"You just cannot imagine what a great impact you
have had on our lives. This whole healing thing can surely take
some time. Really great things are continuing to happen to
us. Thank you for your courage to invite us to Fr. Paul Feider's
Healing Service. I think a 1000 watt light bulb went on in my
head as he spoke."
A Story of Inner Healing
I had been working through memories of
childhood sexual abuse I think I have reached the last
perpetrator and he is my father. How ashamed to admit my
father would do these things to me. It was so deep and hard to
access that my psychiatrist sent me to hypno therapist to see if we
could get anything that way. This memory had been buried for
many years and I thought if I started digging around I might
completely fall apart.
However, the Lord showed me better.
With the hypno-therapist I retrieved
only the tip of the memory and it took 7 years before I found myself
in Father Paul's office. I showed up at St. John's Church one
day with my
Bible and intended to pray and just sit
with the Lord and ask for help and guidance. I soon heard
Father Paul come down the isle. He was so gentle and exuded such
empathy for me. I told him the pieces came together for me
when I attended our Spiritual Enrichment Seminar. He very
gently asked me to tell him my story of the abuse. I
began by sharing the event that brought back the memory of the
I was in a department store and saw a
pair of summer shorts in the Madras material and they were popular
in the seventies and I could not take my eyes off them.
Soon I remembered that that is what
you were wearing when my father raped me. Oh yeah- and my read
t-shirt with my leather sandals and the gold rings. And I know
in my gut that I was seventeen. What a revelation considering
I couldn't remember anything for 7 years. I was ready to let
Jesus heal this traumatic memory.
Father Paul asked if I had invited Jesus to be part of my prayer
for healing. He suggested that I go back to the time and
place where my father abused me and be attentive to the presence
of Jesus. I did that and I asked Jesus where he
was during this assault. Jesus very softly whispered in
my ear that he was at the head of my bed. I could see
Jesus lay his head on my chest and put his arm around the back of
In all of my healings I was so surprised to know that Jesus was
actually there!!!! He knew everything!!! Taking time
to feel him there released the intense pain and began the healing
After the assault I went it my closet and stayed there until my
eyes had dried up. Jesus was in the closet too and for the
first time I could fell him there with me.
The bible says, "Cast all your cares upon him for he cares
I felt such shame about this event but after this prayer for inner
healing it was all gone. There is no condemnation in Jesus'
presence but only pure love and acceptance. His love healed
the deep pains and freed me to live in peace.
It is so exciting to know that this kind of healing of
memories is accessible to anybody in our congregation and
beyond. Christ wants our healing and he wants us to live an
He is working in our church and community. He is so
wonderful, so compassionate, so merciful - PRAISE THE NAME OF THE
THE DIARY OF A PRESENT- DAY HEALING
(Names have been changed to protect the privacy of the family).
Friday, Oct. 15, 2010. I found out that
the teenage daughter of a friend of mine was in a local hospital.
She had been in a coma since Wednesday, Oct. 13, apparently caused
by the interaction of drugs prescribed for severe migraine
headaches. She had just returned home from being in the
hospital for a week, where the specialists were trying to diagnose
the cause of her migraines. They were unsuccessful.
Upon learning of her condition, I went to the hospital to be with
her and her family. Before I left her hospital room, I stood
at her bedside and lightly stroked her arm as I silently
prayed for her healing. Her arm was very cold and clamy.
While I was praying, her sister took her hand in order to polish her
nails, and exclaimed with surprise, "Nancy! Your hand is
warm!" Later that day, the monitoring electrodes were
taken off from her forehead.
Saturday, Oct. 16. This evening there was a
healing Mass at St. John's Church in New London. I attended,
and as I was anointed, I prayed again for Nancy's healing. On
the way home, the Lord impressed upon me that I should go back up to
the hospital, which I did. While I was there, the nurse came
in to talk with Nancy's dad, and she explained that the next day
Nancy would be taken off from the respirator, and the feeding tube
would be removed. Also, the drug she had been given to
immobilize her so her lungs could begin to heal would be
discontinued. Before I left for the night, I told her dad that
I was going to pray for Nancy, and I invited him to join me or not,
as he wished. He did.
I noticed that when I put my hands on her arm to pray, she was
no longer cold and clamy. She was warm.
Sunday, Oct. 17. I returned to the hospital
after attending church. Nancy was out of the coma,
although very groggy and not able to talk very well, the effect of
having had the feeding tube removed. She also had
developed pneumonia from having aspirated material that she had
vomited when she went into the coma. Such aspiration is
very serious and potentially fatal. I continued to pray for
Wednesday, Oct. 20. Nancy was released from
the hospital. She has had no migraines since coming out of the
coma. The doctor gave the explanation that sometimes when
there is an episode such as Nancy experienced, the brain
I don't think so. The One who created Nancy's brain to begin
with has done the "re-wiring", if you will. JESUS
has healed her! To HIM be all the honor and glory! Amen
Healing Power of Prayer
I came to the healing service at St. John's Church
with a request in mind. I had micro-tears in the muscle of my
left shoulder. The condition was painful and I had been putting
up with it for 2 months. I saw a doctor who gave me some
exercises to do and recommended icing. He told me that this
condition will take longer to heal than a broken bone. I
followed his instruction but with no relief.
The good news is that when I woke up after receiving
healing prayer at the healing service, I was pain free for the first
time and could move my arm in all directions with no problem.
Thank you, Fr. Paul, for being a vessel through which Jesus can
heal. Praise God.
The Power of Prayer
Recently I was contacted by a fellow St. John's
church member (Mike) who asked me if there was anything our church
could offer us in the way of prayer. I first asked that several
parishioners who are facing serious illness be remembered in prayer.
Toward the end of our conversation, I stated that I was in Stage 4 of
chronic kidney disease and asked if I could be remembered in prayer
For the last 5 years I have been treated for chronic kidney disease
progressively worsening. Over the last 6 months my kidney function had
been falling to the point where my kidneys were no longer stimulating
the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, I was forever feeling
tired, cold, and weak. My glomerular filtration rate (GFR) had dropped
from 34%, down to 27%, down to 22%. I knew that I could be soon facing
kidney dialysis once the GFR would fall below 20%.
Two weeks ago I had another regularly-scheduled appointment to see the
kidney specialist expecting that I would soon need to be prepared for
dialysis, however, for the last 2 months I had not required Procrit
shots, I was starting to feel much warmer, less tired, and my skin
coloring was beginning to look better. Much to my amazement, my GFR
had come back up to 49%.
I feel in my heart the prayers offered up for my health have given me
God's miracle of healing! I thank my brothers and sisters of our
church for their care for one another as well as God's grace in
A TESTIMONY OF
I am often asked why I drive 85 miles round trip from Green Bay to
New London to be involved in St. John’s Church? This is my story:
Once upon a time, I
was comfortable, I was safe, and I was content. I am pretty sure I
qualified for being lukewarm. Being
lukewarm is not good. Check
out Rev 3:15-17. Looking back, I was mechanically doing all the right
things, but I did not feel them. My heart was not involved. I did not
relate to Jesus as my friend, my personal savior. He was important,
but distant. I had stopped growing spiritually and I did not even know
it. I was managing my life just fine – thank you. Then I encountered
a medical problem and God used that time of helplessness to move in.
My wife and I had started doing crossword puzzles. That was great.
Being an engineer crosswords are right down my alley. Every word can
be verified by the other words linking into it. Crosswords are
logical and rational. Just what I liked.
My medical condition required surgery. I figured the doctors would
open me up, take care of the problem, sew me up, and send me on my
way. I was wrong. The surgery lasted over 12 hours and had some
complications. During recovery God made His move. A number of people
talk about a peace, a warmth, or a white light during a near death
experience, but God took a different course of action to get my
attention. He showed me the Other side. He showed me what it is like
to be separated from Him.
I was suspended over a dark bottomless pit held up by a web work of
crossword puzzle words. I was, for the moment, safe. Then I heard a
voice say, “This is not correct”. I argued my case. All the
words fit together, logically the solution had to be correct. The
answer was immediate, “you do not have it correct”. And then:
- completely alone, separated from everything
It was indescribable.
I woke up screaming. Nurses came running down to the ICU to see the
cause of the alarm. I
told them what had happened, and they claimed it was the anesthesia.
I now know different. I did not close my eyes for two days. I was
truly afraid of what else might be in store for me, and I did not
wish to see anymore. Finally fatigue took over and I slept.
At home during my rehabilitation, my wife and I talked about my
vision. It was decided that I needed to seek out “more”
spiritually, and that the full meaning of what had been shown to me
would only be revealed as I grew closer to God. My wife and I
started our search for “more” and we found St. John’s Church
in New London. Here I
was allowed to “hang around”. Something different was going on.
I was exposed to inner healing, the power of the Holy Spirit, and
the love of Jesus as a friend. I have come to understand that the
core of my faith needs to be that love. As I now can accept the love
Jesus has for me, I am able to love others. This is the insight I
needed to be able to understand. This is what God has shown to me.
I was not afraid to die because I hadn’t lived, I was afraid to
die because I had not loved.
I had not loved my God without reserve, completely, holding nothing
back; to let Him be the Lord of my heart, not just my head. The only
way to do this was to replace the hurt, anger and fears that I had
accumulated from this world with the love of the Father as shown to
me by Jesus. St. John’s community has gently helped me to do this.
I thought I had everything under control. I was doing things right,
going to church, and following the rules. I had filled in my
life’s crossword puzzle with my answers; but God had very clearly
stated “no, not correct”. He required that my relationship be
more than just good actions, my relationship with Him must be about
my answer to the love He has for me. I needed to be the Prodigal
son, and return to the Father’s love each and every day. God did
not intend my life to be a structured response to the world, but
rather a testament to His power of forgiveness and love.
For me it has not been a lightening bolt change. It has taken time
to clear out the stuff not of God and to replace it with His love
and compassion. I am now more able to get “me” out of the way
and be a healing conduit of God’s love, to awaken the power of the
Holy Spirit within me, and to be aware of God’s glory in my life.
I now realize that spiritual growth never stops. There is always
“more”. I may rest when I reach
a plateau, but I must only pause, and then continue. That is where
Christian community is so important. They encourage me to persevere,
to carry on, to increase the Kingdom.
Jesus says “ I have come that you may have life, and have
it to the full” (John 10:10). Jesus promises me that peace and
strength that I need. All I had to do was say “yes” to His love,
clean out my heart, let Him move in, and then put that lamp on its
stand so that I may give light to the whole house (Mat. 5:14-17). I
am now beginning to have life to the full. My priorities are
different, my use of time is different, my friends are different, my
decisions are different; I am different.
With my answer to accept the Father’s love for me, the awe and
wonder of a child has returned, and I recognize the majesty of God
that surrounds me. The life I now live must include forgiveness and
love, not just in action from my head. I must feel God’s presence
in my heart. I do not worry too much about tomorrow anymore. The
great I AM is in charge of that. My job for today is to witness His
glory as it is revealed in my life and those around me.
A Testimony of Love
recently returned from
where Chuck and Rachel Friesema and I completed a second School for
Healing Prayer. It was
overwhelming to see how God’s love transformed wounded people into
vessels filled with his healing presence.
For this School we had 60 new students and 17 from the first
School which we led in November of 2006.
These 17 helped facilitate the small group training sessions
first day we listened to the 17 return students give testimonies of
what God had been doing in and through them in the two years since the
first School. They
testified to the deep inner healings that they experienced in the
first School which opened the way for them to bring healing to their
communities. One described
how the pain in his foot went away two years ago after inner healing
prayer. Some told stories
of seeing lame people walk and blind people recovering their sight
after healing prayer. They
spoke of many people being freed from evil spirits through healing and
deliverance prayer. One
gave testimony of a large crowd of people coming to a healing service
where at least three people received their sight.
next nine days we presented teachings on God’s desire and power to
heal. After many of the
presentations we had the participants form groups of four in which
they listened to and prayer with each other.
Though the focus of the School was on training them to pray
with others for healing, many students experienced deep inner healings
and release from oppression of evil spirits during the practicum
sessions. As the days
progressed, the times of worship became much more lively and
exhilarating. As I watched
the student’s eyes I could see them receiving more and more of
God’s love. They kept
thanking us for the teachings and training because they could feel how
it was transforming them. A
university professor who was taking the School told me that his hands
became hot every time he heard me teach.
It was a sign of God’s anointing.
One woman gave testimony of a healing she experienced a number
of months earlier. She
said that after she received Holy Communion and was in prayer, she
felt a power move through her whole body.
She had been HIV infected but after that experience she went in
for a blood check and it was back to normal.
Not only that, but her six year old son was also healed of HIV
the final supper the participants shared the blessings of the School.
One leader talked of the new life she felt when she heard me
describe how each of us was conceived in the perfect love of the
Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Her
childhood had been filled with much pain, but the picture of God’s
love surrounding her at conception gave her a freedom and identity
that she had never felt. She
said she felt like a new person. One
priest shared how our humble coming among them with the message of
Jesus’ love “redeemed his picture of Americans.”
are financially poor but I witnessed a deep spirituality among the
students who shared in the school.
They not only desired to learn about Christian healing ministry
but they were willing to sacrifice to bring it about.
Their worship and sharing demonstrated a very deep love for
Jesus and a willingness to be his disciples no matter what the cost.
The three priests who celebrated morning mass each day
demonstrated a passion for doing the mission of Jesus through their
actions and their preaching. It
was a blessing to look into the eyes of these students as we concluded
the School and to see the love of Jesus radiating from them.
They have become a testimony of God’s love.
Rev. Paul Feider
Everyone Can Belong
A young man of 13 years showed up on picnic day with
his sister at St. John's Church. They sat alone at the picnic
until a group of us made room for them at our table. It turns
out that his passion was Ipods and music and so we asked him every
technical question that we could think of, which he found very
amusing! The rest of the summer he rode his bike to worship at
St. John's and even taped all his favorite songs so that he could play
them day and night. This young man was from a broken home and
very hurt, but he said whenever he was at church he cheered up.
He bought a small cross which he wore "top show everyone he now
followed Jesus Christ." He began to greet people at the
door and feel a part of the community. On his birthday the whole
church sang for him and he buried his head under his arms because he
was so embarrassed, but then he lifted it and absorbed all of us
praying for him with affection. During the school year he lives
elsewhere but as he said "good bye" in fall he decisively
said, "See ya next summer." God wants everyone to
belong to the Christian family.
of God's Power and Love
"My name is Abby. I am 14 years old. I live in western
. During the summer (June) of 2008, I went on a ministry trip to
. During part of the trip, we divided up into small ministry teams (5
to 7 people) and visited different villages in the San Pedro La Laguna
area. We traveled from village to village telling the Indian people
about Jesus. On one particular day, we were visiting in the home of a
young woman. She lived in a small village of about 14 or 15 houses. We
were trying to lead the young lady to Christ, but it was not going
very well. After awhile, we decided to move on. Before leaving, we
asked the woman if we could pray with her about anything in her life.
She told us that just the day before, she had given birth to a
stillborn baby and that we could pray with her about that.
"In Guatemalan culture, there is great shame and condemnation on
mothers who give birth to deformed or stillborn children. We prayed a
simple prayer that everything would go well with the funeral and
burial of the baby and that the mother would be spared the shame and
condemnation associated with having given birth to a stillborn child.
As we were praying this simple prayer, my friend and fellow ministry
team member, Julia (age 17), told me that we needed to pray over the
baby's body. I thought she was crazy to suggest this and that it was
not a good idea. Julia was persistent. She said again that we really
needed to pray over the baby's body. She told me to ask the mother if
she still had the baby's body. When I asked, the mother told us the
baby's body was wrapped up in a burial cloth in the back room. I asked
her if we could pray over the body. The mother hesitantly said, yes.
We went into the backroom and saw the baby's body wrapped up in a
bundle! on the bed. Julia poked her head out of the back room and
asked if she could unwrap the baby's head. The mother said, yes, if we
wrapped it back correctly when we were done. Julia picked up the body
and unwrapped the head. The baby's head was tiny and pale. The baby
was stillborn and had been dead outside the womb for 27 hours. Her
skin had turned shades of purple. Our entire ministry team, five of
us, began crying and praying over this baby.
prayed for thirty to forty minutes. At the end of that time, Julia
screamed out to God, telling Him that she believed with all of her
heart that this baby could be raised from the dead. After Julia
screamed out, everyone was silent. We were quietly interceding and
praying. Within a few minutes, the baby started moving. Then the baby
coughed and began crying. The mother came rushing into the room. She
was screaming, what is going on? No one could answer her. We were just
staring at the baby, who had come back to life. The mother asked us
again, what is going on? She began crying as she saw that her baby was
alive. She ran out of the house and banged on every door in the
village, telling all of the people that God is real because her baby
was alive. Within about thirty minutes, the baby's! skin tone and
movements had become completely normal.
"The other villagers came to the house to see this amazing
miracle. They asked us which of the Indian gods we had prayed to for
such a miracle to happen. We told them we had prayed to the biggest
God ever and we began to explain to them about Jesus. Soon, we
realized we would not have time to minister salvation to each person
individually. So, we gathered all the villagers together, turned on
our little sound system and explained the way of salvation. Everyone
in the village, 80 to 90 people, prayed to receive Jesus. Each of them
was baptized in the Holy Spirit and began speaking in tongues. Many
would fall to the ground as the power of the Holy Spirit came on them.
"Five days later, we returned to the village to check in on the
mother and the baby. The village had prepared a big dinner in honor of
our team. We enjoyed a wonderful time of fellowship together. The
baby, whom they named Julia, was perfectly healthy and had gained
weight. Even after five days, the mother was still shaking from the
impact of God on her life through the resurrection of her child. Two
days after our follow-up visit, the mother brought baby Julia to
church. The mother was still shaking from the power of God on her life
following this astounding miracle."
Father's Day Healing
Father's Day I received healing prayer from Fr. Paul. I felt a
chill thru my body and was relieved of my aches from a bad back.
This relief lasted for over a week.
A grateful Father
Neck Pain Healed
I was invited to your Healing Service during Holy
Week. I had a pain in my neck for quite a while. As you prayed
over me I could feel the floor tremble. I
have no pain whatsoever in my neck. The healing service was so
very powerful. We went to Sunday Easter service at St. John's
which was very nice. The main thing about St. John's is the
genuine friendliness and sense of fellowship that I feel when I'm
there. We've been looking for a church for a year and believe me
that doesn't always exist. We tried about a dozen times; the
service was excellent, but the people were not friendly. St.
John's rocks! I signed up for the series, "When Heaven
Invades Earth which starts next Thursday night, and I'm looking
forward to that.
One evening recently, as I was praying in bed, the
Lord came to me in a vision. His hand held mine! The next
day during a Bible Study he reminded me of Isaiah 41 which says,
"I am with your, 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." As I shared this with my friend, she told me
she couldn't write because of the pain in her right hand. She
was comforted and our God healed her hand right then and there!
God continues to tell me, "I am with you always." He
does this through signs like a cross i saw in a store, the words of
the gospel read at church, and through a card I gave to a
friend. Truly he is with me always.
Story of Freedom
I wanted to take the time to thank you again for accepting me into your
church and believing in me enough to free me from evil. I have a hard time
understanding how your church did everything to help me and still continue
to call me and make sure I am ok while my church said come back in 1 year.
You and your church made me feel welcome and stayed by my side even
though you did not know me. You accepted my just the way I was.
It would have been easy for me to give up on Jesus again after coming so far
only to be turned away. But the Holy Spirit led me to your church. You
gave me no excuses. You did not turn me away even though I am a sinner and
you believed in me and my brokenness enough to give me hope.
My journey has only begun. God Bless you and your parish with all
the goodness of HIS love.
You believe in everyone no matter the sin. As Jesus cured the leper and
said go show yourself. I am showing myself and testifying that you and your
church are doing what you are called to do.
My husband has been laid off for several months, but I
have continued to tithe and refused to fret over the future.
During these days, a relative gave us a $2000 patio set; I received a
bonus at work; we had a huge batch of our home grown asparagus,
strawberries, and raspberries; someone took be to Red lobster for a
birthday dinner; and a loved one gave us $2000 to pay off a loan we
needed for medical bills! Papa God so tenderly orders our steps
and assures us that if we stay in His tracks, and focus on him, these
earthly concerns and pressures will be taken care of, in his perfect
time. I hear him whisper, "Not to worry,
dear." What a Savior!
Note from Fr. Ed
I know that many of you have been praying for my wife, Joan.
We asked for a miracle and God in his goodness has replied. We
went to Madison on Monday for a consultation on when to begin
chemotherapy for her leukemia. The doctors reviewed her tests
and said she did not need chemo at this time, and in all likelihood
would never need it. Praise the Lord! Thank you for your
faithfulness in prayer. God is good.
In recent months God has kindly blessed me with several personal miracles. I am often prayed for during Healing Services and deeply touched when I receive Holy Communion at St. John's Church. During these times, God makes me feel safe and loved.
One day recently, after healing prayer, I woke up and noticed that the large lump on my wrist called a ganglion, which was the size of a plum, had disappeared over night. A few days later I saw my doctor for a diabetic check and all my blood work was normal for the first time in 4 years! I know it sounds too hard to believe, but after 30 years with psoriasis on my face, I am also completely relieved.
It is so wonderful to have had God's support when I suffered these physical trials, but it is even more wonderful to be healed of them! As a survivor of abuse, I know God heals not only the body but also the broken heart and mind. He has a plan for each of us, and his love is there for us in good times and in bad.
I would like to share with you how I came to be here at St. John's and what it means to me.
I came to St. John's for the first time nearly four years ago. A friend of mine invited me to her granddaughter's First Eucharist. Since I know and love the family, I decided to go. I wasn't attending any church and hadn't been for a long time. I knew that something was missing in my life. I was searching, but I wasn't sure what I needed. I don't mean I didn't have a busy life, but I mean that he most vital part of my life was missing. I came to St John's the first time for someone else and God has been pulling me back ever since.
You see, it took me a while but I eventually realized that it was God who led me here, and it was God who was needed in my life.
Fr. Paul invited me to "hang around for a while and see what happens." After two years of just hanging around, I realized that just hanging around was not enough. This is not the sort of place that hanging around is ever enough.
I attended my first healing service after we moved into our new church building and had the most profound experience of my life. I have suffered from rheumatoid arthritis for fifteen years, and when I attended that healing mass, everything changed. I had no idea what to expect, but as I waited for Fr. Paul to reach me to bless me, I prayed to God that if it was his will, I knew he could and would heal me. When Fr. Paul placed his hands on my head and began to pray, I felt an intense feeling of heat that radiated the length of my body from head to foot. If people hadn't held me up, I would have fallen to the floor. It took several minutes to regain my equilibrium. I was filled with a feeling of such joy and peace that I never wanted it to end.
When I had that experience, I was taking 800 milligrams of anti-inflammatory medication daily and suffered from swollen, painful joints so stiff it often took 30-40 minutes just to get out of bed in the morning. Since that night I have not taken any anti-inflammatory drugs, and I have not had a significant arthritis flare up since.
I have grown greatly in my spiritual life through daily prayer, bible study, worship, and most importantly, through the Eucharist. As I have grown, I've felt a deeper and deeper commitment to God and to my church.
It is my privilege to contribute my time to volunteer at the Thrift Store on Fridays, to lead bible study, to help with the Alpha Program, and to provide hospitality when it's my turn. What a joy it is to read scripture at our service on Saturday nights.
It was also my privilege as a member of St. John's to contribute a percentage of my income for the honor and glory of God. After all, everything that I have, He gave me. He has blessed me more than I deserve. When I was spiritually lost, He led me to this place of healing and peace where I have learned the depth of His love for me. Now He fills my life every day and I have found Him. He has taught me that through Fr. Paul's spiritual guidance, we can share His love for us together as a church family. We can heal and grow together by helping and praying for each other. We can reach out to other people in our community so that they will know how to answer when God is calling to them, just as someone showed me when I was one of His lost sheep.
You can't hang around for long without getting involved. the more I've learned of God's love, the more I want to give back.
Thank you for letting me share my story with you. Each person here has his or her own story, probably not so different form mine. The one thing we all have in common is the love of our Father in heaven. In this holy place, we can learn to use the tools we need to stay in His grace and grow in His love. Thank you for letting me share my story.
My excitement mounted as I answered my phone and heard Susie say, " I think I found God."
It was an early morning and as the phone rang I wondered who was calling so early. I was surprised to hear Susie's voice full of excitement. Susie is a new member in our Adult Child Group. She had attended group the day before, very angry and apprehensive. She was angry at everyone for the way her life was going. She seemed to want to control everyone in her life and make them change. The group talked about how we can't change others, we can only change ourselves. Susie seemed to be at a loss to understand this. She saw no need to change herself and couldn’t see why others didn't understand this. Just before the group closed Susie looked so lost and alone. I asked her if she had a higher power. Susie looked at me blankly. I then said , "Do you know God ?" Susie looked at me tearfully and told me that she didn't know or understand God. I suggested that she decide she was willing to know God and leave the rest up to him.
As she left the group she was crying and saying she needed something to make her sleep because she was so weary.
The next morning the call came. Susie was so excited. She had gone to sleep the night before very sad and depressed. During the night she awoke and felt a presence in her room . She said she thought she was dreaming because she could feel God sitting on her headboard. She tried to think it away but it remained. She finally went back to sleep, telling herself she was crazy. To her surprise when daylight came and she awakened , God was still on her headboard. She immediately called me. I think she needed someone to reassure her that she was not crazy. I felt her fear and excitement. It was like she was saying , is this too good to be true? I immediately said ," Wonderful " She told me she was going to go on with her day and leave God on her headboard. I told her she could take him with her and she didn't seem to understand. I assured her it was o.k. to leave him there if that's what she wanted to do. I sensed that this was overwhelming for her and she couldn't handle anymore at this time. She hung up sounding happy and excited although a little skeptical that this could be true. I hung up and said ," Thank you ,God"
It has been two weeks now and Susie is still bubbling and talking to everyone she meets. In group yesterday she shared that she has had a spiritual week and she is in awe about everything that is happening to her.
Miracles, you bet !
Charlie has been coming to our church for a couple years. He came because of his wife and children. He wanted to do the right thing for them. I saw Charlie as a very caring man with his adopted children. He was also very angry and fearful of any religion. He was so afraid of being sucked into something he didn't want. Charlie and I became friends and he started sharing his fears. I suggested that he attend the Adult Child Group. At first he was very reluctant. Charlie has been in a twelve step program for a number of years to deal with an addiction. He has been very successful with this program but needed something more to deal with his spiritual issues. I encouraged him to take a risk and join the group. He came in, very angry and telling everyone he didn't think he needed to be there. He had a very foul mouth and took up a lot of group time. We were patient with him and welcomed him back. When he stopped talking he started hearing other people's pain. He was fearful of church , fearful of God and ashamed of the life he had led. He continued coming to group and church and things started happening to him.
Charlie had been hearing in church and in group how some of us are so broken by life. Charlie had had surgery and one day a little neighbor stood in front of him and said, " Charlie, where are you broken ?" This hit Charlie right in the heart. Charlie realized later that the little boy was talking about his surgery , but that was not what Charlie heard. Out of the mouths of babes, right? I told Charlie God can use anybody to bring his messages. Charlie shared this in group and was awed by it.
Charlies' miracles were just beginning.
Charlie attended a healing service. A gentleman attended, smelling of alcohol. Charlie was very aware of this because of his recovery of his own addiction. The gentleman walked out of the service and sat in the entrance. When Charlie noticed the man sitting alone he got up and went to sit with the man. He sat there quietly until he saw the gentleman was crying. He invited the man to come back into the healing service and invited him to take Eucharist with him. As Charlie and the gentleman returned to their pew .The man was crying again and even though Charlie has a real fear of touching another man he couldn't stop himself from putting his arm around the gentleman. Charlie said he only meant to touch him and let him know he was there. To Charlie's surprise he could not remove his arm from the gentleman's shoulder for five minutes. The man finally stopped crying and Charlie sat in awe. As we were leaving the service Charlie said to me, " You won't believe this." I said, " Charlie , I think I will."
Charlie came to group the next week and shared this . After the group had started the gentleman from the church joined us , Charlie was thrilled. Charlie told the man he was so glad to see that he was real, I had been teasing Charlie that the man was an angel.
Charlie has wonderful insight into himself and others. His job is ending and he is going to enroll in school to get in a field where he can help others.
Miracle, right on!
New London woman believes in healing power of prayer
By Cheryl Sherry
Post-Crescent staff writer
There were days when Trudy Hill was so weak merely covering her body with a quilt made her a prisoner in her own bed. “I couldn’t move,” the 45-year-old New London woman said. “It was too heavy for me.” Hill’s life changed dramatically in 1997 when she says she was miraculously healed from the inside out.
As Christians around the world today celebrate Easter Sunday and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the idea of miracles in our midst is close to the heart. Do miracles happen? Many scoff, with memories of shady televangelists dancing in their heads.
But some believe. And they stand firm in their belief even when skeptics shake their heads.
Trudy Hill is such a believer.
Diagnosed in 1991 with polymyocitis, an autoimmune disease that destroys the healthy muscle tissue in the body, Hill had lost about 50 percent of the muscle in her legs and another 15 percent in her arms. She was tired, in nearly constant pain and on numerous steroidal and pain medications.
While it was hard on Hill it was equally difficult on her husband, John, who worked not only a full time job but had a part-time job on the side in order to support them and their two sons, Matthew and Jacob. Money became increasingly tight. “We had to sell our house of 10 years in 1993, couldn’t afford our furniture or our van and had to move into an apartment,” Hill said. “We had gone through a lot.”
Then came a winter’s night in 1997 when Hill’s inner voice kept urging her to go to church. “It was New Year’s Eve and there were 102 things to do rather than go to church,” she said. “But I had this nagging thing that I had to go. I saw an article about (The Rev.) Paul Feider in the paper that said he was holding a healing mass (at St. John’s Center for Inner Peace).”
Feider, who had come to the then small Episcopalian congregation in November of that year, was quite familiar with the healing ministry. He had written his seminary thesis, “Healing in Light of Redemptive Suffering,” on the subject, which was later published.
“One of first things I said in November 1997 was on New Year’s Eve, we will have a healing mass,’” Feider said. “They thought no one would come.” They were wrong, as 125 people piled into the 65-seat church, including Hill, who “prayed for strength, spiritual strength to endure this long illness that I thought was going to be with me for the rest of my life. And just basically to keep my family all together,” she said.
When the service ended, Hill and her husband literally ran out the doors to the parking lot. “For a minute we sat there and John couldn’t get the key in the ignition in the car,” she said. “It hit us as something really special. My husband could barely drive the car home because we were shaking so bad. It was so emotional for us,” she recalled all these years later with tears in her eyes.
When February rolled around, Hill went to her regular three-month check-up. She was asystematic, showing no symptoms of the disease. “I was still on autoimmune suppressant medicine and some pain medicine I occasionally used.”
Toward the end of March she was feeling so good that she felt guilty using her disabled parking plates. She took them off the car and gave them to Feider. It was then she believed she had been healed by God. “It took me that long to realize that I had gone to that healing mass and God knew what was in my heart that night,” Hill said. “Besides wanting to be healed spiritually, I needed to be healed physically.”
In April she quit taking all her medication. She didn’t tell her rheumatologist. “I just did it as a big old test,” she said. She saw her doctor again in May or June, she said. “He said, ‘How are you doing?’ I was still feeling very well and had no pain. I said, “I’m doing really good. I’m not taking any of my medicine anymore.’ He said, ‘When did you quit that? I said, ‘April 1. Are you mad?’ He said, ‘I’ll get over it.’”
Hill, who works as a medical assistant at Theda Care Physicians in New London, said it took her a long time to admit that a healing occurred and “to work through the feelings of accepting a blessing and feeling worthy of a blessing. Sometimes I still have doubts, but it happened nonetheless. And I am very grateful.”
Feider said healings are truly miracles. “Miracles are basically when people experience the love of God so powerfully that something changes in them and science can’t explain it, but they know it happens,” he said.
The healing power of prayer, Feider said, has nothing to do with the person needing the prayers. “The person receiving it doesn’t need any faith. They just need to be open to God blessing them. In the scripture it says, ‘Your faith made you well.’ It’s not the faith of the sick person. It’s the faith of the prayer.” Healing can be a physical cure, or it can be an inner healing or healing of traumatic memories, Feider said. “People who come here for a while notice their relationships are getting better, they’re feeling better about themselves.
“It’s all miracles and we stand back in awe because we know it’s Jesus,” he said. “I’m just the vessel to set the stage for God’s love to flow. And when God’s love starts to flow people experience healing.” But, when it comes to healing there are no guarantees, he added. “We bathe people in the love of Jesus as well as we can but never really know what’s going to happen. I can’t tell a person they are going to be cured.”
These days, Hill said she isn’t any more spiritual than the next person. She is now simply more conscious of it in her life. “My relationships with my family all changed. Those family members I was on the outs with, we’re not anymore. My relationship with my husband is better. I think I have a little kinder heart though some days it’s a challenge. Now I think before I say stuff and am a little gentler.”