Miracle Stories- February
Several years ago, a friend named Teresa was admitted to the hospital with an unknown illness that was making her increasingly weak and causing her to have difficulty breathing. I called a couple of times asking if I could visit, and she would say that she wasn’t up to it. After several days, the Lord put it on my heart that I needed to go see her anyway. I went immediately, taking two of my sisters in Christ, Angie and Marilyn.
When we arrived, her parents were at her bedside. Her body was swollen, her breathing was labored, and she was barely conscious. I knew that she was at death’s door. The doctors still didn’t know the cause of her illness, but they said her organs were shutting down. If she did recover, they said that her life would be forever changed, because her lungs and her organs would be severely damaged.
Angie, Marilyn and I laid hands on her, blessed her with oil, and prayed. We also found a priest at the hospital who anointed her. Although we had brought the Eucharist, she was too weak to receive even the smallest piece. We returned home and called out a prayer request to the WCF prayer chain.
I continued to visit and pray for her almost daily. With each visit I could see the slightest improvement. I knew that God had saved her life, and I trusted that He would heal her body completely. Soon Teresa was being weaned off of the breathing machine. Although it was a long process and she remained in the hospital for weeks, she eventually made a complete recovery. Against the doctors’ predictions, she sustained no permanent damage to any of her organs or her lungs. I know that God spoke to me that day so that He could bring the gift of life back to Teresa.
For five years I suffered with an intense pain on one side of my face that was with me 24 hours a day. My prayer was a simple prayer that we all have uttered at one time or another, “O, God, please help me!” The doctors told me that the disease I had was incurable, that it was something I would have to live with the rest of my life. It was then I discovered that this disease had the highest suicide rate associated with it because of the pain level involved. I lived my life with the pain always with me, sometimes more intense than at other times.
In 1978, my friend Gram Duray asked me to take her into Los Angeles to hear a priest speak that she had heard about. We drove into Los Angeles on a Saturday morning from Covina, a suburb east of Los Angeles. When the priest Fr. Aloysius came into the room, he talked for a few minutes and then invited everyone to come forward for prayer. I helped Gram forward since she had a difficult time walking, and I stood behind her so she could receive prayer. Everyone stood in front of the altar in a semi-circle as we used to do for Holy Communion. The priest walked in front of everyone and placed his hand on each person’s forehead and prayed. I thought perhaps he was praying in Italian because I couldn’t understand him. Later I learned he was praying in tongues.
When Fr. Aloysius prayed for Gram, he started to move toward the next person then stopped, turned back, looked at me and said, “And you?” I shrugged my shoulders and said, “OK” since I knew I was in need of healing. He laid his hand on my forehead, prayed for me and then moved on. I felt nothing at the time. Gram and I had a nice lunch together and talked about how different the prayer was. It was a new experience for both of us. The next day I was at home by myself, and all of a sudden I realized that I was not in pain! I felt an immense relief in my body, but almost as soon as I recognized that the pain was gone, it returned. As time progressed, there were more minutes in the day without pain. Then over a six month period, the pain gradually left me until it was gone completely.
It was this healing from our Holy God that stirred me to seek Him. I wanted to know this wonderful God who would stoop to heal me, even though I felt in every part of my being that I was certainly not worthy of His attention—though I had begged for it. I not only wanted to know all about Him, I wanted to do His will. It was then that I decided I wanted to study the Bible so that I could learn more about Him. I thought, “How can I do His will if I don’t know what it is?”
I felt as if I could find the answers in the Bible. It was through this seeking process that I began to learn about God and His great love for everyone. Everything I learned I wanted to share with others who didn’t know God’s love personally in Jesus Christ.
This is the foundation for Women’s Christian Fellowship. I simply began to share with others my experience of what God did for me. In October of 1979, I heard the Lord call me to begin praying and sharing Scriptures with other women, and so I did. After a year of meeting with women in my home, Msgr. Fred Florek said, “Angie, you’ve got to bring that meeting into the Church,” and so I did. The power of God’s love and presence has touched my life, and I am humbled by His love and greatly privileged to tell others about Him. I am blessed to say that by the grace of God and the support of my wonderful and loving husband, Kenny, Women’s Christian Fellowship continues to this day.