnosis of “Barrett’s Esophagus,” a disease that is unheard of in children. The doctors told the Forsyths that it was “lucky” that they had made the discovery, because the condition could worsen to esophageal cancer, which is life threatening. The doctors prescribed a very aggressive treatment. Scott's symptoms continued to worsen to the point that his stomach shut down as he suffered from Gastroparesis.

In the meantime, family friend and healing prayer group leader, Evelyn Mealy, had received Andrew’s Healing Journeys DVD in the mail. She was aware that Hannah Terradez’ healing testimony was on the DVD, and hoped that it would be an encouragement to the Forsyth’s. Similar to Scott's circumstances, Hannah had suffered from life threatening stomach issues and had been healed when she was three years old. Evelyn delivered the DVD and that evening the Forsyth family watched it together.

Scott's sister Allison prayed for him after watching the Healing Journeys DVD. (Click to enlarge)As they watched, the Forsyth’s felt encouraged. Scott’s dad, David was praying that Scott would absorb and accept that God wanted him to be well. His son did absorb the message, and Hannah’s testimony really made an impact, and encouraged him. “She could be healed, so I knew, so could I,” Scott explained.

Following the video, Scott’s older sister, Allison felt impressed to pray for him before he went to bed. The following morning, Scott woke up feeling normal for the first time in months. And… he was hungry.

Although Scott’s parents were nervous about what to do next, they decided to leave it up to him. His morning routine had become regimented based on his medications. Scott’s decision was to skip his medicine and eat instead. The family watched and waited nervously as Scott ate, hoping that his symptoms wouldn't reemerge. Praise God they did not!

The Forsyth family“Life is so good now. He is a normal boy. He is able to eat whatever he wants, whenever he wants. I’m not the food police anymore,” said Vicky.

On July 2, 2009 Scott and his mom traveled to Colorado Springs to attend the Summer Family Bible Conference, and to meet Hannah, the little girl who had impacted the Forsyth family with her testimony of God’s love. It was important to Scott to tell Hannah how much she had encouraged him.

Now both family's healing testimonies will continue to encourage others facing mountains of seemingly insurmountable circumstances.

 

Watch as the Forsyth family shares their testimony in the video below. Scott's story will be featured on the upcoming DVD release Healing Journeys Volume 2.

Monday
Mar012010

Healing Journeys - Carol Odenwald

Carol Odenwald, a bright-eyed little girl.
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Is there a depth of darkness from which even Jesus’ arms can’t rescue someone?

What if a child, age 13, gives away her virginity and becomes pregnant at the same time? What if at the same age she begins using intravenous drugs, becomes a junkie, an alcoholic, and an addict? Can Jesus’ arms still reach? What if as she grows up she runs the roads, sings and entertains in bars? What if she sleeps with more men than she can remember, or sleeps with women, or sleeps with multiple people at once? What if, as a result of her lifestyle she becomes, at least in the eyes of Christians, a murderer, using multiple abortions as birth control; can God still reach her?

Meet Carol Odenwald, the woman who lived that nightmare. At the age of five, Carol suffered a traumatic wound when her father, a Southern Baptist preacher, committed suicide. The event left Carol scarred.

Carol stated, “I closed off my heart toward God.”

Carol played guitar at her high school graduation; she would later sell the guitar for drugs. (Click to enlarge)Carol describes the image behind which she hid, during her adolescence and early adulthood, as being a self-created facade. Struggling with feelings of rejection, Carol began to build her party-girl image, doing anything to be accepted.

Carol says of her thin disguise, “I learned to smoke, drink and do all of those kinds of things. And the kicker is, I did them all as a Christian.”

Carol remembers accepting the Lord at the age
of eight.

“I know I would have gone to heaven had I died in my sin, but I didn't know there was relationship to be had. I had no idea about intimacy. I had no idea you could have anything more than turn or burn,” she said.

In January of 1997 Carol experienced a life-changing moment of clarity. As she stared at herself in the mirror, she came face-to-face with the devil. In that moment she saw clearly what she had become, and that her lifestyle was killing her.

Carol chose to stop running from God, and rededicated her life to Him. She returned to church and turned her musical talents toward worshiping the Lord. She joined the band at her new church, and within a year became the worship leader. She continued to find favor within the church and was ordained as a minister. It was also during this time that Carol met the man she would later marry.

In 2003 Carol and her husband came across Andrew’s Gospel Truth program on television. His teaching on The True Nature of God caught their attention and they began to tune in regularly. After six months of watching, Carol heard the Lord say, “I want you to go to Bible College.” Carol responded to God’s outstretched hand, and in 2004 she and her husband enrolled in Charis Bible College, Colorado (CBC).

Carol today, free from the enemy's oppression—a new creation.
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Carol enjoyed her experience, and after completion of the three-year program she became part of the CBC staff and Andrew’s ministry. Her new life in the Lord was moving forward. However, in August 2007, the walls of Carol’s world came crashing down again when she received unsavory news about her husband: He had been involved in child abuse.

Carol’s marriage soon ended in divorce. Once again the enemy had come to steal from Carol, only this time a supernatural work was birthed in Carol’s broken heart. Instead of running from God, she ran to Him. Carol sat at Jesus' feet and examined the ruins of her life. Through a process of prayer and evaluation, she realized she had still been sitting behind a wall of religion. Finally at the end of herself, she fully surrendered her heart, and God began to minister His love to her in amazing ways. The promises of Jesus became a reality to her, and true healing and freedom began to manifest in her life.

Through Carol’s personal "face time" with Jesus, she established the kind of relationship that she hadn’t known was possible just a short time ago. The freedom she found in Christ burns inside her and shines brightly today as she ministers through speaking, teaching and worshipful music.

Carol’s story is one of encouragement for anyone who thinks they have sunk to a place beyond rescue—No one is beyond Jesus’ reach.

 

Watch the video below for more details of Carol's testimony. This video will be featured on the upcoming DVD release, Healing Journeys Volume 2.