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OSL Region 8
Stories of Healing
Divine Healing | New Beginnings | Freddie's Healing | Open Our Eyes, Lord | "I can see!"
Answered Prayer | Under the shelter of His Wings
By Dennis Jones
“As I mounted those steps with no pain or difficulty I became quite emotional.
I have not had to use canes since!”
My name is Dennis Jones and this is my testimony of the healing I received on the 4th of December, 1999, at the World Congress of Intercession for the Millennium, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
It all began on the 23rd of July, 1999, when my wife and I were on our way home to Richmond Hill from our island cottage in Northern Ontario, to attend a conference on How to deal with Free Masonry, by Selwyn Stevens from New Zealand. We had beached our small boat in the mud on the mainland (the water in the Great Lakes was very low this past year). While I was unloading I fell out of the boat, very unceremoniously, into the mud. In doing so I banged my heel on the edge of the boat splitting the heel bone horizontally. The surgeon had to secure the two halves with screws.
Seven weeks followed with my foot in a cast, and then nine more weeks in rehabilitation. I saw my surgeon on the 25th of November, a week or so before leaving for Colorado Springs. He was very disappointed with the slow rate of healing and told me to come back in January. He said perhaps by that time I might be able to use one cane indoors, but would still need to be on two out of doors. My heel and ankle were not able to take my full body weight.
At the last session of the Congress, when Ted Haggard was leading the communion service, he instructed all who wanted to be healed, whether physically or emotionally, to claim our healing by the stripes of Jesus. My wife has a lung problem and had been labouring all through the congress because of the altitude in Colorado Springs. My prayer was for her but I told the Lord if He wanted to heal me I’d take it.
In order to receive communion I needed two hands. This meant I had to put the canes down and put my full weight on the good foot. Immediately after taking communion I realized I had my weight distributed equally on both feet. I thought... "Could it be?" So I lifted my good foot off the ground… and then I knew. I also knew I had to share what had happened. At that moment, a woman behind me screamed. I learned later that she had been asking the Lord to allow her to see a miracle during the congress.
Elizabeth and I went forward. When Chuck Pierce saw what was happening he invited me up on stage. I looked at the carpeted steps. There was no hand-rail and I was without the canes that I had relied upon for the last four months. I thought, “Well this will make it conclusive.” As I mounted those steps with no pain and no difficulty I became quite emotional. I have not had to use canes since!
Upon returning to Toronto, my physiotherapist examined me and said, "You're not even limping! I guess now all we have to do is work on your knees." I am 69, and when one is pushing 70, knees are usually a problem.
Dennis and Elizabeth Jones live in Richmond Hill, Ontario. They attend Emmanuel Anglican Church and lead the Intercessory Prayer Ministry. Dennis and Elizabeth are also actively involved in leading Alpha programs, and providing leadership for the Kneeling Army. Dennis is editor of the Kneeling Army monthly newsletter.
By Rev. Dr. Anne Brandly
"I had come to pray for other people, not to be prayed for myself!"
Years ago, I attended my first OSL meeting (York Ecumenical Chapter) in the basement of Emmanuel Church in Richmond Hill, Ontario. As a practising physician, and a Christian, I came to find out how to pray for my patients, but I sure was surprised at that meeting for we were invited to pray for one another, and I didn’t think anything was wrong with ME! What did I need prayers for healing for? I had come to pray for other people, not to be prayed for myself!
How naďve I was back then! For all of us need healing either of body, or of mind, or of spirit, or all three. I certainly needed healing from my pride, which had blinded me to the fact that I needed the grace of God to work in my life…. I couldn’t do it alone. And so gradually, with the help of those wonderful people in that chapter I came to realize how much I needed the Holy Spirit of Jesus to do some major inner healing in my life. Jesus said, "Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." And he did, he gave me rest, and peace, and joy!
Only then was I ready to begin to pray for my patients and others. Over the years I remained an Associate Member, but I was a ‘lone member’. I lacked the opportunity to go to conferences because I was now a missionary-priest in a very isolated area in northern Canada. It remained a dream to be part of another chapter one day, and for a short time I moved down to BC and was finally made a full member of OSL in the Penticton Chapter in 1997.
I was called back to serve for another few years in the Diocese of the Arctic, where the needs for healing were great, and regular healing services took place in the church and in homes as well. I dreamed that one day I could start a new Chapter but it just didn’t seem the right timing to happen in the Arctic, where most peoples’ first language was not English and the idea of translating all the OSL material seemed too daunting.
Then, in the year 2000, I was called to a Parish in rural eastern Ontario, and I met one person there who felt called to a healing ministry in the Order of St. Luke. Glenda Novak and I met and prayed together regularly over several months to discern God’s will regarding a new Chapter of OSL in this area. And it appeared that the time was right for it to happen! Our Regional Warden, the Rev. Canon David Smith, agreed and the first meeting of the Lennox/Addington Chapter of OSL took place on January 25, 2001, at St. Luke’s Church, Camden East.
Canon David presented us with our Charter, several folk were inducted as Associate Members, Glenda was inducted as a Full Member and I was inducted as Chaplain. What a moving event that was! It was for me a blessing from God as I remembered all those years when I dreamed that this would happen! This was a real answer to prayer for both Glenda and me. It just shows what is possible when we ask the Lord to show us the way! This however, is just the beginning! We look forward to what the Lord has in store for us during our monthly meetings, and hope eventually to host a Mission in our new chapter.
By Carol-Anne Foty
“What was that electricity going through my body and
down my “leg” when they prayed for me?”
We first met Faraidon (we all call him Freddie) when he showed up at
our church one April Sunday morning, 3 years ago. When our welcoming team
discovered he spoke Arabic, they were happy to introduce him to my husband,
John, and another parishioner, who originally came from the Middle East. We
wanted to make him especially welcome and get to know his story.
What we gradually came to find out about his life in Iraq, and the ordeals he endured in the journey along the way ‘til that day we met him, was at once horrific, and awesome at the same time, learning of how God had intervened in so many ways to preserve his life and protect his strong faith despite unbelievable hardships.
He was a Christian, from a strongly devout Syrian Orthodox family, and worked as a college teacher of history back in Iraq. In 1980 he had to flee for his life as Saddam rose to power & started culling any potential “western minded” thinkers. His father, a professional engineer who had worked for a British Petroleum company in Iraq for 30 years, was murdered by the authorities in 1978 (taken out of bed in the middle of the night, and his body thrown back to the family the next day).
Freddie found sanctuary for over one year at the Canadian Embassy in Athens, thanks to a friendship with a Greek Orthodox priest who had “connections”. Just before he was to leave for Canada as a Canadian government-sponsored refugee he received word from his sisters back in Iraq that his wife and two young sons had been shot and killed by Saddam’s police. Freddie ended up in hospital in Athens at that point, in total despair. The whole embassy was grieving with him, and the ambassador was especially compassionate concerning his case.
In 1984 Freddie arrived in Canada, and began his journey towards citizenship and a new life here in Toronto. He searched out many different churches during that time, looking for “family” and acceptance.
I am a community pharmacist. When we learned that Freddie was diabetic and a heart-attack survivor, I took him under my “medical” wing. Two years ago we were dismayed to discover that he had developed gangrene in his right foot, and subsequently his leg was amputated just below the knee. He no longer could work at his 2 jobs (18-hr days) and that sent us all on a learning curve together, discovering the holes and gaps in our social support structures. Thank God he had found the caring community at our church, and thank God we were obedient to the Lord’s call on us.
We invited Freddie to attend our High Park Chapter of the Order of St. Luke in hope that he would receive prayer for the “phantom” pain that plagued him daily following his amputation. Prescription medication was inadequate for the pain and he was very desperate for the Lord’s help.
At our OSL chapter meeting last spring the guest speaker, Michael Whate, and his team from the School of Healing Prayer (Christian Healing Ministries, founded by Francis and Judith McNutt ) gave an opportunity for the laying-on of hands & prayer for healing.
Freddie was prayed for (even though the team didn’t know what “phantom” pain was, the Lord did!), and although he didn’t say anything at first, he asked me later, “What was that electricity going through my body and down my “leg” when they prayed for me?”
I had the happy opportunity of assuring him, THAT was the Lord healing him! Since that prayer he has had no “phantom” pain episode at all! Praise God!
What an encouragement to realize that healing to relieve suffering is just one thing the Lord wants to do in Freddie’s life and in all our lives, to bring about health & wholeness.
Carol-Anne Foty is the Convener of the OSL High Park Chapter, and a member of OSL Region 8 Council.
Open Our Eyes, Lord
By Rev. Linda Riesberry
Blind from birth, Jane simply requested, "I want to see!"
We had spent the day hearing from the Linn Brothers teach us about healing. Now it was time to put the teaching into practice. Those who needed prayer for healing were instructed to rise from their theatre like seats and stand signifying their need.
The rest of the people were asked to gather around anyone near by, ask what the prayer need was and then lay their hands on the person and pray silently for 5 minutes for that person. “Be Jesus to the person,” was the instruction. What that meant I had no idea. In fact in some way I thought it was a bit presumptuous. 3 of us lined ourselves up around Jane, a tall 40ish woman near us- one each side of her in her row and myself reaching out over the seats in front of her.
On one side of her a short elderly priest, somewhat patronizingly, said, “Well dearie what can we do for you? Her reply was quiet and simple- “I want to see.” The priest was quite taken aback and the woman on the other side almost faded out of the picture. My scientific medical nurses mind said, “Impossible” Then I asked, “Do you just need to see better without glasses?” “No”, she said, “I have been blind since birth”. Then breaking through the sense of overwhelming helplessness came the leader's instructions again, “Get on with your praying and just be Jesus to whoever needs His healing”. In obedience we began.
In silence. 5 minutes at first seems like a long time! It was in that time that I heard God tell me how to pray. It was also in that time that I struggled and reasoned with God about why I couldn’t or shouldn’t do what I heard Him saying. Very clearly I heard Him say “Lay your hands upon her eyes”. “I can’t Lord! You know as an Anglican I’m not to do the Laying on of Hands and especially on the head.” “Lay your hands on her eyes”, came the persistent charge over and over again.
After what seemed like an eternity (in actual fact only a couple of minutes) I gave in and laid my right hand across her eyes. That moment for me was a profound experience of God - a real theophany! Then breaking through the awe came some more instructions from the front of the room - “Check with the person with whom you are praying and see where she or he is at”. We all opened our eyes and to our amazement Jane read my first name which was in larger print on my name tag. She said, “I can only read your first name. Your last name reminds me of the story of how the blind man Jesus was in the process of healing saw trees walking!” We were awe struck to put it mildly!
Jane continued speaking directly to me, “You know when you put your hand on my eyes, it was not your hands I SAW but I SAW the hands of Jesus. I saw Him as soon as you touched me.” At this point further instructions were given- “If the healing isn’t complete pray more, continue to be Jesus - another 5 minutes.
We went back to silent prayer! With expectation this time! No hesitation about laying hands on her eyes! At the end of the 5 minutes Jane opened her eyes and read what she said was a clear first name and a slightly blurred last name. God had not only opened her eyes but had also taught her to read! Awesome!
People were encouraged if they needed continued healing to go home to their prayer groups and have loving, soaking prayer until the healing is complete.
God works through our simple prayers, our listening to Him and our obedience in acting on His Word to us. Glory to God whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine!
The late Rev. Linda Riesberry R.N., B.Sc.N., M.Div. was ordained by The Evangelical Church Alliance, and served as Chaplain to The Avalon Retirement Centre, in hospital chaplaincy, was a trainer in pastoral care, and minister in palliative care and pastoral care. Linda was married to The Rev. Canon Bill Riesberry, a life long Anglican.
I Can See!
By Rev. Canon Bill Riesberry
I can see!”, exclaimed Russ, “I can see!”
Our meetings at the Lord Dufferin Centre at Orangeville are called Bible Studies. We meet on a Thursday evening once a month. Being a retired Anglican priest I was approached to start up a group in this Seniors residence. We’ve now been meeting for about a year. We sing old favourites, read an in-season passage with reflections, offer up some short prayers, sing another familiar hymn, share a hug all around, and wind up with a cup of tea and some chit-chat.
Last time John brought along Russ. They sit at the same table in the dining room. John explains to Russ what’s for dinner, portions it out, and guides his cutlery to his mouth, with a bit of friendly batter. So Russ arrives at our meeting with his white cane and his companion John. They sit together. John alone holds the large print book of oldies and later the large print Gideon New Testament. Russ remembers some of the verses from both, but his eyes have for some years lost their sight.
In our studies that day we first read about the Feeding of the Multitude and then drifted to the Healing of the Blind Man. Two women in the group were not quite blind but could not read our large print books. One could hardly make out faces. Something unusual happened with me. I felt a confident nudge, a holy boldness, a joyful impulse to ask Russ if I might pray for the return of his sight. He agreed gladly. John placed his hands on his shoulder and I placed mine over his eyes. “John, in the Name of Jesus receive your sight”. I might have said more, I can’t recall; but the joy and faith I do remember. John opened his eyes. Tears flowed down his cheeks. “I can see! I can see!” We hugged deeply giving thanks to the Lord, and the surprised group broke into joyful clapping.
I moved on to Evelyn. She removed her glasses to allow my hands to rest on her eyes. Again I prayed. There was a sweet pause, a waiting upon the Lord. I removed my hands. “I can see your face.” She spoke softly, with a lovely warm smile. Her joy and mine released the joy and thanksgiving of the whole group.
I crossed the small chapel and approached Stella. She has been coming regularly to our gathering. Even though she has not been able to read the words of our two books she listens and follows along. Again we prayed, for I felt we were now united in prayer. My hands were their hands, and our hands were the gracious hands of Jesus. For her the large print came into focus! What joy we experienced that evening, what hugs, what tears! Even the lovely little staff attendant who wheeled it in stayed with us and joined in the hugging, for she too experienced the joy of the Lord.
The Rev. Canon Bill Riesberry has enjoyed a fulfilling and fruitful parish ministry in the Anglican Church of Canada. He is retired but continues to serve where needed, and often provides Priest in Charge Interim ministry.
The Story of Baby Alice
By Kathy Storrie
"Psalm 139: 13-14 Comes True"
Alice* was born on August 13, 2006 to Carla, who lives in Saskatchewan and is the niece of a friend of mine (Anthea). Quite early in her pregnancy, her doctors told Carla that her baby appeared to have a genetic disorder - Edwards Syndrome. More tests confirmed this diagnosis so Carla and her husband, who already had a disabled child, were offered an abortion. They refused.
Edwards Syndrome is a genetic disorder which produces an extra chromosome resulting in 'trisomy' (three copies of a chromosome rather than two).This extra genetic information appears in each and every cell of the baby's body, causing many characteristic abnormalities. These include low birth weight, a small, abnormally shaped head, low-set ears, small jaw, small mouth, heart defects and clenched fists with overlapping fingers. About half of the babies with this disorder die in the womb and of live born infants, only half live to 2 months and most do not survive their first year.
In Carla's womb, Alice's growth was abnormally slow; eventually Carla was told to leave her employment and to rest. More ultra-sound tests showed the birth defects quite clearly. Anthea asked me to pray. At first I asked for Carla, her husband and the rest of the extended family to be sustained through this terrible ordeal. Then one night, I was clearly directed to pray for the baby's healing. I argued with God quite vehemently as if we were in court citing the first daughter's disability - as if God needed to be reminded! - as just one reason alone why He should heal this baby. I also asked some other people to pray. Another test, 5 weeks before the birth, confirmed that nothing had changed - the baby was abnormally formed and her weight was too low.
You can imagine the tension when Carla went into labour - she, her parents (who were in the hospital), the doctors and everyone involved were dreading the expected outcome.
Out came Alice - pink (even before she had taken a breath) and absolutely perfect! She didn't really cry but just mewed a bit like a kitten, opened her eyes and looked around! Her weight was 7 lbs and 12 oz! For those of you who do not know - this is a very respectable weight for a girl! Her great-aunt, Anthea, reports that Alice is an unusually happy and calm child who just seems to enjoy life - doing what a healthy infant is supposed to do - mainly sleeping, suckling, and excreting! Praise the Lord!
“You created every part of me; you put me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because you are to be feared: all you do is strange and wonderful. I know it with all my heart.” (Psalm 139: 13-14)
(* the names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family.)
Under the Shelter of His Wings
by Beula Cooke
As Christians many of us choose to live our lives close to the body of believers, actively involved in our churches. Our focus is inward to the group of believers rather than on the larger picture, God, Jesus and His Kingdom. We dwell in the shelter of His wing, finding refuge and knowing His faithfulness (Ps 91). Being shortsighted, we fail to realize how far the wing of God reaches and how much His protection is extended beyond our immediate self-centered world. Not only does He hide us in the shadow of His wings, but he hides all those around us and out and beyond us. As we stand firm as Christians being the salt and light in our sphere of influence, God extends his wings of protection and refuge over all our loved ones. Our Christian flavor can cause non Christians to seek refuge near us and they, too, come under the shelter of His wings. “The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.” Ps 36:7. His wingspread of protection is not limited by our perception of what it covers. God’s ways are so much higher than ours.
As we walk with God. yielded to His Word and attentive to His Presence we are not held hostage to the fears and anxieties of the world around us and can walk in victory through severe trials. Sheltered in the shadow of God’s wings we take refuge till the storms of destruction pass by. (Ps. 51) We can even do this joyfully. (Ps 63:7)
Ruth was an outsider, a foreigner, but in going with Naomi she took refuge under the wings of the God of Israel (Ruth 2:12). Boaz married her and she became one of Jesus’ ancestors. God favored Ruth, a foreigner as Naomi returned to the shelter of the God of Israel.
Secure in the shelter of His wings we can wait quietly in prayer because our hope is in Him. Our hope gives us courage to endure (Job 11:18) even while those around us lose hope. We can from this position of strength encourage the faint hearted.
But those who wait for the Lord—who expect, look for and hope in Him—shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall walk and not faint or become tired. (Is 40:31 Amplified Bible)
After six months of increased faltering in my husband’s walking, in April 2009 Ron was diagnosed with lumbar ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosi). On my part I prayed that I would walk with God through this trial not hindering God’s purpose, but in a manner that would give Him glory. Since then we moved to housing near our children that could be made handicapped accessible. His four brothers took him back weekly to his old Tim Horton’s where he had been daily a part of the settling of world affairs. His sisters visited faithfully. My Christian friends supported us in prayer and pastoral visits. Our daughter came each Sunday so that I could go to church. Our younger son, not only did chores for us but saw to our older son’s needs around kidney surgery July 22. July 31st Ron enjoyed a supper of corn on the cob, fresh carrots, and ice cream with blueberries. At 8:30 he was admitted to hospital with high carbon levels and low oxygen levels in the blood. At one a.m. August 1, he slipped into eternity with Jesus. God was so merciful taking him before he lost his ability to communicate or transfer from chair to chair! Through it all I came to a greater understanding of the greatness of God’s love in Christ Jesus as He surrounded Ron and draw him in.
So I pray that God, who gives you hope, will keep you happy and full of peace as you believe in him. May you overflow with hope through the power of the Holy Spirit. (Ro 15:13)
You are invited to send your story of healing to the editor