As missionaries we have seen the Lord work in many ways. This story is about His miraculous healing of my injury in the mountains of Luzon, The Philippines.
As we headed toward the mountains in the northern Luzon province of Abra, I knew that we were in for a great adventure. Every time we venture out for the Lord, it proves to be an interesting journey.
We had initially planned to depart midmorning from our mission base in San Juan City. Due to a number of unexpected delays, it was late afternoon before we actually got started. We were truly operating on Filipino Time!
The four of us, Edith, Maria, Don, my husband and I, forced our bodies into the Filipino-sized motorbike sidecars. With our Bibles under our arms, we excitedly headed for a small settlement of indigenous Filipino Indians waiting for our “early afternoon” arrival. We were to have a fellowship meeting in their little mountain church.
The motorbikes quickly covered the flatlands and then diverted onto the rough dirt road to our destination. We cautiously traveled along the bumpy, dusty road as it got rougher and steeper. We slowly climbed, machines belching a thick, black smoke, into the mountainous bush country of Luzon. Several times we disembarked and trekked up the steep mountainous trail when the motorbikes were powerless to carry us up the extreme incline.
Daylight was fading quickly as we motored up the mountainside trail to the settlement. Before we arrived at the path to the village, it was pitch black without any moonlight to help light our tortuous path. Because we had carefully planned to be back before dark, no one had brought a flashlight. This remote area, where a branch of the feared Communist Army operated, could be a very dangerous territory at night. Often their marauders lurked around in the dark waiting to accost anyone who was foolish enough to venture into their domain.
At the trail head, we started our long, arduous trek up the narrow, rough trail to the village above. We sent the motorbikes back to the village to return two hours later when we would return to San Juan.
While climbing up the dark trail, suddenly my foot caught under a large root. I plummeted forward. My left shoulder struck another enormous root. CRUNCH! My collarbone snapped, and my shoulder dislocated, causing extreme pain. I let out a sharp cry. Don, hearing my shriek, came running up the path to me. When he reached me, I was writhing on the trail in excruciating pain. The broken piece of smashed collarbone was sticking up under my skin. He could see we had a big problem.
He gently helped me to my feet. Feeling very faint from the pain, I rested for a minute or two and, finally, gathered enough strength to slowly, cautiously continue our journey up the hill. Immediately returning to San Juan City to get needed medical care was impossible. We would just have to continue to the village which was at least a mile away.
Although in severe pain, with the help of the Lord, I could muster the necessary strength and courage to continue up the long hill.
Finally reaching the top, we were enthusiastically greeted by an excited little band of villagers, all chattering and shouting, “Mabuhay, mabuhay (welcome).” They quickly ushered us into the tiny, primitive church.
The crude building was made of rough wood walls with a palm frond roof. In the front of the church was a hand hewn wooden pulpit. Several rows of crudely built benches were all lined up neatly facing the pulpit, waiting for the fellowship meeting to begin.
I hastily entered the little church, found a seat near the pulpit, and carefully lowered myself into the seat as everyone busily exchanged warm hugs and joyous greetings. The extreme temperature in the church was about 110 degrees and 99% humidity. Perspiration streamed down my pale face and quickly soaked my dress.
The villagers eventually filtered forward and sat down on the wooden benches. Edith launched the praise and worship; everyone enthusiastically began a joyful song and dance to honor the Lord.
My pain level was intensifying with each passing moment. It became insufferable. I slowly turned to Don and shared that he would have to preach as I was in too much pain. In surrender to the pain, I retreated to the back of the church, found a bench just outside the door and collapsed onto it. I was feeling wretched.
“Lord, I can’t preach with this much pain. I don’t know what you have in mind, but you need to heal me now in the name of the name of Jesus…’by your stripes I was healed!'”
Just as I finished my lament to my Lord, He spoke to me, “You get back in there and preach on the miraculous power of prayer and divine healing. Then have everyone gather around you, lay hands on you. Have the native pastor pray for your divine healing and total restoration. I will do it!”
“Of course, Lord,” I replied excitedly. I quickly rose and walked back into the church, holding onto my injured arm. I wasn’t going to get a better deal than that tonight.
“I can do this through Christ who strengthens me,” I kept repeating to myself. “I’ve got to do this for Him and for His little flock. With the help of the Lord, I can do this.”
My husband, surprised and pleased to see me return, asked, “Are you okay? What’s up?”
I shared with him the Word the Lord had given me.
“Praise the Lord!” he responded with delight. He also knew if God said it, He’d do it.
When praise and worship was completed, I arose and went to the pulpit. I offered a prayer and began to preach about the miraculous healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ. I totally forgot about the pain.
“2,000 years ago the Lord was whipped 39 times for you and me. It says in the Bible…”by His stripes we are healed.” Tonight you are going to see that Word in action. The Lord told me to preach on healing, have you gather around me, lay hands on me, and have Pastor pray for me. He promised if I was obedient, He would heal my broken collarbone and dislocated shoulder. If He said it, I believe it. He has never lied to me. He has never forsaken me when I needed Him.”
I stepped out from behind the pulpit, went forward and sat on a bench.
“Now everyone come lay hands on me, gently, and pray for me, believing that the Lord is going to heal me.”
Edith, Don and Marie quickly gathered the little group of worshippers around me, and the Native pastor began to pray.
Each one began to pray in his own tongue. A joyful chorus of fervent prayers rose up to the heart of the Lord.
SNAP! Suddenly, my collarbone went back to normal. SNAP! My shoulder popped back into joint again.
I gingerly threw up my arms and started shouting, “Hallelujah, I’m healed. Praise the Lord. Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, Lord!”
I stood up, started swinging my arms around and dancing. Immediately, everyone joined in a glorious dance of praise to the Lord for my healing and restoration.
This uproar continued until our two motorbike drivers appeared out of the darkness in the doorway of the church. They curiously observed this hysterical little band like we had all lost our minds.
“Amen.” I shouted joyfully.
We gathered our Bibles and the generous gifts from the villagers. It was time to wind our way back down the treacherous trail. We were all reluctant to disband but it was getting late and we need to make the journey back down the mountain. Our thoughtful bikers returned with flashlights to make our trek easier, and safer. Thank God! We made it down the trail and back to San Juan without further incident. The Lord brought us through. He is so faithful!
We often read in the Bible about the miracles that Jesus performed in His short thirty-three years here on earth. We think of them as fables or just good history stories. These are not just fairy tales for our amusement. These are prophecies of miracles for us today.
Mark 16: 15-20 tells us, “And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast evils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. And they went forth, and preached everywhere, the Lord working with [them], and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
This is what my husband, Don, and I are called to do in the ministry…”go…into all the world and preach the gospel…lay hands on the sick.” We have seen an endless number of the Lord’s miracles in our lives and in the lives of others.
His word says in Hebrews 13:8, “Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever. Miracles are for “yesterday, today and forever”. We just all need to believe that the Lord is able and willing to perform miracles on the earth today.
I believed. He delivered. I was healed.